Automated Testing Of Photovoltaic (PV) Panels

Solar cell and solar module testing during manufacturing and prior to installation has a major importance as more and more individuals and businesses look to lower their carbon footprints. Newly introduced to the UK by Armstrong Optical Ltd., the fully automated optronic infrared test system – PV-LIT – manufactured by InfraTec GmbH in Germany has been developed to ensure that photovoltaic systems operate to their maximum efficiency.

PV-LIT takes advantage of the very latest thermographic camera systems, utilizing the megapixel resolution of the VarioCAM® High Definition and ImageIR® 9300 cameras to facilitate serial as well as individual testing of solar cells and complete solar modules with highest available precision. On the production line PV-LIT guarantees 100% quality inspection within the shortest time during the manufacturing process.The PV-LIT system enables testing for several different types of defect and numerous decisive testing criteria, such as limit values, temperature levels, number/size of defects, can be determined by the user.

Short cycle times of less than a second combined with reliable, continuous operation provide a level of confidence that allows the system to be operated in serial production environments, and the open control architecture of PV-LIT ensures data interfacing and integration are optimised to meet the end-user requirements and meet local conditions.Depending on the individual task and customer requirements, it is possible to operate the PV-LIT system with either uncooled or cooled camera systems. The newest cameras from InfraTec GmbH are able to deliver resolutions of up to 2,048 x 1,536 (3.1M) infrared pixels – using the uncooled VarioCAM® High Definition and 1,280 x 1,024 infrared pixels – using the cooled ImageIR® 9300 thereby guaranteeing that even the very smallest failures can be captured with accuracy and assurance. “The newly introduced PV-LIT system is an elegant and extremely cost-effective measurement solution providing the assurance that photovoltaic cells and arrays are operating with maximum efficiency thereby minimising the time to recoup capital investment costs from solar harvesting installations”, said Ian Johnstone for Armstrong Optical Ltd.

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