Seaward has released a new diagnostic testing device — the PV200/210 test instrument.
Combining I-V curve analysis with electrical testing and using a push button operation, the battery-operated multi-function PV200/210 undertakes all the electrical commissioning tests required by IEC 62446. These include open circuit voltage, short circuit current, maximum power point voltage, current and power, and insulation resistance.
Alongside the electrical tests, the instrument can also perform I-V curve measurements in accordance with IEC 61829 to determine if the measured curve deviates from the expected profile, highlighting the need for any further analysis or fault finding. The fill factor of PV systems can also be assessed.
For detailed analysis, measured data can be transferred instantly from the test instrument to an accompanying PV mobile android app using wireless connectivity (NFC) to create high-definition color displays of the I-V and power curves for individual PV modules or strings. In this way, the accurate visual comparison of curve shapes can be used for the immediate identification of potential problems such as shading, defective cells or poor electrical connections. Data can also be exported instantly to head office for further analysis and investigation.
Wireless connectivity between the PV200/210 and the Solar Survey 200R meter also enables real-time irradiance to be displayed and measured at the same time as electrical testing is being undertaken. Irradiance and temperature data transferred to PVMobile can be used to convert measured electrical data to STC for direct comparison with manufacturers’ published data stored in the PVMobile database. Complete I-V curve and electrical test data can be stored in the onboard memory and downloaded to a PC in CSV format via USB connection for full traceability of system data and test records.
When integrated with the optional SolarCert software program, downloaded data can be quickly and easily organized using a layered tree structure showing string, combiner box and inverter. In addition, professional inspection and test reports can be produced, including IEC 62446 measurements and I-V curve plots.