Solar panel quality testing: 5 common defects to avoid

Solar panel quality testing

Introduction


Solar panels are responsible for generating power from the sun. Solar panels provide clean energy free from acidic hydrochloric acids in an appropriate, affordable, durable, and efficient way. After qualifying Solar Panel tests, the product is ready to send into the market so that when the buyer purchases it, it’s free from defects or poor quality. For this purpose, different solar panel quality tests will be conducted, including STC, UV, temperature, etc. Solar panel quality testing is essential to ensuring that you have an excellent product and investment in your finances for up to 20-25 years, which also provides you peace of mind. These defects in solar panels, if neglected, can become problematic. When it comes to solar panels, you have many alternatives. It is critical to select the best product for your requirements.

Figure: defects in solar PV panels

This article is about common defects in solar panels, which you should consider before purchasing solar panels. It highlights the five most common defects in solar panel manufacturing to look out for if you’re buying solar panels.

  1. Cracked glass
    Cracks on Solar Panel glass are a problematic issue that needs replacement as the solar panel glass would have the capability to withstand natural pressure like snow, heavy rain, and hail. While doing Solar panel quality testing, the researcher ensures that the panel glass can withstand the 140 miles per hour winds and 5400 Pascale snow pressure; 35 mm hailstone stress could resist up to 60.273 miles per hour. Observing cracks or damaged cells on panels could indicate that they were not wrapped under precautionary safety rules during transshipment. Before purchasing, carefully examine each panel.

Figure: Cracked Solar Panel Glass

  1. Electroluminescence testing
    The phenomenon of light being emitted by a passing current is called Electroluminescence. Solar PV modules test using this phenomenon to find hidden defects in solar panels in their frameworks. It is needed for warranty disputes since an electroluminescence test can detect microcracks on the spot and diagnose the root cause. Electroluminescence testing is done on-site, and modules do not need to be uninstalled before testing.

Figure: Electroluminescence testing

  1. Tests to check whether Solar PV Panel is performing well or not
    The lower output power efficiency means a shorter lifespan and a smaller capacity for producing output power (the rate PVOUT capacity in kWh/kWp), which are crucial defects in solar panels. To check the solar panel quality testing, the tests conduct at low irradiance of about 200 Watt per meter square. This test, however, tests solar PV panels’ performance in cold weather. Another test performs at high irradiance of about 1000 Watts of energy per meter square; this test conducts to check the efficiency of solar panels during peak hours. Test conducted at standard conditions of approximately 1000 Watt per square meter, which checks the manufacturing efficiency of solar PV panels in the fall and spring. The Standard test checks the type of solar panel and determines which type of panel is performing well, especially in autumn and spring. Most manufacturing companies perform this test and provide its customer with the solar panel quality testing data sheet.

Figure: Solar Panel capacity to produce the output power

  1. UV testing
    The UV testing depends on how much the solar panel resists the UV exposure. These factors determine your solar PV panel’s efficiency, material performance, and lifespan. However, based on UV exposure on solar panels and its effects on the life of solar panels, UV testing performs to quantify and investigate the climatic factors that comprehend aging processes by conducting an extensive analysis of the external environment.

Figure: UV testing of Solar Panel

  1. Space between frame and glass of the solar panel
    Gaps between the frame and glass of the solar panel must be within rows. As the glass and frames of solar panels enlarge and contract with the weather, a space between rows is required to allow for expansion and contraction. This step has importance in Solar panel quality testing.
    What is the reason behind setting the spacing between the glass and frame of the solar panels?
    Each row of solar PV panels should have a gap of up to three inches between the frame and tempered glass. To provide flexibility to the maintenance inspector to work and make maintenance. Typically, a solar panel’s frame and glass are spaced apart by about 12.27-15.24 centimeters.

Figure: Space between frame and glass of the solar panel

Conclusion


Solar panel quality testing is a crucial part of establishing the quality of a solar system before you purchase it so that you buy it free of defects in solar panels. The solar PV panels you are purchasing should test to withstand environmental factors throughout every testing phase. For this purpose, many Visual and flash tests, humidity testing, salt spray testing, and UV testing of solar panels perform to check whether the solar PV panels can produce electrical power for up to 25 years.

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