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National PV Test Laboratory Ready to Operate, This is the Test Phase

Uji PVThe use of solar energy technology in Indonesia today is increasingly prevalent. Until 2018, the utilization of solar energy through the Solar Power Plant (PLTS) was recorded at 94.42 MWp. PT PLN's Electricity Supply Business Plan (RUPTL), targeting solar energy use in Indonesia is up to 1047 MWp (Megawatt peak) until 2025.

To ensure the quality of PLTS installed in Indonesia, it is necessary to test the components of the PV system, mainly the photovoltaic solar module (PV). Testing of this PV module is already a standard obligation on the international market. However, the unavailability of these testing laboratories in Indonesia is a challenge for national PV module manufacturers. There are only two manufacturers whose products have received IEC 61215 certificates among solar module manufacturers in Indonesia.

National Laboratory for Energy Conversion Technolgy (B2TKE) - BPPT takes an important role in this matter. The PV module testing laboratory facility refers to the SNI IEC 61215: 2016 standard starting construction this year, and is planned to be operational in 2019. The main objective of this activity is to improve the quality of the infrastructure of the Photovoltaic Components and Systems Testing Laboratory (LPKSF) B2TKE-BPPT with the addition of the scope of the solar module quality testing (PV) which refers to SNI / IEC 61215: 2016.   

This testing laboratory construction activity will provide added value not only to BPPT but also will have a national impact for all stakeholders engaged in PLTS, especially industries, especially PV module manufacturers.

SNI IEC 61215: 2016 is the result of identical adoption of the international standard IEC 61215: 2016 entitled Terrestrial Photovoltaic Module (PV) - Qualification of type design and approval consisting of two parts. The first section is entitled Testing Requirements and the second part is titled Test Procedures.

This International Standard Series establishes requirements for the design and validation of types of terrestrial PV modules that are suitable for long-term operations in open outdoor weather. This standard part is intended to be applied to all terrestrial flat plate module materials such as types of crystalline silicon modules and thin film modules. 

This standard is not suitable for modules that use sunlight concentrators, although it may be used for low concentrator modules. For low concentration modules, all tests are carried out using current, voltage and power for the concentrator design. 

The purpose of this test sequence is to determine the thermal and electrical characteristics of the solar module and to show that the module is able to withstand long enough sun exposure in open outdoor weather. Highly qualified solar module life will depend on the design, environment and conditions in which the solar module is operated.

Prosedur

The test consists of 19 stages, starting with the visual inspection Module Qualification Test (MQT 1) until the final MQT 19 stabilization test.

  1. MQT 01, intends to check visual damage to the module.
  2. MQT 02, maximum power determination. Intends to determine the maximum power of the module after stabilization and before and after various environmental stress tests. To determine the power loss due to stress testing, reproducibility testing is a very important factor.
  3. MQT 03, insulation test. Intends to find out whether the module is well insulated between the active part and the easily accessible part.
    1. For modules with an area of less than 0.1 m2, the insulation resistance is not less than 400 MΩ.
    2. For modules with an area greater than 0.1 m2, the measured insulation resistance multiplied by the module area should not be less than 40 MΩ
  4. MQT 04, temperature coefficient measurement.
  5. MQT 05, nominal module operating temperature measurement (NMOT).
    1. NMOT defined as the temperature of an average solar cell in equilibrium in a module mounted on a solar module buffer rack that operates near peak power in the Standard Reference Environment (SRE): Tilt angle: (37 ± 5)°, Total irradiation: 800 W/m2, Ambient temperature around: 20°C, wind speed: 1 m/s
    2. Electric load: A resistive load size such that the module will operate near its maximum power point at STC conditions or at Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT).
    3. The NMOT is similar to NOCT except as measured by the module at maximum power instead of open voltage. In conditions of maximum power (electricity) energy is withdrawn from the module, therefore the heat energy distributed throughout the module is reduced compared to open voltage conditions. Therefore the NMOT is usually a few degrees lower than the NOCT condition.
  6. MQT 06, performance on STC and NMOT. To determine how the electrical performance module varies with load at cell temperature with STC conditions (1000 W/m2, 25°C, spectrum spectral radiation distribution IEC 60904-3) and NMOT (irradiation 800 W/m2 and temperature around 20°C with spectrum spectral radiation distribution of IEC 60904-3). Measurements on STC are used to verify the information printed on the solar module.
    1. MQT 06.1, measurement on STC. Temperature (25 ± 2)°C and irradiation (1000 ± 100) W/m2 (as measured by the appropriate reference module), according to IEC 60904-1, using sunlight, or at least a simulator sun BBA class in accordance with IEC requirements 60904-9. Module temperature outside (25 ± 2)°C can be corrected to 25°C using temperature coefficients and IEC 60904 and IEC 60891 series.
    2. MQT 06.2, measures at NMOT
  7. MQT 07, low irradiation performance. To determine the performance of the module as a load function at 25°C and 200W/m2 radiation (as measured by appropriate reference equipment), in accordance with IEC 60904-1 using natural sunlight or BBA simulator class or better in accordance with the requirements of IEC 60904 -9.
  8. MQT 08, outdoor exposure test. To make an assessment of the initial ability of the solar module to know whether it is able to withstand exposure to sunlight outdoors and to reveal synergistic degradation effects that may not be detected in laboratory tests.
  9. MQT 09, hotspot endurance test. To find out the module's ability to withstand the effects of hotspot heating, such as soldering melting or deteriorating encapsulation. This damage can be triggered by the wrong cell, cells that don't match, shadow or dirt.
  10. MQT 10, UV precondition test. To condition the module with ultraviolet (UV) radiation before the thermal/moisture freezing test to identify materials and adhesion bonds that are susceptible to UV degradation.
  11. MQT 11, thermal cycle test. To determine the ability of the module to withstand thermal mismatches, fatigue and other pressures caused by repeated temperature changes.
  12. MQT 12, moisture-freezing test. To find out the module's ability to withstand the effects of high temperature and humidity followed by sub-zero temperatures.
  13. MQT 13, damp heat test. To find out the module's ability to withstand long-term effects of moisture penetration.
  14. MQT 14, robustness of termination. To determine that the termination, attachment termination, and attachment of the cable to the module body will withstand any pressure that may be applied during assembly or handling operations normally. Tests (MQT 14.1) and tests on (MQT 14.2) shall be carried out on the C order after MQT 12 as provided by the test flow in IEC 61215-1.
    1. MQT 14.1, junction box retention on the surface mount
    2. MQT 14.2, cable anchor test. This test can be removed if the junction box meets the requirements in accordance with IEC 62790.
  15. MQT 15, wet leakage current test. To evaluate the isolation of the module under wet operating conditions and ensure moisture from rain, mist, moisture, or liquid snow does not enter the active part of the module circuit, which can cause corrosion, ground failure, or safety hazards.
  16. MQT 16, static mechanical load test. The purpose of this test is to determine the ability of the module to withstand minimum static loads.
  17. MQT 17, snow fall test. To ensure that this module is able to withstand the effects of hail.
  18. MQT 18, testing the bypass diode.
    1. MQT 18.1, thermal test diode bypass. To assess the adequacy of the thermal design and the relative long-term reliability of the bypass diode used to limit the detrimental effects of vulnerability to hot spots on the module.
    2. MQT 18.2, Diode bypass functionality test. The purpose of this test is to verify that the diode of the test sample continues to function following the MQT 09 and MQT 18.1. In the case of a PV module without a bypass diode, this test can be ignored.
  19. MQT 19, stabilization. Final stabilization is carried out to determine the degradation of the module during testing as defined in the criteria for passing in IEC 61215-1: 2016, paragraph 7.