Just recently, Seaward released the PV200/210 test instrument that handles electrical commissioning tests to meet the IEC 62446 requirements. This battery-operated device can conduct electrical tests such as short circuit current, maximum power point voltage, current and power, open circuit voltage, and insulation resistance.
Besides electrical tests, you can also use this device to undertake I-V curve measurements as required by IEC 61829. This test helps to establish whether the curve deviates from the required profile. The test will also help you determine whether there is a need to conduct further analysis.
The further analysis involves transferring measured data to an accompanying PV mobile app. The transfer is done using wireless connectivity known as NFC, creating power curves for each PV module and high-definition color displays for the I-V curve.
By comparing the shapes of the curves, it is easy to identify potential problems like poor electrical connection, shading, or defective cells. Still, if further analysis or examination is required, the data can be exported to the head office.
It is also possible to get real-time irradiance and measure it simultaneously as the electrical testing. This is done by making a wireless connection between the PV200/210 test instrument and the Solar Survey 200R meter. When the irradiance and temperature data are measured, they can be transferred to the PV mobile to convert electrical data to STC. This is useful for doing a direct comparison with the data published and stored by the manufacturer in the PVMobile database.
The complete electrical test data and the I-V curve data can then be stored in the onboard memory. For easy traceability, the data can be downloaded to a PC via a USB connection in CSV format. Furthermore, it can be integrated with a SolarCert software program.
This is an optional program for organizing the downloaded data using a layered tree structure with ease. The tree structure will display the inverter, string, and combiner box. Test reports and professional inspection reports like the I-V curve plots and IEC 62446 measurements can also be produced.