Journey of a PV Module

Our involvement begins during the purchase of the modules. If requested, we will optimize customer’s contract to include high standards for quality. When modules arrive to Europe, they will be temporarily stored in the warehouses where our laboratories are located, enabling testing to be performed before the transfer of ownership.

Start
  • Manufacturing

    All components that make up the PV module are assembled and encapsulated. After assembly, the PV module is tested by the manufacturer on Pmax and EL.

  • Shipping

    The PV modules are loaded and shipped in containers to major import hubs across the world.

  • Offloading

    Most PV modules that are imported to Europe will arrive in the ports of Rotterdam or Valencia. Afterwards, the containers are loaded onto trucks and taken to the warehouse.

  • Warehousing

    The pallets with PV modules are offloaded from the truck and stored in the warehouse. Unique barcodes on the pallets are registered in the warehouse management system.

  • Independent Testing

    Based on the batch size, a statistically relevant amount of modules are tested against the criteria agreed up with the customer. Based on the results, an overall pass/fail grade is given. Failed modules are rejected before they are shipped to the customer.

  • Transporting

    The pallets containing the purchased PV modules are loaded onto trucks and expedited to the designated location of the customer.

  • Installing and Commissioning

    The modules are unpacked, installed on racks and connected to the power grid.

Finish

Testing a PV Module with Spire Solar Iberia

The process of testing a PV module begins with the right sample size and quality criteria, these are determined together with the customer. Picking the correct sample size is critical due to statistical relevance – testing too few modules is tempting but leads to results that cannot be used to draw conclusions about the overall quality of the batch.

  • Determine Sample Size and Testing Criteria
    Based on the batch size, a statistically relevant amount of modules are tested against the criteria agreed up with the customer.
    1
  • Logistics
    Pallets are moved from inside the warehouses to the laboratories for testing. If required, the modules will be shipped to the laboratories for testing.
    2
  • Condition the Modules
    Prior to testing, the modules are stabilized to standard test conditions STC (25°C ± 2°C) in the test lab for 24 hours.
    3
  • Perform IV Test
    To determine the true Pmax, the modules are flashed with the Spire 5100.
    4
  • Perform EL Test
    To assess whether the modules contain invisible defects, an EL picture is taken and reviewed for cracks and irregularities.
    5
  • Repack the Modules
    After testing, the modules are repacked in their original pallets.
    6
  • Compile a Report
    The IV and EL test results are compiled in a report, which is sent to the customer.
    7
  • Discuss the Results
    The results of the test are reviewed with the customer in a call or face-to-face in a meeting.
    8
  •  

Location, Location, Location

Spire Solar Iberia is located in two strategic ports of Europe so that any company importing PV modules to Europe can test modules before they are delivered creating a “try before you buy” scenario. This way, our customers can confirm overall quality and performance before becoming the owner (Incoterm dependent).

International Quality Standards

Spire Solar Iberia works in accordance with IEC standards, which ensures that our measurements are of the highest accuracy. IEC standards are respected and approved by PV manufacturers and customers alike.
  • IEC 61215-2-MQT 06
    This standard covers IV testing, also known as flash testing. Standard STC conditions indicate that modules must be tested between 23 and 27 degrees before measuring the IV curve, which is near impossible when testing them in the field. Therefore, it is recommended to do IV testing in a laboratory.
  • IEC 60904-13
    This standard covers the procedure for capturing EL photos.
  • ISO 2859-1
    This standard provides guidelines for the amount of modules to be tested depending on the size of the batch ordered. In addition to this, Acceptable Quality Levels are defined which can be used when determining pass/fail criteria.

Interested?

We would like to hear from you. Click below to get in contact with one of our experts.