Keeping PV panels honest


From pv magazine Australia

The Australian Capital Territory government has awarded AU$220,000 (US$161,200) from its Renewable Energy Innovation Fund (REIF) to expand the solar panel testing conducted by PV Lab, which works out of the Australian National University in Canberra.

Since Michelle McCann and Lawrence McIntosh founded PV Lab in 2013, the operation has tested more than 2 GW of solar panels for anomalies. These problems include lower-than-advertised output, micro-cracks that may have occurred during transportation, back panels made of materials that won’t stand the test of time, and defects such as “wet leakage,” in which parts of the panel other than the solar cell become electrified.

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The rooftop solar sector in Australia is “on the scale of the largest coal-fired power plants that we build in this country,” McCann says. “But it’s a distributed power station, and we don’t as a country have a global check on what goes into that power station. We just put it out there, which is crazy.”

For the full story, please visit the pv magazine Australia website.

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