EKO Instruments has introduced the PV Blocks performance measurement system, developed by Dutch engineering specialist ReRa Solutions.
The measurement system is purportedly capable of testing off-grid and grid-connected solutions with support for standard tests as defined in IEC 60891 and IEC 60904-1.
“Users can define the number of PV modules to connect to a variety of solar and meteorological sensors,” Kees Hoogendijk, EKO Instruments CEO, told pv magazine, who noted that the PV Blocks system has an integrated “rugged” PC, equipped with software to support data acquisition and data storage, a web-based interface, and an application interface (API) for Python programming packages.
The company is responding to the need to test under real-world conditions new types of PV modules for applications, such as building integrated PV (BIPV), agrivoltaics, and floating solar, as well as bifacial modules and perovskite solar cells.
“All of these need on site testing and research in diverse geographical regions, under varying environmental and atmospheric conditions,” said Hoogendijk. “It is difficult to test performance of the cells and modules in the lab under static conditions without verification outdoors.”
PV Blocks supports up to 32 PV test modules. Measurement loads range from 450 W to 900 W for IV-current voltages, maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and positive voltage biasing. The measurement of IV curves can be set from 200 ms up to 30 seconds. The system also features an optional IP55 weatherproof enclosure for outdoor deployment.
As the name suggests, individual modules or blocks can be added to the “base” system, which consists of a PC, a systems controller block, application software, a 24 VDC power supply unit, and a 10 m ethernet cable.
The optional measurement modules are equipped with cables, connectors, sensors, and optical components for the following tests: temperature, MPTT, power, voltage, irradiance, and IV curves. The optional Modbus unit has 4 channels to digitally connect external equipment, such as pyranometers, reference cells, or weather sensors.
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