Utility-Scale PV System I-V Curve Trace

Utility-Scale PV System I-V Curve Trace

A multinational renewable energy developer invited ProtoGen to bid on this I-V curve tracing job based on our reputation of excellence with a large developer it had acquired. I-V curve tracing is a significant piece of the solar commissioning process. It entails the performance of electrical tests to verify photovoltaic array performance. For each string, the I-V Tracer measures current and power as a function of voltage. Measured results are compared to the expected results which allows for immediate identification of a problem including identification of the exact conductor, connector, or module in the string that is the underlying root cause.

We began by establishing and documenting a clear understanding of the project requirements, goals, and objectives with the client. A “not to exceed” budget and project duration were developed based on customer-provided site layouts and electrical drawings; these were approved and the contract was awarded. The work was performed using a Solmetric PVA-1000 I-V Curve Tracer kit, Fluke 87V multimeter, and Flir E-60 thermography camera in addition to common hand and power tools and required safety equipment. The scope of work provided for 17 weekdays for scope completion; due to favorable weather conditions and our technician’s efficiency, we were able to complete the testing and associated reporting in just nine.