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Laboratory, Testing and Inspection Services for Solar Photovoltaic Plants
Barlovento offers inspection, support and testing services in-factory and on-site, covering the most sensitive and interesting areas for financial entities, developers and owners, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Services offered by Barlovento for photovoltaic plants
Through qualified personnel, factory inspections (FAT) or on-site inspections (SAT) are offered prior to the reception and commissioning of electrical equipment in general, based on international and national regulations. Among others, efficiency tests to inverters according to IEC 50530, impulse to power transformers according to IEC 60076-4, partial discharges to cables according to IEC 60270, etc. Likewise, during installation, we offer inspection of specific and critical tasks (cable joints, connections, etc.).
Figure 2. Inspection during the making of 34.5 kV three-core cable connections
Figure 3. Factory acceptance testing of inverters
Barlovento has developed the testing services for commissioning according to the procedures established in IEC 62446-1, both for category 1 and category 2. For category 1, we are offering:
- General inspections and surveys.
- Polarity test.
- Functionality test.
- Earth continuity test.
- Insulation resistance test.
- Open circuit voltage and short circuit current tests on photovoltaic modules and strings.
And for category 2, we carry out:
- Survey of the I-V curve of photovoltaic modules and strings.
- Thermographic survey according to IEC-62446-3.
Figure 4. String insulation resistance tests according to IEC 62446-1.
Finally, the service portfolio is expanded to include testing and analysis of variables and special cases that have a direct impact on operation and maintenance fields, in order to establish evaluation criteria that allow decisions to be made in accordance with the circumstances. These tests include, among others:
- The evaluation of static power and energy efficiencies in operating inverters.
- Testing of voltage dips to photovoltaic plants and inverters.
- Historical recording and analysis of I-V curves to obtain indicators related to module degradation.
- Measurement and analysis of harmonic content in voltage and current in specific nodes of the installation.
- Recording and analysis of abnormal internal or external events in the operation of the photovoltaic plant.
Like any electrical installation, the life cycle of a photovoltaic plant is influenced by the quality of the equipment, its proper installation, operation and maintenance. The particularity of a PV plant is the large number of elements that compose them, which requires greater care in these processes. The support of a company like Barlovento can provide the quality, safety in the results and capacity of analysis that the customer needs.
In addition to the services mentioned above, Barlovento carries out all kind of engineering services for solar photovoltaic plants, including resource measurements, design, projects, grid integration studies and grid code compliance.