Simultaneous Non-contact I-V (NCIV) Measurements of Photovoltaic Substrings and Modules in a String

G. Tamizhmani, H. Field, M. Moorthy, A. Patankar, S. Murali

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents a non-contact approach to obtain simultaneous current-voltage (I-V) curves of photovoltaic (PV) substrings and modules in a string without the need of disconnecting the individual modules from the string. There are two types of I-V curve tracers currently available in the marketplace, capacitor-based and electronic load-based. The primary requirement of these conventional I-V tracers is the disconnection of individual modules in the string so that the individual modules can be connected through the connectors of the individual modules. These conventional contact-tracers have three major limitations in the utility scale power plants: safety during disconnecting and reconnecting field-aged module connectors, extensive time and hardship of test personnel and limited availability of clear sunny hours/days to obtain I-V curves of 1000s of modules in the field. To mitigate all these three limitations, we experimented with a non-contact I-V (NCIV) tracer approach. In this approach, we utilized an electrostatic voltmeter (ESV) in combination with a voltage probe and a hall sensor to obtain I-V curves. A major application of the NCIV tracer is that it can instantaneously identify the underperforming modules in a string without the need of disconnecting the individual modules and translating the measured I-V curves to standard reporting conditions such as STC (standard testing conditions) because all the modules in the string are simultaneously measured at a single prevailing weather condition of irradiance, temperature, wind speed and wind direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2021 IEEE 48th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1792-1794
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781665419222
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 20 2021
Event48th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2021 - Fort Lauderdale, United States
Duration: Jun 20 2021Jun 25 2021

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371

Conference

Conference48th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityFort Lauderdale
Period6/20/216/25/21

Keywords

  • IV tracers
  • O&M
  • Photovoltaics
  • durability
  • reliability
  • strings
  • sub-strings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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