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Seaward Solar PV Tester Verifies Module Quality and Performance in the Caribbean


Advanced Seaward Solar PV test instrumentation is helping Comet Solar, a successful reseller and installer of solar photovoltaic systems to verify the quality of PV modules and the performance of installations in the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla.


Comet has been successful in encouraging local hotels, resorts, property owners and businesses to invest in solar systems as a means of helping to offset the effects of the economic downturn on tourism levels and rising energy costs. However, buying bargain priced solar PV modules brings its own challenges; second hand or refurbished modules are often used, but, in some cases the life history of the modules or the original manufacturer is not always known.


Despite a lack of formal installation standards or regulations, and in the interests of maintaining installation quality, Comet always aims to apply and meet the existing standards of the US NEC code and to perform to the best practices of the industry.


To help achieve this the company has recently invested in a dedicated new Seaward Solar PV150 solar installation test kit, along with a 200R irradiance meter, to enable it to carry out effective quality control and customer reassurance testing on its products and installations.


The Seaward Solar PV150 is a dedicated multi-function PV electrical tester designed specifically for solar panel system installation. It performs open circuit voltage measurements (Voc), short circuit current measurements (Isc), earth continuity, insulation resistance, operating current (via AC/DC current clamp).


The tester has been used successfully to verify the condition of a batch of pre-used PV units that have now been re-installed on a 12 kW commercial flat roof top system, as well as on new modules used in the installation of a 500 kW project.


Chris Mason said: “Using the PV150 system on an installation in front of the client gives confidence that the installers are professional and are doing the project properly.


“We are seeing the emergence of some less than professional installers in the region who perform poorly crafted installations, test nothing and do not give the customer any comfort that the work is being done properly.


“We invite our customers to witness the commissioning tests with the PV150 so they can see how much work goes into our quality assurance procedures. This is both a marketing tool to enhance word of mouth referrals and protection against liability from call-backs.


“Documenting system performance at commissioning gives us a baseline against which to retest in the case of a complaint or problem, both with customers and manufacturers. For this use alone, the test kit and reporting system is invaluable.”



Category/ies:Anguilla News, Articles, News, Regional Articles, Regional News.
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