Laborelec is conducting tests on the newest generation of PV modules with capacities exceeding 600 Wp. Stress tests are being carried out both at Linkebeek and at the El Aguila plant in Chile.
PV module manufacturers across the globe are introducing a new generation of large modules with capacities of up to 665 Wp. Laborelec was asked by the ENGIE Renewable Generation Business Unit (RGBU) to conduct a wide range of quality testing on a number of these modules that were announced to have a high technological readiness level.
In 2022, 42 modules were delivered directly from the PV module manufacturer, a consignment comprising 16 bifacial panels and 16 monofacial panels based on 210-mm cells, 10 monofacial panels based on 182-mm cells using TOPcon technology. To that were added 16 monofacial panels using heterojunction technology.
To better understand the long-term risks
The tests should give ENGIE a better understanding of any long-term risks associated with these larger panels and their relatively untested innovative technologies. Potential risks include faster degradation, more frequent fracturing, and increased propensity for bending.
The power output and the IV-curves of the modules are being measured along with relevant operating environment variables such as temperature, insolation, and albedo factor at the site, which are very different in Chile compared to Linkebeek.
Preliminary results will be available in 2023 and the programme will be extended to include other modules.