The Photoluminescence Imaging Tool project will develop a prototype of a commercial photoluminescence imaging tool to monitor and diagnose the performance of solar modules located on site.
Photoluminescence (PL) imaging has emerged as an important tool to determine the quality and efficiency of solar PV modules.
However, due to existing technical difficulties the technology is yet to be deployed for commercial use across utility-scale solar PV plants.
UNSW is developing a method that can quickly capture images of solar modules without changing the wiring of the solar installation, and while the solar power plant operates and produces power.
In this proposal UNSW will design and build a commercial alpha-prototype photoluminescence inspection tool that can be used to quickly conduct routine inspections of solar modules on the field. Supported by leading solar PV performance and reliability testing lab, PV Evolution Labs LLC, the project will conclude with a field study aimed at validating the approach and demonstrating its commercial potential.
The technology has the potential to become a standard part of routine quality testing and operation and maintenance procedures in utility scale solar farms. It may enable the fast and easy routine inspection of solar modules:
- at the plant commissioning stage, where certainty of the quality of a PV installation is critical
- before a change of ownership
- after severe weather events.