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The multifunctional service tool for solartists, electrical contractors and experts in photovoltaics.

The service power supply pvServe is a versatile tool for solar installers, professional electricians and appraiser who specializes in the inspection and maintenance of photovoltaic systems.


Factsheet (EN)

pvServe is a power supply designed specifically to help solar specialists analyse photovoltaic systems. There are two established methods of inspecting solar modules without removing them: reverse current thermography and outdoor electroluminescence. Both methods involve feeding a reverse current into the solar array. The first method employs a thermal imaging camera to inspect the modules. The second method uses a special electroluminescence camera to carry out the inspection at night.

Sending a current in the opposite direction through the solar array requires a voltage that is higher than the no-load voltage of the actual array being tested. pvServe provides this function. The unit is portable and has been designed to take its power from a standard 230V AC outlet (no three-phase supply necessary). This makes it an essential part of the toolbox of every service technician who needs to troubleshoot PV systems.

Reverse current thermography

PV Thermograhy
Thermography has proved to be particularly useful in identifying problems in solar power systems. This process relies on converting the heat emission of the solar module into an optical image. The thermal image immediately pinpoints any solar cell that is warmer than its immediate environment. This method can also be used to locate faulty connections and sockets. The prescribed standards state that you should only carry out thermal imaging when there is a minimum irradiation level of 400W/m² because only a relatively large current through the solar cells will cause a noticeable temperature difference. With our new reverse current thermography technique, however, you can now perform these tests at lower solar irradiation levels, and even at night. To do this, you send a current through the solar cells in a reverse direction. This current is less than the solar cell’s rated current and thus perfectly harmless to the cells under normal circumstances.

Outdoor electroluminescence

PV ElektroluminescenceUsing the electroluminescence process, you can obtain more detailed information about solar arrays. Here too, a specific current is fed into the solar module. Unlike thermography, this technique can also be used in total darkness. As soon as a reverse current is applied to the module it begins to glow in the infrared region. This glowing can be captured with a special camera capable of producing very detailed images. This method can even reveal very fine hairline cracks in the solar cells. You can carry out the process as part of the final acceptance/testing phase of a solar installation, during regular maintenance, or for troubleshooting specific problems.