Arcing and other causes of fires in photovoltaic systems

One type of fault that we have encountered quite often recently is that of open cell connectors on single solar modules in a module string. I have already described this issue in the article on the causes of reduced open-circuit voltage in solar generators, but I have now decided to revisit the topic in more […]

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Peeling of front contacts on solar cells

I have already talked in this blog about a whole range of faults that can occur with photovoltaic systems in the hope of helping you identify and eliminate these easily and quickly. The last PV module problem I’d like to look at in detail is the “peeling front contact” problem. It think it’s important enough […]

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Measuring the dark IV curves of photovoltaic systems

During the last quarter, we began including dark IV measurements in our testing procedure for photovoltaic systems using pvCheck. We can do this because our pvServe power supply recently gained this new measurement function, which we will be including as a standard feature from 2017. The front panel of the pvServe will have a slot […]

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Checking bypass diodes: Part 2

In the previous post on checking bypass diodes in solar panels, I described in detail which faults could occur at the bypass diodes and how to detect missing diodes. Another problem that could arise, especially after instances of overvoltage, is a short circuit via the bypass diodes. This post focuses on this fault and the […]

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Checking bypass diodes on solar panels: Part 1

Almost all solar panels include integrated bypass diodes. Crystalline panels generally have three of them, which are located in the junction box and can each bypass a third of the panel when necessary. The diodes’ main task is to protect the solar cells from overheating when partial shading occurs. When combined with the right inverter, […]

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Why would the open-circuit voltage in a solar panel string be too low?

When you measure the open-circuit voltage for all of a system’s panel strings, you should always do so with two measuring devices and compare each string to a reference string. If the difference in voltage is more than seven or eight volts, there is usually a fault somewhere, as I’ve discussed in detail in a […]

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