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Field Testing of Portable LED Flasher for Nominal Power Measurements of PV-Modules On-Site

Nominal power measurements of individual PV modules are needed to quantify the critical modules of PV plants offering lower energy production than expected. Today’s state of the art procedure of shipping a small number of modules to a laboratory is time- and cost intensive and it bears the chance of accidental damage. The Portable LED Flasher (PLF) was developed to require no dismounting of the modules. The quality of the PLF was tested on three PV plants in Switzerland. Additionally, ten PV modules of each plant were measured in the certified indoor laboratory of SUPSI, resulting in a maximum deviation of 3% of the STC values. Furthermore, a round robin test on a single crystalline silicon reference module at 25°C was performed at the JRC’s ESTI laboratory, the Swiss Mobile Flasher Bus and SUPSI resulting in a maximum deviation of the mean values below 1% compared to the PLF. A throughput of up to 150 modules or 500 modules respectively per day is expected and the total measurement costs are estimated to be about a tenth of the costs compared to an indoor laboratory. Module temperature measurement is crucial for a low total uncertainty. Thus, methods such as pre-shadowing of the module and approximation of cell temperature are the current focus of further improvement of the PLF measurement method.