Mahindra Susten, one of India’s largest and most trusted solar EPC Company, has announced the launch of India’s first Mobile PV Laboratory for testing of the Solar PV modules on site. The mobile PV Lab, developed in-house, has an innovative design, which combines all the key tests required for PV modules in a compact Lab. This solution will make world-class testing facilities available to solar asset developers, EPCs and the O&M operators at the location of their own plant.
PV modules account for ~ 70% of the capex for a Solar PV plant, and underperformance of the modules can be the single large reason why an asset owner’s (lenders) financial model and actual cash flows may not match. Early detection can lead to immediate control of losses or redressal. The role of the PV testing Lab is critical across the life cycle of the Solar PV plant, right from construction to the end of life. The Susten Diagnostics fleet, are operated by the O&M and Analytics division of Mahindra Susten, which is was also adjudged Gold award winner ‘O&M Contractor of the Year’ – Utility Scale, RE Assets, 2017.
Speaking about the launch, Mr. Basant Jain, CEO, Mahindra Susten , stated, “We at Mahindra Susten, are key endorsers of Government of India’s vision to transform India’s energy mix and to make it independent of fossil fuels not just in terms of MW Capacity installed but more in terms of contribution in the MW-hours generated. In our quest to help the nation get more out of their PV assets and adding to India’s power generation, we have invested in India’s first ever mobile PV testing Laboratory.”
“This Solar Mobile PV Lab reaffirms our focus on not just building quality assets but also to bring to India the latest technologies to evaluate plant performance. The Solar Mobile PV Lab will allow the asset owners to check the performance of the PV modules over their lifetime and help to take immediate corrective action to improve generation, in case of under-performance”, added Mr. Jain.
There are various stages at which the Mobile PV solution can be implemented.
Pre-construction: Testing the landed delivery of module containers on-site for any damages during manufacturing, transportation or unloading. This could be used to eliminate faulty modules, in addition they can be also used to claim warranty for damaged modules or even transport insurance.
During construction: On-site testing of the connected modules on the tables to identify any damages during installation or on-field PV module movement. The same can be used to levy LD on the installers and to identify damaged modules early-on.
During O&M: The combination of the on-field IV Curve tracing, Thermography, EL test and the Flash testing, enables conclusive detection of any under-performance of the modules. Hence, allowing for replacement of the degraded modules immediately and at the same time claiming warranty – giving higher returns both in terms of performance as well as spares. The availability of the Lab on-site ensure not only a higher sampling rate, but also gives immediate results without the need of any efforts to pack, transport or send the modules anywhere else.
The initiative has received several accolades from the industry and is seen as an important step in India’s 100GW solar PV journey. A few excerpts:
“The Mobile PV Testing Lab developed by Mahindra Susten Pvt. Ltd. is a very innovative and versatile facility. Such a technology was much needed to ensure the desired performance of various Subsystems of Solar PV plant and its overall performance. We wish that such technologies are widely deployed to help us in achieving the ambitious solar targets, not only quantitatively but also qualitatively”, Mr. Rajesh Kumar Jain, Adnl. GM (Solar), SECI
“Mahindra Susten is going to revolutionize the Indian solar industry with this innovative concept of Mobile On-Field PV Testing facility. This will support the Developers and EPC organizations to check the performance and quality of PV modules on-site, which will support in improving the energy generation from the plant. We are proud to have Mahindra Susten as an affiliated training partner of Skill Council for Green Jobs to deliver solar skill development programs as well,” Mr. Tanmay Bishnoi, Head – Standards and Research, Skill Council for Green Jobs.