Post-Shipment Electroluminescence Testing

2DegreesKelvin's amazing team continue to work closely with asset owners & EPC’s to deliver essential quality assurance testing on multiple new build assets this winter.

Post-shipment testing is popular requirement to capture manufacturing defects and shipment/haulage damage before brand-new modules get installed into the field. Typically, a sampling strategy is jointly established where a set number of modules is tested per container load arriving to site. Pallets must be stored in a designated test area where they will be carefully unpacked and individual modules tested with specialist Electroluminescence (EL) equipment inside a suitable dark-room’ (shipping container in our case). Serial numbers are cross-checked and EL images are assessed to cell level for damage and defects.

Each module is classified in line with a judgement criteria and actions arise from certain classifications. If modules are clean and in good condition, then the container loads are passed for installation. If specific damage or defects are found, an escalation protocol is executed. In the worst cases, entire container loads of modules could be rejected. Module images are then processed back in the engineering office, ensuring they are enhanced, cropped and titled with the respective serial numbers. And a thorough secondary cell-based inspection is carried out. These images then are a digital fingerprint of the condition of the module as they arrived on site. It is then up to the EPC to take care to install these modules without damaging them.

But to make this workflow as efficient as it can be, there are certain things that need to be organised, including:

- At least a 20m x 20m dedicated ‘TEST ZONE’, with solid stone ground (not mud), heras fenced off with suitable signage
- A dedicated telehandler and operator – To position and clear out pallets of modules and enable safe opening and closing of pallets.
- Two-person module handling team – Dedicated to unpacking and repacking pallets, loading and unloading modules into dark-room
- Ideally (especially in UK winters) a split/dual purpose 20ft container. Half a store acting as a dark-room. Half an office and location where electrical equipment can be located.
- 240V power supply to container
- Suitable banding method to ensure re-packed pallets are stable as they need to be transported to the field.

We have found that getting all of the above in place enables our throughput of testing to increase, meaning that there is minimal impact on the EPC’s installation program.

If you’re involved in a new-build project and want to know more about the benefits of Post-shipment testing. Or, its in your ER’s and you need some guidance on how to get it organised, and what’s your LOT size and SAMPLE size etc, then please get in touch.

A special shout out to our amazing partners and world leaders in high-volume EL - Aerial PV Inspections GmbH