PVEL Launches Crowd Power PQP To Deliver Inverter Performance

Highlights :

  • A move to source data from actual field conditions should be a welcome source for potential inverter buyers.
PVEL Launches Crowd Power PQP To Deliver Inverter Performance

PV Evolution Labs, a leading global testing lab for the downstream solar and storage industry, has launched what it calls the Crowd Power Performance Qualification Program (PQP) to provide inverter buyers with an independently collected and managed data set to identify and avoid problem inverters, as the firm calls it.

With the program, PVEL claims that the Crowd Power PQP brings inverter buyers together to crowdsource performance and reliability testing for solar inverters. The process works as follows:

  • Asset owners, investors and other downstream companies sign up for testing.
  • PVEL sources commercially-available inverters to test.
  • All test results are shared transparently with Crowd Power PQP participants.
  • Companies that sign up to test three or more products receive a free benchmarking analysis.

Thus, testing is conducted on commercially procured inverters through a crowdsourced business model without manufacturer participation.

Tara Doyle, chief commercial officer at PVEL says that “PVEL’s crowdsourced testing gives inverter buyers the opportunity to leverage empirical data over the claims of product marketing materials. Initial feedback from our downstream partners has been overwhelmingly positive. With or without manufacturer involvement, we will ensure PVEL’s technical insights for deployment of high-quality equipment are available to the solar market.”

The move follows increasing competition among labs worldwide, as well as countries even using testing requirements locally as a way to ensure business for local players as well as a non-tariff barrier. For incumbent firms like PVEL, that called for a way to break out of the pressure from manufacturers trying to ‘buy’ the best rating, and maintain their independence. Importantly, technical standards laid down in different markets are not the same, and some can definitely allow sub par quality too. For many manufacturers, meeting these bare minimum standards is enough, rather than going in for standards that are exceeding those levels, and are safer and more efficient. Which is where PVEL sees the opportunity to provide more transparent information on actual performance on the ground.

The company has taken pains to stress that the Inverter Crowd Power PQP complements and supplements PVEL’s traditional PQP testing, which remains available to manufacturers. Firms like Ginlong Solis and Chint Power Systems have recently submitted next-generation 250+ kilowatt-hour inverters for testing at PVEL.

Started in 2010 in California, US, PVEL operated under DNV from 2014-2019, before becoming a part of the Netherlands based  KIWA group of companies in 2021.

The firm has always positioned itself as the experts in extended reliability and performance testing for solar PV and storage technology.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International