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DNV GL: New comprehensive solar inverter testing service supports solar customers in lowering risk and costs

To support solar customers looking to lower the risks and cost associated with the selection and field application of solar inverters, DNV GL today announces the launch of a new inverter testing service. “The solar market will benefit from a more comprehensive and independent inverter testing service that extends inverter testing beyond verifying standards compliance,” says Ray Hudson, DNV GL Solar Service Line Leader.

  • Service for residential and commercial inverters, expands upon DNV GL’s industry-leading Product Qualification Program
  • Third party inverter testing to validate key functionality and performance will benefit the solar industry
  • Advanced field testing validates inverter performance with a solar array
  • Laboratory reliability testing helps verify product longevity

An inverter is a crucial element of a solar energy system. It converts the direct current (DC) output of the PV modules into alternating current (AC) and typically serves as the ‘central intelligence’ of a solar project. There are numerous models of solar inverters on the market today and many new products in development. Solar inverter standards vary globally by geographic region. Most inverters go through third party testing only for conformance to standards.

Through DNV GL’s advanced field testing facility located in Davis, California, inverters are given a series of tests covering five levels. The objective is to verify that the inverters tested will operate properly when connected to an actual solar array. Additionally, laboratory testing is performed that will help give confidence that the inverter will meet the expected reliability and life span estimates established for the product.

“With the large number of inverters on the market, it’s important to take this next step to help developers and investors lower the risk and costs associated with potential problems or outages,” says Jenya Meydbray, head of DNV GL’s Solar Product Qualification team. “Manufacturers will benefit by achieving a favorable result from DNV GL or by identifying improvements needed to address issues identified during the test process.”

DNV GL’s field and laboratory based approach is unmatched in the industry today. DNV GL developed its inverter testing service using five levels of testing:

  • Level 1: Functionality – Will the inverter work?

  • Level 2: Safety – Can the inverter be operated safely in the field?

  • Level 3: Performance – Will the inverter perform as expected when put to use connected to a solar array?

  • Level 4: Robustness – Will the inverter meet expectations in a real-life field application?

  • Level 5: Reliability – Will the inverter last?

With almost 80 downstream partners including the most active financiers, developers, and EPCs in the US, and now expanding globally, DNV GL's Product Qualification Program is leveraged to help our downstream partners assess prospective PV module and now PV inverter products to aid purchasing decisions. These new inverter testing services are available immediately. For customers with inverters already in place, DNV GL also offers performance and failure analysis when needed.

The new inverter testing services will be conducted by the DNV GL Solar Product Qualification team (formerly PVEL) using DNV GL’s state-of-the-art field testing facility located at PV USA and laboratory located in Berkeley, California. DNV GL’s expert solar teams are located across five continents. As a leading provider of comprehensive solar advisory and verification services, DNV GL has a deep understanding of long-term asset performance.

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