Combining visualization and electrical measurements, these two softwares are integrated with diagnostic technology developed by Ener-Pacte to automate and deepen its solar PV power generation analysis services. The partnership between the company and CEA is under an exclusive operating license and brings mature scientific technology to bear.
CEA announced in a press release the transfer of two advanced PV diagnostic technologies to Ener-Pacte. Two software prototypes, named Aspire and IV-Diag, were first developed by the research institute based on work started in 2014 under ITE INES.2S and later tested and deployed to the operating structure from 2019 when Ener-Pacte joined the project to strengthen its proposal to audit and optimize the production and profitability of photovoltaic power plants.
“We were looking for an advanced solution to combine thermal imaging and electrical measurements for defect assessment,” explained Laurent Sauvage, Ener-Pacte Innovation PV magazine France. The partnership between the company and CEA has made it possible to direct the technologies developed by the research groups to the industrial use of the solution.
According to both parties, the innovations have now reached a degree of maturity that allows Ener-Pacte to process them quickly. As COO Laurent Garcia noted, they will be integrated into the company’s software developed in-house. The amount of investment will be 1.7 million euros. The transfer of technology is in the form of an exclusive license for operation in Europe and the United States issued by Ener-Pacte – CEA-INES, preserving the patents applied to the algorithms.
Perform evolving diagnostics and troubleshooting without disconnecting the control unit
The IV-Diag software allows automatic and reliable detection and identification of faults in electrical signals by implementing a measurement system at the level of inverters, various plant branches or the panels themselves. “CEA has developed a diagnostic case that can be controlled while the power plant is fully operational,” explains Laurent Sauvage, “it allows you to generate not a point, but a current-voltage (IV) curve that takes into account the evolution of electrical signals. Ener-Pacte is then responsible for analyzing the I-V tracer data to determine the type of failure: shadowing, current leakage, shutdown, PID, etc. The advantage is that the I-V trace can be recorded continuously for several days. »
For its part, the Aspire software combines a variety of information such as infrared and RGB images, electrical schematics, and voltage and current measurements. This software technology automates diagnostics with segmentation algorithms and intuitively manipulates and visualizes plant data. According to CEA, “The detection of modules using segmentation and thermal analysis algorithms, good or bad, is provided with an accuracy of 91.4% and 93.5%, and then the model allows classifying module failures. faulty ones like hotspot, diodes, PID, tripping, junction box…”
Finally, according to the Institute, the estimation of power losses by combining images and electrical information gives good results, since it is constant and corresponds to losses with known faults.
“The development of these technologies has made it possible to continuously automate the work of an Expert Advisor. These innovations allow us to increase the speed and accuracy of our inspections of all types of solar power plants on rooftops or on the ground,” explained Laurent Garcia.
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