Padcon and Above enter into global partnership to protect PV systems from PID

Solar aerial inspection and data analytics company Above and anti-PID solutions company Padcon are to combine forces to better identify and cure suspected Potential Induced Degradation (PID) and verify that improved system performance persists.
Padcon and Above enter into global partnership to protect PV systems from PID
Courtesy of NREL

Photovoltaic systems suffer a daily loss of efficiency and yield due to PID – studies show that solar modules lose at least 0.25 percent of their output per year. Over a period of 20 years, this adds up to a loss of yield of 2.5 percent per year. Depending on the environmental conditions, such as ambient temperature, irradiance, air humidity level and salt content, a stronger degradation is to be expected, which would result in a considerable loss of yield within a very short time.

PID is very difficult to identify through traditional string monitoring because of the uniformity of how it develops.  By the time PID manifests in the Performance Ratio, the solar site will have already experienced significant, permanent yield loss.

Above is the solar industry’s leading drone inspection and data analysis company, specializing in IEC-compliant thermographic inspections of large solar installations, as well as other drone-based inspection services spanning the entire solar park lifecycle.

Aerial thermal inspections allow for the fast detection and localization of potential module defects down to a cellular level. Thermographic and high-definition RGB images are captured during the inspection flight. This data can be used to identify yield losses and other potential defects of the solar system, including modules affected by PID at an early stage.

“Above are delighted with this partnership of two best in class providers to address the continued PID issues in the global solar industry” said Will Hitchcock, CEO and founder of Above.  “PID has shown itself to be an issue which is not going away, indeed Above has detected suspected PID on 18 percent of the plants that we have inspected to date, the most recent at a plant commissioning inspection this month”.

The addition of the Padcon Float Controller to PV systems is designed to allow the degraded modules to return to their nominal power and to prevent the development of the PID effect in the future. This keeps the efficiency of the plants at the highest level and prevents an average annual loss of 2.5  percent.

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