ABB builds a test lab for higher power solar inverters

The new laboratory features a unique, large climate chamber capable of full power electrical testing in conditions simulating the arctic tundra to an equatorial rainforest. In addition, full verification and grid code requirements testing enable ABB to develop larger, more powerful inverters to meet the developing customer and industry trends.

A new multimillion dollar facility designed to test high power central photovoltaic (PV) inverters has been opened in Helsinki. The laboratory supports testing and verification of inverters for safe operation, endurance in a wide range of climatic conditions, compatibility to the most demanding renewables-specific grid code requirements, and to measure and test harmonics and grid interactions.Marc Gomez, Global Product Group Manager for solar inverters at ABB states:

“Our customers are asking for more powerful central inverters. They want to maximize their return on investment and connect more incoming PV power to one inverter. With this lab, we are able to test new inverter concepts, under varying weather conditions, and that allows us to deliver new innovation to our customers and ensure we lead the market.”

Climate testing can last several weeks for the equipment under test. Powered by a DC supply, the inverters are run at varying power levels with different simulated weather conditions to test inverter reliability. The climate chamber allows for accelerated product testing, important when the inverters are typically expected to operate for over 20 years. The climate chamber can vary temperatures from as low as -40°C to as high as +100°C, and relative humidity levels up to 95 percent.

ABB, a leading global supplier of solar photovoltaic inverters, provides the most comprehensive portfolio of products, systems, solutions and services along the solar PV value chain that enable the generation, transmission and distribution of solar power for grid-connected and microgrid applications. The portfolio includes inverters, low-voltage products, monitoring and control systems, grid connection, stabilization and integration products, as well as complete electrical balance of plant solutions. A wide range of support and maintenance services, including remote operations and diagnostics, help ensure solar installations deliver optimal performance.


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