PVEL adds drone EL inspection services to offering with exclusive QE Labs agreement

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PVEL said the autonomous drone service would allow for faster, less expensive EL testing. Image: PVEL/QE Labs.

PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) and Quantified Energy Labs (QE Labs) are to offer drone inspection services for the US solar market after the duo signed an exclusive agreement.

Under the partnership, PVEL will provide QE Labs’ autonomous drone electroluminescence (EL) imaging technology to conduct inspections in the field. All data processing from the inspections will be handled by QE Labs’ teams in Singapore.

The drone EL imaging services include the identification and evaluation of underperforming PB modules for insurance or warranty claims, technical due diligence in the lead up to transactions, initial site acceptance testing, detection of failure before the end of defect liability periods and annual module quality health checks.

PVEL has to date conducted EL inspections on more than 2GW of underperforming or damaged solar PV projects, using a manual daytime testing process. The PV testing company said EL imaging is currently limited by speed and cost limitations inherent with manual inspection technologies, however the adoption of autonomous drone services would allow PVEL to expand its services in the field and offer faster inspections.

Jenya Meydbray, CEO at PVEL, said QE Labs’ technology had impressed the company during testing.

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