Today iLumen is active in no less than 40 countries with its efficiency-increasing PIDbox. The Dutch journalist Warna Oosterbaan of newspaper NRC Handelsblad is one of the many foreign customers of iLumen.
“For nearly six years now, I am a satisfied user of the electricity produced on my roof by six solar modules”, says Oosterbaan in the ‘Green’ section of NRC Handelsblad. “I monitor the production of my PV plant by means of a meter, in which bar graphs show how many kilowatt hours (kWh) you produce per year. Every day I have a look at it.”
Last year, Oosterbaan suddenly noted that his yield had dropped to 900 kW. “In 2013 the yield was still 1,140 kWh, but after that it went back to 1,070, 1040, 1,000 and last year it dropped to 900 kW.”
20% less yield
The sun was not the big culprit. “2017 was admittedly a bad solar year, but from 2013 onwards the sun shed pretty much longer than the previous year. 2017 was about the same level as in 2013, but the yield of my PV plant had dropped by 20 percent.”
Oosterbaan contacted his solar panel installer and he made the diagnosis ‘Potential Induced Degradation’ (PID). “He told me that PID is a phenomenon that is more common with slightly older panels: in short, it causes leakages of the solar current due to a non-optimal insulation. The replacement of the modules was not possible according to my installer, because the manufacturer didn’t take his responsibility.”
“But there was a solution which is called the PIDbox”, Oosterbaan continues. “A device that is mounted between the panels and the inverter and regenerates the cells at night. The PIDbox is permanently attached to your PV modules, but after a few weeks the panels will be recovered. It does not hurt to talk to your installer once a year when the yield of your PV plant appears to drop.”
“I’m sometimes laughed at because i’m regularly checking my solar meter, but I can now point out that I have avoided the future emissions of a lot of CO2”, Oosterbaan concludes.