All types of solar panels are subjected to efficiency losses due to Potential Induced Degradation (PID). This phenomenon often occurs without the owner of the photovoltaic system being aware of it. The independent testing agency Solar Tester, commissioned by IMO IMOMEC, conducted a study in order to detect PID at 49 solar panels from 32 major brands.
The 49 examined solar panels come from PV installations that were realized during the past 10 years. The test of Solar Tester shows that 78% of the examined solar panels were subjected to efficiency losses of 5% or more. At not less than 67% of the tested panels a power loss of 20% or more was observed.
Solar Tester detected efficiency losses due to PID at solar plants in The Netherlands, Belgium and France for a total solar capacity over 60 MW. The company developed a measurement protocol that can conclusively detect PID. In order to detect PID, measurement results can according to Solar Tester be used for warranty claims while measures can be taken in order to prevent from PID.
One of the measures that can be taken is the installation of a PIDbox. This device regenerates solar panels, as well with limited as with significant efficiency losses, in a time span of a few weeks. Meanwhile, the PIDbox extends the lifetime of solar panels. Next to its regenerative function, the PIDbox also prevents from efficiency losses in the future.
The PIDbox is unique in the sense that it is the only PID solution in the market that works independently of the inverter and therefore it will never cause harm or void warranty.
The patented PIDbox is installed between the solar panels and the inverter. At night, when the solar cells are not active, the PIDbox reverses the direction of the current and rejuvenates the degenerated cells.
Independent Thomas More Hogeschool (association KU Leuven) researchs shows that after the installation of a PIDbox, the efficiency of solar panels increases on average by 7,5%. The same research also concluded that the payback time of a PIDbox is almost always less than 3 years. Today the PIDbox is sold in about 37 countries with an installed capacity of more than 550 MW.
Source PID test: Solarmagazine.nl