Because photovoltaic (PV) systems can operate at 1,000V DC when installed, it’s imperative that they undergo electrical safety testing at the production stage of the panels and arrays to ensure safety and maximum production efficiency.

With this in mind Seaward Electronic has introduced its new HAL Solar safety tester. Part of the extended range of specialist HAL electrical safety testing instrumentation, the tester has been specially designed for the electrical testing of solar cells, panels and arrays (in the production and lab environments), to International Standards UL 61730, IEC 61730, IEC 61215 and IEC 61646.

It offers full traceability to enhance quality control and can also be used to test other solar related components including connectors, junction boxes and inverters.

As well as incorporating key functional checks, the HAL Solar meets the end of line electrical safety compliance tests required by the majority of national and international product safety standards.

The new tester incorporates DC Hipot (up to 6kV with dual display option uA or M? with arc detection) for Dielectic Withstand tests, insulation, ground/earth bond testing to 40A for larger PV modules and arrays with a fuse rating of 15A. It can also undertake a wet leakage current test or insulation resistance test – 1,000V to 1G?.

The HAL Solar can be used as a manual stand alone tester or can be fully integrated as part of an automated manufacturing system with selectable sensors and enclosure interlocks, or by ultimate control using remote PCs and PLCs.

The tester has a graphic display that presents information either in a numerical or analogue format and an internal memory that allows the storage of up to 6,000 test results and up to 20 configurable test routines. The instrument can also be interfaced with a variety of accessories ranging from bar code scanners to pass/fail label printers.

The HAL Solar meets all of the requirements of the various British and European standards in relation to high voltage testing, including EN 50191.