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Reference case: Independent Inspections Service for Photovoltaic Plant - Italy

When SunPower Corporation required independent inspection services for its photovoltaic (PV) power plant project at Montalto di Castro, a thorough assessment was essential in order to establish compliance with international regulations. That’s why they turned to TÜV Rheinland.

Basic Facts
Client: SunPower Corporation
Timeframe:February - March 2011
Project Location: Montalto di Castro, Italy
Main services:- Inspection of energy yield prediction

- Performance acceptance test according to specified procedure

- Infrared pictures taken of on-site photovoltaic modules

- Plant acceptance inspection with especial emphasis on safety
Involved regulations/ standards:- IEC 62446 - Grid connected photovoltaic systems - Minimum requirements for system documentation, commissioning tests and inspection

- IEC 60364-1 - Low-voltage electrical installations - Fundamental principles, assessment of general characteristics and definitions

- IEC 62548 - Installation and safety reqirements for photovoltaic generators

- IEC 61829 - Crystalline silicon photovoltaic array - On-site measurement of I-V characteristics

- IEC 61727 - Photovoltaic systems - Characteristics of the utility interface

Initial situation and requirements

SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers high efficient, high reliable solar panels and systems. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company‘s quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. In running the largest photovoltaic power plant in Italy, SunPower Corporation needed to be sure that all international standards and regulations were met.

About TÜV Rheinland

Founded 140 years ago, TÜV Rheinland is a global leader in independent inspection services, ensuring quality and safety for people, the environment and technology in nearly all aspects of life.

We inspect technical equipment, products and services, oversee projects and help to shape processes for companies around the world. Since 2006, we have been a member of the United Nations Global Compact to promote sustainability and combat corruption.

Due to our extensive Experience with solar power plants , we can help you in all project phases and ensure plant safety and reliability. We can also support you in achieving and maintaining profitability for large-scale PV systems and Solar thermal power plants – from choosing the right site to full-scale operations.

We offer you a comprehensive range of services related to PV plants, including site assessment and inspection, supervision of construction, plant monitoring with yield check and yield evaluation, and unit inspections.

Solutions, results

Due to our extensive experience in the photovoltaics sector and our profound knowledge of international standards, TÜV Rheinland was the preferred choice for SunPower Corporation.

With a capacity of 84 MWp, the PV power plant at Montalto di Castro required a detailed portfolio of inspection services. We provided SunPower Corporation with a four pronged approach, covering the client’s full set of requirements: an assessment of the energy yield prediction of the plant, an infrared inspection of the plant’s photovoltaic units, and a full performance acceptance check, with the process culminating in a final acceptance inspection, performed on site.

Independent third party inspections are essential in power plants of this kind, where differing stakeholders such as banks and investors require quality assurance when it comes to theirinvestment. For SunPower Corporation providing assurance was a priority, not least for their engineering, procurement and construction company stakeholders.

Read more about our Solutions to Solar Power Plants

Did you know?

Montalto di Castro is the largest photovoltaic power plant in Italy and is equipped with enough
energy generation capacity to meet the needs of at least 3,000 families.

Benefits for the client

We helped SunPower Corporation with:

  • Providing quality assurance according to national and international standards.
  • Rigorous fault detection, ensuring both safety and performance.
  • Impartial independent assessment ensuring that the plant can be viewed as a sound financial investment (Proof of Bankibility).