Solar | PV Inverter

A photovoltaic or PV inverter, converts the direct current (DC) output of a solar cell or array into an alternating current (AC) that can be fed directly into the electrical grid (Grid Tie), used by a local electrical grid (Off-Grid), or both (Hybrid Inverters). The PV Inverter is a key component in a photovoltaic system, allowing the use of household and commercial AC powered devices.

PV Inverter Test Guide​

Includes tests on PV Inverter performance, input and output characteristics, protection characteristics, and PV characteristics testing and provides test references on product verification

Test Setup

Our test instrumentation provides means to further the development, reliability, and validation of grid-tied, off-grid, and hybrid solar PV inverters that will eventually be used in commercial and household applications for years to come. We do this by integrating features into our testers that, for example, allow performance testing of inverter behavior during voltage and frequency fluctuations found on the grid. And we can do this either by standalone instrumentation or integrated into an automated test system.

An on-grid or grid-connected photovoltaic power system is tied to the local utility mains or grid. They are typically used for residential or commercial applications where any unused power generated is sent to the utility grid where it can be stored and used later. Grid Tie PV Inverters (GTI) are equipped with micro-controllers that synchronizes generated power to the grid. The grid-connecter inverter converts the DC energy collected by the photovoltaic solar panels to AC power which is then either consumed or transferred to the local utility grid. Grid connected PV systems do not require a battery system since the grid provides the on-demand energy.

An off-grid photovoltaic system allows consumers to have an energy system independent of the utility infrastructure. Power generated by the PV system is either consumed or stored in an on-site battery for later use rather than the grid. Off-Grid Inverters are not designed to sync the generated power to the grid.

Hybrid Off-Grid Inverters (HOG) also known as Grid Tie Inverters with battery backup are an innovative combination of Grid Tie and Off-Grid Inverters.

Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) is a method used to optimize the amount of energy harvested through a photovoltaic solar system (or other variable sources). A photovoltaic system’s efficiency depends on the amount of power or sunlight collected and transferred to the solar cells. The MPPT is a process that maximizes this energy transfer by finding the point where the solar cells are collecting the most energy thus optimizing the function and efficiency of a photovoltaic system. Moreover, the MPPT filters and distinguishes the most usable power for specific devices or systems by determining the most proper resistance rather than random loads being fed to arbitrary photovoltaic cells. MPPT devices are generally integrated into electric power converter systems.

Anti-islanding protection is a way for the inverter to disconnect itself when it identifies a problem with the power grid so there is no unnecessary power transfer. This safety feature is typically integrated into distributed generators so that all grids can detect islanding (islanding – continually feeding the circuit with power even after shutdown).

Solar Array Simulation – Steady, Repetitive Control

A practical solar array can be very large and is influenced by various weather conditions like irradiation, temperature, rain, dirt, and shade which affect the I-V curve output. Unless you have a lot of time and real estate to duplicate these characteristics in the lab, a solar array simulator provides the best solution for testing PV Inverters. The advantage a solar array simulator provides is steady, repetitive control conditions that are required for PV Inverter design as well as for verification testing.

Solar Array Simulator DC Power Supply

Chroma 62000H-S

Provides programmable IV curve simulation with an incredibly fast transient response for MPPT performance evaluation on PV inverter devices
Reasons to choose our Solar Array Simulator:
  • Maximum power point tracking circuit and algorithm of the PV inverter

  • High/low limit of operating input voltage allowed for the PV inverter

  • High/low limit of operating input voltage allowed for the inverter’s maximum power point

  • Static maximum power point tracking efficiency of the PV inverter

  • Overall efficiency & conversion efficiency of PV inverter. (Requires a power meter)

  • Maximum power point tracking performance of the inverter for dynamic curves. (EN50530, Sandia, CGC/GF004 standard)

  • Maximum power point tracking performance of the inverter under various time periods spanning from morning to nightfall

  • Maximum power point tracking mechanism of the inverter for the I-V curve when the solar array is shaded by clouds, trees, dirt, rain and snow

  • Simulating the I-V curve under environmental temperatures for inverter burn-in testing

Play Video

62000H DC Power Supply with Solar Array Simulation

This is a brief overview and demonstration of the Chroma 62000 series of programmable solar array simulators for PV inverter testing. The Chroma 62150H-600S/1000S programmable solar array simulator has a maximum output power rating of up to 1MW, output voltage range (Voc) from 0 – 1000V and a maximum output current (Isc) of 0 – 1500A.

Grid Simulation

The world’s adoption of clean renewable energy has created a demand for PV inverters, wind energy systems, and other distributed energy resources. This demand has triggered rigorous regulation testing to standards such as IEEE 1547 / IEC 61000-3-15 / IEC 62116 that ensure proper and safe operation of on-grid products. Chroma Regenerative Grid Simulators fulfill these test requirements by providing full 4 quadrant, regenerative, grid simulation with advanced features for compliance, safety and product verification testing.

Regenerative Grid Simulator

Chroma 61800

Full 4 quadrant, fully regenerative, AC power supply designed for common electrical product testing such as home appliances and industrial electronics that require a programmable input source

Regenerative Grid Simulators 9kVA-15kVA

Chroma 61800

A complete energy-saving solution: Power generated by the DUT during the test can be easily fed back to the grid, rather than dissipated as heat
Reasons to choose our Grid Simulator:
  • Chroma’s standard output voltage of 330V L-N as compared to 300V L-N found in the market

  • 0-400V L-N / 0-692V L-L option that does not require a transformer

  • Maximum power delivered down to 200VAC L-N which provides a wider output power range

  • Better front panel display with a real time waveform viewer

  • Parallel modular design allowing for field expansion up to 300kVA

Regenerative Grid Simulators

Chroma Regenerative Grid Simulators are full 4 quadrant, fully regenerative, AC power sources with advanced features satisfying rigorous regulatory standards testing as well as design and verification testing throughout the product development cycle. Designed to simulate grid characteristics the 61800 is ideal for testing PV inverter, on-line UPS, Smart Grid, Vehicle to Grid (V2G) and Energy Storage System (ESS) applications as well as common electrical product testing.

Play Video

PV Inverter Test Instruments

Our test instrumentation provides means to further the development, reliability, and/or validation of various solar PV inverters that will eventually be used in commercial and household applications for year to come. We do this by integrating features into our testers that, for example, allow performance testing of inverter behavior during voltage and frequency fluctuations found on the grid. And we can do this either by standalone instrumentation or integrated into an automated test system.

PV Inverter ATS 8000 Automated Test System

This auto test system uses a unique test command optimization technology to prevent the repeating control commands from being sent to the system hardware devices. This improves the system test speed dramatically and makes the Chroma 8000, which uses open software architecture, highly efficient as a closed or optimized auto test system. To meet the power supply test requirements, Chroma Power Supply Auto Test System model 8000 has built in 56 ready-made test items. Users may create new test items based on new test requirements using the test item editing function, which gives users the capability to expand the test items unlimitedly.

Key Features

  • Open architecture software platform
  • Support instrument with GPIB/RS-232 or RS-485/I2C/CAN BUS interfaces
  • User editable test item, test program, & report format
  • Statistical report
  • On-line control function

Chroma 8000 PV Inverter Automatic Test Application

This auto test system uses the unique test command optimization technology to prevent the repeating control commands from sending to the system hardware devices. This improves the system test speed dramatically and makes Chroma 8000, which uses open software architecture, highly efficient as a close or optimized auto test system.

DC Power Supplies

Programmable DC Power Supply

Chroma 62000H

Provides 2kW to 150kW of power, precision readback of output current and voltage, output trigger signals, create complex DC transients waveforms to test device behavior with voltage deviations

Programmable DC Power Supply

Chroma 62000P

Constant power operating envelope, precision readback of output current and voltage, output trigger signals, and the ability to create complex DC transients waveforms to test device behavior to spikes, drops, and other voltage deviations

Solar Array Simulator DC Power Supply

Chroma 62000H-S

Provides programmable IV curve simulation with an incredibly fast transient response for MPPT performance evaluation on PV inverter devices

AC Power Sources

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High Power Programmable AC Source

Chroma 61610

Simulate various AC line input conditions and measurement of critical characteristics for products under test
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High Power Programmable AC Source with Transients

Chroma 61510

Ideal for commercial, power electronics, avionics, military, and regulation test applications from bench-top R/D design verification to quality assurance and mass production

Programmable AC Power Source

Chroma 61509, 61508, 61507, 61609, 61608, 61607

The right solution to meet complex single and three phase requirements with the ability to simulate AC line conditions and measure critical product characteristics during testing.

Grid Simulators

Regenerative Grid Simulator

Chroma 61800

Full 4 quadrant, fully regenerative, AC power supply designed for common electrical product testing such as home appliances and industrial electronics that require a programmable input source

Regenerative Grid Simulators 9kVA-15kVA

Chroma 61800

A complete energy-saving solution: Power generated by the DUT during the test can be easily fed back to the grid, rather than dissipated as heat

AC Electronic Loads and Power Meters

Digital Power Meter, 30A

Chroma 66205

Complies with IEC 62301/Energy Star power measurement frequency bandwidth > 3kHz (Filter ON) requirement

Multi-Channel Digital Power Meters

Chroma 66203/66204

Wiring mode function allows the user to take accurate power measurements for various wiring modes 1P2W/ 1P3W/ 3P3W/ 3P4W/ 3V3A

Programmable AC Electronic Load

Chroma 63800

Simulate a variety of load conditions under high crest factor and varying power factors with real time compensation.

Hybrid Inverter and Power Generators

This presentation covers hybrid inverters and portable inverter power generators. We talk about the requirements for testing and share our solutions to help you achieve optimal results.

Electrical Safety Testing

Chroma offers several solutions for the development of safe PV Inverters. Our electrical safety testers support AC/DC hipot, leakage current (LC), insulation resistance (IR), and ground continuity (GC) at very high speed and accuracy to ensure the quality and safety of commercial and consumer inverters before they reach the market.

Electrical Safety Analyzer

Chroma 19032

The test-to-any-standard electrical safety analyzer. Easy, precise testing. A must for medical device testing and IQOQ compliance.

Guardian Ground Bond Tester

Chroma 19572

Provides high current testing of ground continuity between chassis and power cord ground on a wide variety of electrical products and appliances

Guardian Hipot Tester AC/DC/IR/SCAN

Chroma 19050

Advanced digital hipot testers with load and line regulations that help ensure measurement integrity, and Multi-step capability allows users to perform multiple tests in sequence

Partial Discharge Tester – 19501-K

Chroma 19501-K

Specifically designed for testing high voltage semiconductor components and high insulation materials.

Sentry Hipot Tester AC/DC/IR

Chroma 19070

Compact, lightweight and low cost safety testers for electronic components

Battery Simulation

Battery simulation software for testing battery connected devices in all applications to confirm if the device under test in performing as intended. Integrated with our 17020, 17040, and 17040E regenerative battery testers, battery state is simulated if the battery is not available for testing and eliminates waiting for the charge/discharge of an actual battery. Real time test results include voltage, current, power, SOC%, charge/discharge state and capacity.

Battery Simulator

Chroma A170202

Validate device functions during development in lieu of an actual battery or batteries.

Regenerative Battery Pack Test System

Chroma 17040E

With built-in parallel channels and dynamic profile simulation functions; parallel capability maximizes the charge and discharge current and power, increasing the efficiency and flexibility of equipment utilization

Regenerative Battery Pack Test System

Chroma 17040

With an Energy Regenerative Function to reduce power consumption during discharge, ensuring a stable power grid without generating harmonic pollution on other devices.

Regenerative Battery Pack Test System

Chroma 17020

Designed for secondary battery modules and pack tests, with accurate sources and measurements suitable for performing repetitive and reliable tests.