BrightSpot Automation readies MobileTestSpot lab for field testing of solar panels

Project supported by Massachusetts Clean Energy Center InnovateMass Grant

Press Release

Jan 22, 2020 – Westford, MA


BrightSpot Automation today announced that it has completed a project to demonstrate field testing of a new mobile testing lab capable of measuring the performance of solar panels and detecting defects within the solar cells. The MobileTestSpot, supported by a Massachusetts Clean Energy Center grant through its InnovateMass program, incorporates both current-voltage (I-V) power measurement and Electroluminescence (EL) testing for on-site use.   The MobileTestSpotis now available for sale and lease in the U.S. market.  Testing services are available jointly with MA-based Acuity Power Group.   


“We are grateful to the MassCEC for their support under the InnovateMass program, and we thank them for their confidence in our company.  Solar panels overall are incredibly durable, and several industry trends are steadily improving this durability,” said BrightSpot CTO Dr. Andrew Gabor.“Still, without some way to accurately measure performance and detect damage prior to installation, panels will be installed that negatively affect PV system energy delivery.  Such testing can reduce risk throughout the value chain.  In our tests throughout New England, we found that when a pallet of panels looked like it had suffered some damage during transportation, it always contained panels that looked fine to the eye, but which had severely cracked cells which could lead to degraded performance.  Our MobileTestSpottool can ensure PV system investors get the quality and performance they require -and paid for - to achieve their long-term returns.  Panels which show up with damage are not the fault of the installer.  Panels that test well directly off the truck but which show damage immediately after installation would not be the fault of the manufacturer.  With this type of feedback prior to installation, panel manufacturers will receive important feedback that helps them make, test, package, and ship panels that show up in the field without problems.”


“We are pleased to work with BrightSpot to support this project and ensure that solar installations in the Commonwealth are of the highest quality and performance,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “The InnovateMass program supports cutting-edge technologies that maximize clean energy production and reduce costs, and we look forward to continued progress as BrightSpot advances its mobile testing lab.” 


“We are excited to add the MobileTestSpotI-V and EL testing to our portfolio of PV services,” said Acuity Power Group CEO Rob Lockhart. “The Electroluminescence test can detect even very small cracks in the solar cells, and it is an enormous advantage for us to not have to rely on the sun to perform I-V power testing of the panels.  We can now test day or night, sun or rain under repeatable and well controlled laboratory-like conditions to provide our clients with the high-quality data they need. To reduce risk and avoid conflicts later on, investors and insurers are increasingly asking for a baseline performance check of as-received panels.  We now have the tool to do this in a quick and cost-effective manner at the customer site.”


About BrightSpot Automation, LLC

BrightSpot Automation builds innovative solar cell and solar panel testing equipment.  The company is based in Westford, MA.

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