Hoymiles Microinverter Reliability Explained: Our Tested Products are Built for Floating PV

Rooftop or balcony solar setups are common in cities – but they’re only a fraction of the whole solar landscape. In coastal areas (and near other bodies of water), there is another type of common solar setup: floating PV. In this blog post, which is also the second episode of the microinverter reliability series, we will see how Hoymiles microinverters are showing durable performance in floating PV projects. (Check out the first blog post: Hoymiles Microinverter Reliability Explained: Our Extensive Warranty that Covers Your PV Lifecycle).

Floating PV explained in a nutshell

Floating PV is the deployment of solar systems on the surface of water such as the sea, lakes, reservoirs and other bodies of water. The effective usage of aquatic spaces for PV panel deployment offers a range of significant advantages.
  • It improves land use by converting the water surface that could potentially otherwise go to waste.
  • Water cools down solar modules and therefore improves power generation efficiency.
  • Floating solar plants can mitigate water evaporation, improve the surrounding aquatic environment, and contribute to water and ecological conservation.
As technology continues to mature and costs decrease, there has been a notable increase in investments in floating PV globally. As a result, it’s expected to emerge as an important growth driver for the PV industry.

Challenges in floating PV

Unlike PV systems on land, those floating on water are exposed to more environmental uncertainties and challenges:

  • System components must be durable enough to withstand lengthy exposure in humid conditions.
  • The layout should be carefully designed, including the placement of solar modules, solar inverters, brackets, etc.

Hoymiles microinverters are known for their robust performance and are ideal choices for floating PV systems. Let’s take a closer look at how we make a difference.

Salt Spray Test: Competence against corrosion

Industrial Grade Salt Spray Test is a method commonly used to evaluate the corrosion resistance of industrial products. By simulating salt spray corrosion in marine environments, the test examines the durability of the product in harsh environmental conditions.

During the test, the product is usually exposed to a salt spray or salt water mist for a designated period of time while being observed for rust, corrosion or other damage on the surface.

Hoymiles products, including connecting terminals and enclosures, have been put through salt spray testing. The successful passing of the test means that the products have excellent corrosion resistance and are able to operate stably for long periods of time in marine environments. Generally, products that pass this test are safe to use in offshore engineering, marine equipment, seaside wind power and other scenarios that are prone to salt spray erosion.

Temperature and humidity test

The temperature and humidity test is an essential evaluation procedure designed to assess the resilience and endurance of products under extreme environmental conditions. Important test items include:

  • Constant humidity and heat operation test. This is to test the maximum temperature and humidity the product can work in, without affecting the performance of the equipment.
  • 85℃ temperature and 85% humidity test: This is to simulate harsh environmental conditions to make sure the internal components of the microinverter are still reliable for a long time under these conditions.

These tests can ensure the durable performance of PV systems in high temperatures and the humid conditions that are typical in coastal areas. Hoymiles microinverters and the internal components are built with longevity in mind, reducing operation and maintenance costs, and failure risks.

Ultraviolet Exposure Testing:

Ultraviolet (UV) Exposure Testing is a method that  evaluates the durability performance of materials and products. By simulating the UV exposure of sunlight, the test examines the product’s durability in outdoor environments.

During the test, microinverters are exposed to UV light for a certain period of time and are then observed for color changes, cracks, fading or other aging signs. The successful passing of the UV exposure test means that the product has good anti-aging performance and can resist UV radiation in sunlight – and other natural environmental factors. Qualified products can be safely used in outdoor applications such as building facades, outdoor decoration, solar photovoltaics, and other scenarios that are usually under direct sunlight.

Hoymiles conducts rigorous UV exposure testing through third-party institutes to ensure that the equipment – including enclosure, connectors, and cables – can withstand high levels of UV exposure.