Innovative system will allow for diagnosing performance and problems in photovoltaic panels
- The PhiNet20 device, developed by a Chilean company with CORFO’s support, delivers data in real time and allows a registry to be made of variables such as irradiance, module temperature, I-V curve, and other data
PhiNet20 is an innovative system for monitoring variables of the photovoltaic modules, thereby making it possible to compare, detect faults, design maintenance plans, and create a historical database for each module tested. With these data, photovoltaic plants in Chile can design action plans to improve their efficiency and evaluate actions to avoid a decrease in generation and production due to dust, high temperatures, and other variables.
This is the first project of its kind, developed by the Chilean company Phineal with the support of the Economic Development Agency’s (CORFO) innovation programs and the sponsorship of Universidad Católica de Chile’s DICTUC.
The device was presented in a workshop held in the Science and Technology building of the university. It has an online platform and a series of tools to compare and monitor the panels, detect faults, design maintenance plans, and create a historical monitoring database for each module tested. With these data, photovoltaic plants in Chile can design action plans to improve their efficiency. “This system is very versatile, a variety of applications allows for optimizing operation and maintenance costs of solar plants,” said Eduardo Soto, Phineal’s CEO.
Meanwhile, Rodrigo Escobar, professor at the university’s Energy Center and Head of DICTUC’s Solar Energy Area, argued that the best way to support innovative companies is to facilitate a direct link between academia and companies through practical experiences focused on developing products and services for the photovoltaic industry. “It is very important to encourage advanced manufacturing projects in the solar industry,” he added.
CORFO supported the company through the technical support of the Solar Committee and the financing of InnovaChile’s Business Innovation Program as part of the Strategic Investment Fund’s (FIE, in Spanish) call for strategic programs. “It is important for local entrepreneurs to make their knowledge available and allow us to make developments that take the conditions of our desert into account,” said Rodrigo Mancilla, Executive Director of CORFO’s Solar Committee.
- Renewable energy development
Phineal has provided services to the photovoltaic industry for over four years, developing technological solutions in the areas of generation, measurements, and energy storage. It owns more than 25 photovoltaic facilities, over 30 measurement stations throughout Chile, and the first Chilean initiative of power electronics for electric cars and energy storage.
For the company, renewables are here to stay and strengthen. “That is why we have focused on developing solutions for the market, so they can compete both in price and response time with a particular approach: a simple user experience, which is rare in this field,” says Eduardo Soto.