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Gray solar panels custom-made for the façade – now in production

Today we’re dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s for an order of gray solar panels, custom-made for a solar façade in Belgium. That sounds a little mysterious, we know, but we’re not allowed to share much more about this project just yet. What we can say is that our colored solar panels, ColorBlast, are a part of a larger, striking design!

We can also tease that the building already has a sustainable energy function and that we have the opportunity to reinforce this with our colored PV modules in an aesthetically responsible manner!

Gray solar panels – extra quality controls

For this order of gray-colored solar modules, we enforced similar extra quality controls as we do with most colored solar façades. One of the first tests is a visual check of the glass and, after production, we perform the same check on the end-product. This visual control is done twice for 100% of our manufactured modules, after all, who wants stripes, stains, or misprints on their façade?

Our colleague, Mimi, is checking to make sure this gray solar panel meets our strict quality standards.

After the visual check of the glass we perform a color measurement. Measuring the color of a colored solar panels is incredibly important for solar façades and rooftops because it is the only reliable way to test whether an order contains color differences. You don’t want to end up with a checkered effect on your façade unless that was your design in the first place! Measuring 100% of the modules is therefore a must as it ensures the entire order falls within the agreed-upon color tolerance. Color tests are performed on the front glass and the PV module after lamination.

At Kameleon Solar, we maintain a maximum color deviation that is almost, if not entirely, invisible to the human eye (this is dependent on the person, some people can differentiate colors far more accurately than the average individual).

We measure colors in total darkness to prevent ambient light from disturbing our measurement, but it doesn’t make a very pretty picture.

After the color measurement, we perform an EL (electroluminescence) test, where we photograph with the colored solar panel that is electrically charged by a battery with a special camera. This camera, in which the infrared filter has been removed, allows us to see the electrical current in the PV module. It looks a lot like an x-ray and, similarly, allows us to see whether the internal components meet our strict quality requirements. We love safety, so this test, too, is performed on 100% of our modules!

Our colleague Damian is inspecting the EL pictures to ensure there are no micro-cracks!

Next to these quality tests, we also perform all the customary tests for PV modules in-line.

A unique quality of these gray solar panels

The color code that was chosen for this order was KSB E1065 (our color library for ColorBlast colored solar panels is available to download here). What was unique about this color is that the pattern was slightly larger than we usually apply. As a result, we unexpectedly needed to re-calibrate some of our measurement devices to ensure our quality controls remained accurate. It’s not as simple as it seems, manufacturing colored solar panels, so always be sure to check which quality controls your manufacturer is implementing.

© 2021 Kameleon Solar