Industrial-grade equipment for measurement, testing and diagnostics available from one supplier. The Conrad Sourcing Platform is expanding its already sizeable range of electrical testers by adding Fluke’s latest all-in-one solution. Fluke recently released the SMFT-1000, a brand new multimeter combining a PV tester, a performance analyser and an IV curve tracer. The SMFT-1000 is a perfect choice for all electrical contractors who want to carry out safety and performance tests of 1,000 VDC-rated solar energy systems in a more efficient way.
Simplified workflows, faster job completion
Solar engineers contracted to install, commission and repair photovoltaics need fast, accurate and safe tools to make sure that solar energy systems work in a highly efficient way without experiencing too much downtime, if any. They are now able to carry out the entire range of DC testing associated with residential, commercial, industrial and utility-scale photovoltaic systems using one single piece of equipment that combines accuracy, safety and reliability. Since the product helps simplify the workflows in the photovoltaic sector, engineers spend 20% less time on site and are able to speed up the documentation process that is part of each job by about 50%.
IV curves are a common way to assess the performance of both individual solar panels and entire arrays of PV modules across different performance levels. The versatile SMFT-1000 allows comparing data collected on site with the respective IV curve, displaying any issues in real time on a high-resolution colour screen. This allows fast troubleshooting that does not require a laptop or tablet. The product also reads open-circuit voltage (VOC), short circuit and running current, and is suitable for insulation, diode, polarity and ground testing. Moreover, the device enables performance assessments of AC-DC inverters, to improve the energy conversion efficiency.
A proper multifunction tester for solar energy systems
“There is considerable demand in the market for a versatile high-precision multifunction tester,” explains Hans-Dieter Schüssele, Application & Technology Expert at Fluke. “Our new all-in-one PV tester plus performance analyser plus IV curve tracker is an advanced piece of equipment that has been thoroughly tested and comes with all the latest safety features and functions using state-of the- art technology. These include extensive auto-diagnostics options that allow a safe quality testing of solar energy systems while simplifying the workflows and, thus, speeding up the testing process significantly.”
Fluke’s patented Keep-the-Leads feature means that you need to connect the product to a solar energy system just once to carry out all necessary testing. This saves time since user-friendly automatic measurement routines display the results in real time. The product is suitable for CAT 1 and 2 as well as type A and B insulation testing. The device comes with clearly labelled control buttons that make it easy to view earth resistance, polarity, voltage and current readings, AC/DC power curves, insulation resistance, IV curves and the outcome of diode tests. All readings taken on site are stored on the device and can be transferred to and downloaded from a PC using Fluke’s TruTest Data Management and Reporting software which makes data analysis and job documentation so much easier. PV specialists can make use of this extended set of features by opting for the SMFT- 1000/PRO.
Easy integration enabling advanced testing
PV specialists choosing the product get both the analyser and a comprehensive set of accessories: to collect an exhaustive set of data, the SMFT-1000 multifunction PV tester allows you to use Fluke’s i1000 AC/DC clamp meter and the IRR2-BT solar irradiance meter that comes with a high-contrast LCD as peripherals – with the latter two pieces of equipment, among others, being part of the package. The clamp meter enables assessing the performance of the inverter while the IRR2-BT measures the intensity of the incoming sunlight and the temperature. The IRR2-BT uses Bluetooth to communicate with the SMFT-1000, to ensure accurate IV referencing. If, for some reason, the Bluetooth connection fails, the IRR2-BT keeps recording data for up to 17 hours, to be matched to SMFT-1000 readings at a later time.