Quality and reliability of PV systems is at the core of discussions during this year’s Intersolar Europe fair in Munich. While the PV market grew significantly in the last years, the achievement of long-term reliability and the ability of plants to deliver during their lifetime is a sign of improved maturity for the PV industry.
Following seven years of PV systems performance and reliability research, the IEA PVPS programme’s Task 13 has delivered on a series of reports summarising years of intensive research activities. The reports aim to provide the PV industry with tools and keys to better understand the concepts of reliability and performance, how they are used in the field and their consequences on financial models. In addition, the first report highlights the root causes of module failures.
The first of the three published reports focuses on the Assessment of PV Modules Failures in the Field.
It concludes that the right combination of the encapsulant and backsheet films can be beneficial in reducing failures: The degradation modes depend on the bill of materials and components and are unique for each single PV module brand and model. However, there are typically several degradation modes that could act simultaneously to degrade performances, making it challenging to correlate observed effects with single mechanisms.
The second report focuses on the Technical Assumptions Used in PV Financial Models. This report highlights best practices used to assess financially PV projects and highlight some ways to improve the understanding of PV performances over the lifetime of the plant.
The third report details PV Performances Modelling Methods and Practices. This report summarises the main findings of a Task 13 workshop jointly organised by ‘The PV Performance Modelling Collaborative’ (PVPMC). This group was started by Sandia National Laboratories in 2010 to bring together stakeholders with the aim of advancing the ‘state of the art’ in PV performance prediction.
An additional report will be published in the coming weeks. This report details the ‘Improving Efficiency of PV Systems Using Statistical Performances Monitoring’. It highlights the need for monitoring carefully PV plants and deriving conclusions from observations.
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