Earlier this month DNV GL introduced the third version of its PV Module Reliability Scorecard 2017 with several newcomers, among them SunPower and SolarWorld, achieving high-performing scores in the report. Participation in the voluntary program, subjects solar panels to a torture test designed to simulate real-world conditions, jumped by 69 percent over last year.
“While a 25-year performance warranty is standard in the industry, most PV module models, with a specific Bill of Materials, have actually been in use for less than a few years, so there is a limited amount of data on how equipment holds up over time,” said DNV GL Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Laboratory Services and lead author Jenya Meydbray. “Though there is no truer test of a module’s reliability and long term performance than decades of real-world field experience, since 2012, the DNV GL Product Qualification Program and the PV Module Reliability Scorecard’s findings have become a critical resource to an industry looking to better understand risk in a commercially reasonable timeframe.”
Solar panel manufacturers can choose to participate in the DNV GL Product Qualification Program, which the scorecard is based off of. “Our Product Qualification Program and Scorecard help create clarity for players in the solar market,” explained Ditlev Engel, CEO DNV GL. “Testing helps manufacturers deliver better quality modules and supports financiers and developers in taking informed component purchasing decisions. We are committed to support the growth of the solar industry and to contribute to a global sustainable energy future.”
The testing included five reliability tests for solar panels. It tested them in thermal cycling, dynamic mechanical load, damp heat, humidity freeze and potential induced degradation. This year 22 of the manufacturers participating were given high-performance scores.
The report found that most solar panels it tested maintained their performance after reliability testing. But the lowest 25 percent of performers in most tests could show module degradation levels that could put systems at financial risk. Participation in the program is up to about 70 percent of the largest manufacturers.
The report can be downloaded here: https://www.dnvgl.com/publications/pv-module-reliability-scorecard-2017-93448Tweet