Global Solar Segment Director
DNV GL - Energy
For photovoltaic (PV) modules, correlating field performance to accelerated testing remains a challenging objective. Publicly available field data on long-term operating performance of photovoltaic systems is limited despite more than 300 GW of global capacity. More than 75% of this capacity was added in the last 5 years indicating that the current generation of products have rather limited field history. For PV module purchasers, this presents a challenge for evaluating suppliers based on the availability of sufficient long term operational data.
DNV GL developed the Product Qualification Program (PQP) and PV Module Reliability Scorecard to address this challenge and support the solar community to generate quality-backed procurement strategies and ensure long-term project viability. The objectives of the PQP are twofold. First, it provides PV equipment buyers with independent reliability data. Additionally, it provides module manufacturers the visibility they need to be successful in this competitive market.
As a general comment, we find that most modules submitted to the DNV GL PQP perform well in the different test legs of the PQP, though some products perform better than others after accelerated testing. We see several factors having a strong impact on reliability test results, including bill of materials, factory, and the quality control processes of the manufacturer. And we can also demonstrate that production volume and reputation do not always correlate with top performing products.
DNV GL will present an updated set of test results, performance comparisons and recommendations for how industry participants can utilize this information to be more informed purchasing decisions.