To address these concerns and more, GTM Research and PV Evolution Labs, now DNV GL, released the new PV Module Reliability Scorecard 2014 -- a first-of-its-
GTM Research has compiled data from DNV GL's highly accelerated life testing (HALT) on major global PV module manufacturers. Participating manufacturers were subject to rigorous tests designed to mimic real world environmental stresses and identify potential long-term quality issues and failure modes. The Scorecard goes beyond standard module qualification and certification tests and allows the industry to identify the spectrum of performance differences across the module vendor landscape.
In the Scorecard, GTM Research found that module vendors performed relatively well across all metrics, with a few exceptions on specific tests. However, “module reliability is not necessarily a consistent quality. Of all vendors analyzed, only one company consistently ranked within the Performance Leaders group for all test regimens,” wrote report author and solar analyst Jade Jones.
“While all modules met the regulatory UL requirements long term real world performance is not simply pass/fail. More robust module designs were clearly identified,”
Tests in the Scorecard program include extended thermal cycling, damp heat, humidity-freeze, dynamic mechanical load, and potential induced degradation for positively and negatively biased modules.
Source: GTM Research PV Module Reliability Scorecard 2014
Findings from the report stressed the importance of matching module quality characteristics with the destined installation climate. "Coupling a module’s performance capabilities with suitable install environments can prove valuable for ensuring long-term project viability," wrote Jones.
“The PV Module Reliabiltiy Scorecard is a unique module quality comparison resource that helps the PV industry identify long-term performance leaders on an apples-to-apples basis with their peers,” explained MJ Shiao, GTM Research’s Director of Solar Research. “While it may not replace in-depth bill of materials and manufacturing process studies, the Scorecard is an invaluable asset in quality-backed procurement strategies for module buyers and project investors of all sizes.”
GTM Research's PV Module Reliability Scorecard aggregates highly accelerated lifetime test results from DNV GL and provides supplier performance analysis. The Scorecard helps investors and developers generate quality-backed procurement strategies to ensure long-term project viability. For more information, visit http://www.greentechmedia.com/
Companies mentioned in the report include Astronergy, Inventec, Jinko Solar, Kyocera, LDK Solar, ReneSola, Suntech, Trina Solar, and Yingli Solar