DNV GL, the world's largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, just released its third annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard Report. This report offers the most complete publicly available comparison of PV module reliability test results and acts as a benchmark for project investors and solar PV manufacturers on the state of the industry.
Once again Trina Solar placed as a top performer in each category, highlighting our commitment to manufacturing high-quality solar PV modules.
The Scorecard analyzes the reliability test results of more than 50 commercially available PV module models, and covers five major aspects:
- Thermal cycling - The fluctuation of irradiance and ambient temperatures can cause materials to contract or expand, which leads to stress that causes rapid aging.
- Dynamic mechanical load - Heavy loads of snow or high winds can cause pressure on the module's glass that can lead to solder joint degradation or cell cracks.
- Damp heat - High ambient temperature and humidity can bring about accelerated aging in solar modules.
- Humidity freeze - Moisture can seep into the junction box in a PV module, as well as the backsheets, frame adhesives and encapsulants. In regions where temperatures drop below freezing, this can lead to mechanical failures.
- Potential induced degradation (PID) - Solar system design inherently involves static voltage bias.
The top-performing PV modules had the lowest incidence of these phenomenon, indicating durability and long-term reliability.
DNV GL noted that Trina was a top performer for:
- Thermal cycling in 2016 as well as 2014.
- Dynamic mechanical load in 2016.
- Humidity freeze in 2016 as well as 2014.
- Damp heat in 2016 as well as 2014
- PID in 2016 as well as 2014.
While three years is still a small sample compared to the 25-year lifetime warranty for the panels, consistently holding a top-performer ranking in these categories demonstrates long-term viability for Trina Solar's modules.
Not only did Trina rank as a top performer in every category, but we were also the only solar company to have three different models listed for each of the five major tests as well, the DD14A(II), TSM-xxxPD05.18 and TSM-xxxPD14.18.
The results serve as a guidepost for project investors and other stakeholders in solar PV installations to compare module-expected durability and long-term performance. Armed with this knowledge, financiers, developers and independent power producers can make more informed decisions about which PV modules will best suit their needs.
"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," explained DNV GL's Jenya Meydbray, vice president, strategy & business development, laboratory services, and the study's lead author.
Installing a solar PV system requires making an upfront investment that will then be paid off over time. There's no clear-cut calculation to determine precisely when the ROI will be fulfilled, as a host of variables, from the price of the system to the amount of sunlight it receives, will all play a role.
Further, 78 percent of the more than 300 GW of installed global PV capacity has been in use for less than five years, according to the report. While a 25-year warranty for solar modules remains the industry standard, investors still need more information to better understand the full life economic viability of a particular solar project. With greater insight into the quality and durability of solar panels, project developers can make more informed decisions to ensure ROI for all stakeholders.
"Our Product Qualification Program and Scorecard help create clarity for players in the solar market," explained Ditlev Engel, CEO DNV GL - Energy. "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."
As highlighted by the DNV GL Module Scorecard, Trina Solar continues to deliver world-class solar technology.
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