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Quality

First Solar’s PV module technology completes 25 years of testing at NREL

“Determining how many years a solar panel will last can take, well, years.”

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pv magazine video: How quality can lower solar risk and insurance rates

This year’s pv magazine Quality Roundtable USA looked at extreme weather, and how resiliency can be built through modern O&M. Representatives from DuPont, Stäubli, Nextracker and RETC took to the virtual stage to discuss weather-related damages, and how to harness quality materials and workmanship to industry’s advantage, particularly when it comes to insurers. Ariel Re and NovaSource, meanwhile, looked at issues like risk management insurance solutions and asset stabilization. Case studies and presentations on the field performance of PV modules, and extreme hail and fire, were also included.

A solar module stress test for all seasons

Scientists led by NREL have developed a new stress testing protocol for PV modules, one designed to simultaneously expose modules to multiple stresses, as they likely would be in the field. Putting modules through this test, the researchers have already been able to reveal new information regarding backsheet degradation, and they promise new insights into other degradation mechanisms.

Shoals, solar balance-of-system player, had a strong 2020 and sees an even stronger 2021

Dean Solon of Shoals Technologies Group: “The short version is that it’s been a damned good year.” An interview with Shoals covers the growth of large solar projects in the U.S., high AC/DC ratios and the real costs of using cheap components.

While climate change divides Democrats and Republicans, renewable policy unites

A new interactive map created by the Yale Program on Climate Communication shows the difference in responses and opinions between America’s two political parties across questions of climate change, renewable education and utility procurement.

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Pirates of the PV industry

Product piracy is a well-known threat in many industries, and in solar the risk posed by poor quality products from disreputable manufacturers making their way onto rooftops and other PV installations should not be underestimated. With manufacturers investing in solutions to protect against inferior products bearing their logo, pv magazine looks at the size of the problem.

Data shows solar asset underperformance and bias towards optimistic pricing

Solar assets are underperforming far more frequently than official energy estimates would suggest, according to the industry experts who contributed to KwH Analytics’ 2020 solar risk assessment report.

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pv magazine’s Roundtables go virtual and reach a global audience

The Covid-19 pandemic featured prominently at this week’s inaugural pv magazine Virtual Roundtables Europe, which took place last week. Not only did the pandemic lead to the virtualization of pv magazine’s established June Roundtables, but it was a big topic in the final session dealing with markets and specifically the further development of power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Europe.

Silfab’s high-profile, high-reliability, North American-made solar installations

Silfab PV modules are found on NFL stadiums for the Panthers, Browns, Lions, and Steelers — as well as other prestige locations.

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PVEL solar module scorecard: In a rush to innovate, some manufacturers ‘overlooked basic quality control’

PV Evolution Labs (PVEL), a test lab for the downstream solar market, just published its PV Module Reliability Scorecard. The lab notes the high level of innovation in the solar module industry and namechecks the market’s reliability leaders — but also observed a resurgence of known failure mechanisms — such as PID.

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