Quality

Third-Party Module Warranties Mitigate Risk

The trend toward more solar module manufacturers acquiring third-party warranty coverage for their products is helping to mitigate the long-term risk in a project and to make it more bankable, since the likelihood is that insurers will stay in business long after some module manufacturers.

Quality, now more than ever: An interview with Bill Gambogi and Bob Olsen of DuPont

As part of a focus on PV module and system quality in preparation for our Quality Roundtable at the Solar Power International Trade show in Las Vegas, pv magazine brings you an interview with DuPont Research Fellow Bill Gambogi and Director of Corporate Marketing Bob Olsen.

Burnt out, incompatible connectors

Quality control campaign: PV panel manufacturers selling plug connectors as MC4 compatible is nothing unusual. Two operators who have installed such modules are now struggling with lost insurance coverage and fires.

Quality: Minor differences in yield percentage make the difference between good and bad investment

Changing technology, pressure to cut costs, dizzying price slumps and a number of other issues make solar module quality control as relevant as ever. The danger that modules could fail outright remains slim, so module reliability is still decisive for the success of the investment, explains George Touloupas, Director of Technology and Quality at CEA, in preparation of the 4th pv magazine Quality roundtable at SPI.

Melting backsheets, broken cells, and hotspots

Quality roundtable preparation: A case of compromised quality. An operator claims nearly 17% of the modules in his array displayed significant damage after three years. The EPC company concealed the damage from the investor until the warranty had expired. The module manufacturer responded slowly and only out of goodwill.

PID-related performance drop in a solar farm

Some PV panels or batches of modules are susceptible to potential induced degradation (PID), while others are scarcely affected. Currently, many PV farm operators in Europe are experiencing this reality. The third instalment of our “Bring on the Black Sheep” series describes a case in which a module manufacturer behaved in a close to exemplary manner, but the inverter manufacturer made life difficult.

Poor quality planning: Shifting the blame, passing the buck

An installation company in the Midwest reports how blame was laid at their door for defective PV panels. The actual cause of the defects probably lie elsewhere.

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Residential Inverter Quality: An O&M Headache

Failures in residential solar systems can be the bane of an installer, who is often paid merely to install the system, not necessarily to back the various component warranties.

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