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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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