Solar market research

PV Module Reliability Scorecard 2014

Two-thirds of today’s cumulative solar capacity has been installed within the last three years, and PV installations are forecasted to quadruple by the end of the decade, growing from 128.3 GW at the end of 2013 to 528.1 GW by the end of 2020. Against this backdrop of strong demand, there is growing concern that systemic quality issues will affect an exponentially increasing proportion of PV projects. Yet, so far, the extent of the module reliability problem has been largely misinterpreted and ill-understood. With full-life field data on today's products years away, and without access to publicly available data comparing long-term module reliability by vendor, how can buyers and investors factor quality into their procurement discussions?

The PV Module Reliability Scorecard aims to address this critical problem. The Scorecard defines a reliable module as one which can deliver its promised and guaranteed energy yield over its lifetime. With its supplier-specific performance analysis, the Scorecard is another tool for investors' and developers' quality-backed procurement strategies.

FIGURE: Potential Induced Degradation on Negatively Biased Module (PID-) Test Results

Note: Company names included in full report

Source: GTM Research

This 42-page report includes vital information about module reliability and testing, along with a comprehensive breakdown of the reliability testing regimen used for the Scorecard, full Scorecard tests and results, and interpretation of the results and their applicability to real-world data.

Module manufacturers identified in the Scorecard include:

Astronergy | Inventec | Jinko Solar | Kyocera | LDK Solar | ReneSola | Suntech | Trina Solar | Yingli Solar

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Report Author


Jade Jones is a Solar Analyst with GTM Research covering the global solar supply market. Jade aggregates and analyzes technology and pricing data within the solar manufacturing sector which informs both research and consulting. Prior to GTM, she has held several positions providing insight into the key relationships, business models and technology trends that are shaping the cleantech sector. Jade has a BS in electrical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Report Author


  • MJ Shiao
  • Director, Solar Research
  • contact

MJ Shiao is the Director of Solar Research for GTM Research and is a leading expert on PV inverters, electronics, and balance of system components. A 9-year veteran of the solar industry, MJ has experience ranging from fabrication of crystalline silicon solar cells to PV project development. Before joining GTM Research, MJ managed and designed several MWs of residential and commercial PV projects with Solar Design Associates. Prior to project management, MJ worked at the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). MJ holds a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware, where he was named a National Truman Scholar. A believer in the social benefits of solar power, MJ has researched, installed and tested rural off-grid PV in India and Thailand and formerly served on the Steering Committee of SustainUS, a non-profit engaging U.S. youth in sustainable development advocacy.

Follow MJ Shiao on Twitter@solarmj

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