PV Module Reliability Scorecard 2014

by Jade Jones, MJ Shiao

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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Jade Jones Senior Analyst, Solar

Jade Jones is a Senior 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.

MJ Shiao Head of Americas Research

MJ Shiao is the Head of Americas Research at GTM Research and manages GTM's solar market analyst team. He is responsible for strategy and development of GTM Research's coverage of the global solar market and solar market intelligence product suite. MJ is a leading expert on solar PV technologies and costs, authoring dozens of reports and leading custom engagements on U.S. solar, PV inverters, solar power electronics, PV balance of systems, solar monitoring, thin film PV and other solar topics. A 9-year veteran of the solar industry, MJ has experience ranging from fabrication of crystalline silicon solar cells to PV project development.

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