Correspondence: Bill of Materials Variation and Module Degradation in Utility-Scale PV Systems

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2 Scopus Citations


Photovoltaic (PV) modules of the same make and model are often assembled with different bills of materials (BOMs). In this correspondence, we revisit two case studies of utility-scale silicon PV systems in which these differing BOMs were associated with faster-than-expected degradation. In one of the sites, we found that different metallization paste had been used for grid lines in some cells leading to loss of contact to the cell and severe series resistance degradation. We provide details on the observation of this mechanism at two additional sites not described in the original article. In a second case study, we found that two different types of cell had been used, and that they could be distinguished by their back contact. Cells with uniform back contacts suffered from light and elevated temperature induced degradation (LeTID), while those with local back contacts did not. We also briefly describe BOM variations observed at other sites to illustrate the extent of the challenge. Our results from both sites underscore that variations in BOM, even among modules of the same make and model can lead to reliability challenges.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1349-1353
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-83047


  • Bill of materials (BoM)
  • durability
  • photovoltaics (PV)
  • reliability


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