Future-Proofing Photovoltaics Module Reliability through a Unifying Predictive Modeling Framework

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3 Scopus Citations


Solar energy, especially photovoltaics (PV), plays a significant role in the global energy transition required for decarbonization. Technological advancements in increasing efficiencies coupled with cost reductions through economies of scale made PV a cost-competitive energy source set to exceed the milestone of 1 TW globally deployed capacity in 2022. However, ongoing downward price pressure coupled with increasing service life expectations creates tremendous challenges for reliability engineers in ensuring the safe and reliable operation of PV modules and systems over the anticipated service life. Today's reliability research efforts aim for module lifetimes of up to 50 years. Still, our current tools fall short in accurately assessing degradation mechanisms and failure modes over such extended periods. We argue that the well-established PV reliability learning cycle needs to be accelerated to keep up with the rapid technological advancements and high expectations that are put on PV and its role in the global energy transition. In this article, we explore the evolution of the PV reliability learning cycle and highlight the significance that predictive modeling capabilities will have on future PV module reliability. We propose creating a unifying modeling framework—which once established will enable the holistic assessment of PV module reliability, accelerate the PV reliability learning cycle, and bring us closer to quantitative service life predictions of PV modules.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)546-553
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-82625


  • long-term degradation
  • modeling framework
  • photovoltaics
  • predictive modeling
  • reliability
  • service life


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