Moving Toward Quantifying Reliability - The Next Step in a Rapidly Maturing PV Industry

Sarah Kurtz, Nicholas Bosco, Michael Deceglie, Peter Hacke, David Miller, Michael Kempe, Tony Sample, Wei Zhou, Joerg Althaus, Nancy Phillips, Chris Flueckiger, Masaaki Yamamichi, Michio Kondo

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

9 Scopus Citations


Some may say that PV modules are moving toward being a simple commodity, but most major PV customers ask: How can I minimize chances of a module recall? Or, How can I quantify the added value of a 'premium' module? Or, How can I assess the value of an old PV system that I'm thinking of purchasing? These are all questions that PVQAT (the International PV Quality Assurance Task Force) and partner organizations are working to answer. Defining standard methods for ensuring minimal acceptable quality of PV modules, differentiating modules that provide added value in the toughest of environments, and creating a process (e.g. through IECRE [1]) that can follow a PV system from design through installation and operation are tough tasks, but having standard approaches for these will increase confidence, reduce costs, and be a critical foundation of a mature PV industry. This paper summarizes current needs for new tests, some challenges for defining those tests, and some of the key efforts toward development of international standards, emphasizing that meaningful quantification of reliability (as in defining a service life prediction) must be done in the context of a specific product with design parameters defined through a quality management system.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 14 Dec 2015
Event42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 14 Jun 201519 Jun 2015


Conference42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5J00-63520 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-66361


  • photovoltaic module
  • PV system performance
  • reliability
  • service life prediction


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