Photovoltaics Module Reliability for the Terawatt Age

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Photovoltaics (PV), or solar electricity generation, has become the cheapest form of energy in many locations worldwide and, combined with energy storage, has the potential to satisfy most of our electricity needs. PV has grown at an annual compounded growth rate of approximately 30% in the last three decades. Solar energy systems will continue their impressive growth in distributed energy, microgrids, and utility scale, as efforts are made for dependable electricity in an age with increasing extreme weather. However, within this remarkable success lies a new challenge. The growth curve, combined with rapid product innovation and scale up, means that the majority of PV systems are new, without the three years of performance data that have been required in the past to estimate product lifetime. PV reliability has to address this challenge. In this review we present a brief summary of PV reliability starting with brief historical synopsis, detailing some of the technological challenges and present a framework required for long lifetime.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 022002
Number of pages15
JournalProgress in Energy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Not subject to copyright in the USA. Contribution of NREL.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-81726


  • degradation rate
  • durability
  • lifetime
  • performance loss rate
  • photovoltaics
  • reliability


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