SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
PV Performance and Reliability Over Time: The Impact of New Materials and Technologies
Jenya Meydbray
PV Evolution Labs (PVEL), USA, , ,

PV cell technology and module design are in a period of dramatic transformation. The supplier base for raw materials continues to diversify. Advanced PV cell architectures and module designs are being deployed at a rapid pace. But no one knows for certain if recent, celebrated technical advances can fulfill the fundamental purpose of most product improvements: reducing the installed cost per kilowatt-hour of solar energy over time, thereby enabling the deployment of more solar assets. Demonstrable proof will only become available after 25+ years of field operation. When long-term field data from operating assets is absent, lab testing is the next best source of empirical performance and reliability data. This session will compare recent and historic independent test results for different PV module designs, cell architectures and raw materials. It will highlight the most promising technical advances as well as examples of unexpected degradation modes that surfaced in testing but were poorly understood at the time new products were introduced. Examples from the recent past point to an urgent and growing need for collaborative research on test design and more transparent data sharing. It is the engineers and researchers at the forefront of solar PV technology who can prevent failures before they reach the field.