Photovoltaic Performance and Reliability Workshops
NREL hosts workshops focused on photovoltaic (PV) performance and reliability to encourage collaboration and communication among solar program staff, national laboratory teams, and industry partners. Workshop summaries and presentation content are available for the following meetings.
NREL also coordinates an annual Photovoltaic Module Reliability Workshop (PVMRW) so that solar technology experts can share information leading to the improvement of PV module reliability.
2014 Solar Power International Workshops
October 20, 2014
NREL hosted two workshops during Solar Power International (SPI) 2014 to address improving confidence in PV manufacturing and certifying PV systems. For more details, access the agenda. Workshop presentations are also available for download.
Part 1: Ensuring Quality of PV Modules—A Pathway to Higher Confidence in PV Manufacturing
Like the automotive and aerospace industries, the PV industry requires a very high level of confidence in product reliability. Not only must PV modules be designed to meet the product warranty, but manufacturers must consistently deliver that quality. Workshop participants discussed the changes that are planned to improve quality, and shared ideas about how to best create this cultural change.
- Experience from the Automotive Industry in Moving to a Higher Level of Quality Management—James Moore
- Overview of the Proposed PV Quality Management System—Govind Ramu (SunPower)
- IEC Technical Specification for PV Module Quality Management Systems—John Wohlgemuth (NREL)
- Breakout Session #1: What is the appropriate level of detail for the guideline?
- Breakout Session #2: Topical Discussions
Part 2: Certification of PV Systems — What's Coming and How You Can Make Sure it Meets Your Needs
PV systems have been proven to work well; they've also been proven to have problems if they are poorly designed, installed, or maintained. How can a system owner, operator, or buyer have confidence that a system will be one that works well? This workshop presented information about international standards for PV-system certification that are being developed, and collected suggestions about how these standards could be most valuable to the community.
- Real Life Experience of the Array of Issues that Can Impact PV Asset Financial Performance—John Sedgwick (VDE)
- Introduction to IECRE—George Kelly (Sunset Technology)
- Technical Details for Design Verification—Sunny Rai (Intertek)
- Technical Details for Commissioning and Verification—Greg Ball (DNV-GL Renewables)
- Technical details for Operation and Maintenance—Bill Shisler (TUV)
- Afternoon Session Discussion
Photovoltaic Module Reliability Workshop 2014
February 25–26, 2014
The 2014 PVMRW, which was held in Golden, Colorado, featured more than 100 presentations and posters from workshop participants. Compiled proceedings, individual presentations, and a technical report are available for this event.
Solar Power International Workshops on Bankability
October 21, 2013
NREL and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) hosted two workshops during Solar Power International 2013 to discuss strategies for defining the bankability of new PV products. A detailed agenda is available. In addition, workshop presentations from the morning session are available for download.
- Today's Qualification Tests and Testing Beyond These—John Wohlgemuth, NREL
- Proposals for Tests and Ratings to Demonstrate Bankability—Sarah Kurtz, NREL
- UV Testing: 20 years of Data Showing the Value for Extended UV Testing of Encapsulant Materials—Charlie Reid, STR
- Potential-Induced Degradation Testing: A Critical Addition to Today's Qualification Tests—Mani TamizhMani, TUV Rheinland PTL
- Dynamic Mechanical Load Testing—Geoffrey Kinsey, Fraunhofer CSE
- Importance of Third-Party Verification of Quality Management—Paul Norum, Amonix
- Qualification of PV Materials—William Gambogi, DuPont
- Panel Discussion
2013 Thin-Film PV Reliability Workshop
February 28–March 1, 2013
This kick-off meeting was held in Golden, Colorado, for Task Group 8 of the International PV Module Quality Assurance Task Force, which addresses the need for testing thin-film modules. Proceedings are available on the IPVMQA website.
Photovoltaic Module Reliability Workshop 2013
February 26–27, 2013
Held in Golden, Colorado, the PV Module Reliability Workshop (PVMRW) 2013 shared information on improving PV module reliability to reduce the cost of solar electricity and give investors confidence in the technology. NREL led the workshop, which was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office. The entire workshop proceedings are available for download.