Reliability and System Performance

NREL applies its materials science expertise in reliability and systems engineering to better understand, test for, and prevent performance degradation in photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules.

A test of solar cells at NREL's Outdoor Test Facility

As established PV technologies age and new technologies are developed, it becomes increasingly important to understand how PV modules and systems can remain reliable over their full lifespan. To this end, NREL stresses PV modules in the field as well as with accelerated testing equipment. Our work establishes test methods that improve PV reliability and helps create international standards.

Working with companies and standards organizations around the world, we are creating the  foundation for a vigorous PV industry. In support of this objective, we conduct an annual industry PV Reliability Workshop and lead the DuraMAT Consortium, which encourage the exchange of PV reliability information and use of our wide range of research capabilities.

Our main capabilities areas are:

  • Real-time PV and solar resource testing
  • Accelerated testing and analysis
  • Outdoor system and performance
  • Degradation and soiling analysis.

To learn more about these capabilities, visit the Photovoltaic Research site.


Teresa Barnes

Group Manager