Requires Subscription: Photovoltaics International Archive

Closing the loop: using production testing and field failure analysis to build reliable solar panels

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

By David DeGraaff, Reliability Team, SunPower Corp.

Savvy solar panel manufacturers understand that wringing excess costs from every stage of the value chain is simply the price of admission to today’s crowded market. They also know that reliability and quality are not only critical for delivering on a 25-year warranty promise, but also drive the true cost of energy over the lifetime of the system. This factor is becoming increasingly apparent, especially in industrial- and utility-scale solar projects, as they age and the power output of many lower quality systems begins to degrade to unexpected levels. Many of those systems used UL or IEC certifications as a proxy for good reliability. Unfortunately, UL certification is primarily concerned with user safety, and even the IEC requirements are not rigorous enough to ensure trouble-free operation throughout the system lifetime. High reliability and quality require testing and manufacturing methods that go far beyond the certification tests.

L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvdXBsb2Fkcy9sZWdhY3ktcHVibGljYXRpb24tcGRmcy82OTU3NTc1MTBiLWNsb3NpbmctdGhlLWxvb3AtdXNpbmctcHJvZHVjdGlvbi10ZXN0aW5nLWFuZC1maWVsZC1mYWlsdXJlLWFuYWx5c2lzLXRvLWJ1aWxkLXJlbGlhYmxlLXNvbGFyLXBhbmVscy5wZGY=

Published In

Photovoltaics International Archive
The eleventh edition of Photovoltaics International was published in February 2011 and features a special focus on PV modules from Fraunhofer CSP, SunPower and Heriot-Watt University. In addition, China Sunergy studies dark lines on mc-Si cells in Cell Processing and TU Freiburg looks at the challenges of the wire saw wafering process in Materials.

Read Next

Photovoltaics International Archive
Photovoltaics International Papers, PV Modules
With mature product offerings now available from several of the leading industrial PV equipment and tool manufacturers, and latest-generation ECAs available from suppliers, this article aims to provide important background information on ECAs, as well as give a brief overview of some of the challenges and cutting-edge developments in ECA-related PV applications.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
This paper reviews those associated fabrication technologies for the mass production of Ni/Cu-plated contacts. The technologies currently in use in the PV industry for plated contacts, as well as the developing technologies having high scaling-up potential, will be reviewed. In addition, the future requirements for plating metallization will be discussed.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
This paper discusses what is actually behind these announcements and how an evolutionary industry sector such as PVis becoming, it seems, decidedly revolutionary with large jumps in efficiency.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
This paper presents an analysis and the results of extensive simulations of the efficiency limits and roadmap to 25.5% of a tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) solar cell, on the basis of an efficiency level of 25.21% (designed area, identified by ISFH) achieved through three years of continuous technical optimization on a pilot line at Longi.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
The development of new ways of increasing the production throughput for passivated emitter and rear cells (PERCs), as the major solar cell technology in the global market, is an area of great interest to the PV community. This paper presents approaches for significantly increasing the throughput of PERC production processes. The main focus is on the tube furnace processes for the emitter formation and oxidation, with the introduction of the High Temperature Stack Oxidation (HiTSOx) approach. Additional approaches that are currently under investigation at Fraunhofer ISE for increasing the throughput for wet-chemical, printing and laser processes will also be briefly outlined.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
The holy grail of every solar cell producer is the creation of a lowcost interdigitated back-contact (IBC) solar cell with an efficiency greater than 25%, a goal that can be found in almost every roadmap presentation. In this paper it will be shown that we are not far away from achieving this target, since IBC devices, with different process complexities, are already in production at several companies.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
June 14, 2022
Napa, USA
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA