By Stefan Krauter, Co-Founder, Photovoltaik Institut Berlin AG; Paul Grunow, Senior Consultant, Photovoltaik Institut Berlin AG
The current industry situation of more competitive business approaches, increased PV project sizes and investments but declining profit margins renders an accurate knowledge of PV performance a vital factor in remaining competitive. Comprehension of expected lifetime and energy yield of PV generators is essential. Therefore, accurate characterization of PV modules is quickly becoming a more and more significant issue. This article gives an overview of the characterization topics of PV modules in terms of safety, failure susceptibility, overall reliability, system performance and energy rating.