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Title: PV Field Reliability Status--Analysis of 100,000 Solar Systems

Abstract

In this paper, we analyzed annual production data from 100 000 photovoltaic systems as well as comments relating to their performance and maintenance. Our analysis revealed that 80% to 90% of all systems performed within 10% of the predicted production or better. Also, 56% of the systems were still performing above P50 or the median at 5 years. However, a small but significant tail of about 7000 systems perform below P90 expectations. In general, residential systems have a lower rate of failure than utility or commercial systems. Despite higher rates of component failures, utility systems lose less power than residential or commercial systems. This outcome is likely due to closer monitoring and better operations and maintenance practices. Inverters are still the components that reportedly fail most often (4%-6%), but other failures such as unspecified repair and meters cause more production loss. Reported module failures are relatively rare (0.2%) and are within the range of historical values. Installation quality affects performance and safety as indicated by data showing connector, wiring, breaker, and fuse failures due to undersizing, electrical design, and improper connection. Lastly, early detection of degradation and proactive response resulted in less impact on production than reactive, unplanned repairs.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Solar Energy Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1659924
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5K00-75023
Journal ID: ISSN 1099-159X; MainId:6196;UUID:45837904-a4e0-e911-9c26-ac162d87dfe5;MainAdminID:13649
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Progress in Photovoltaics. Research and Applications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 28; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1099-159X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; photovoltaics; reliability; field performance; field failure

Citation Formats

Jordan, Dirk, Marion, William, Deline, Christopher, Barnes, Teresa, and Bolinger, Mark. PV Field Reliability Status--Analysis of 100,000 Solar Systems. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1002/pip.3262.
Jordan, Dirk, Marion, William, Deline, Christopher, Barnes, Teresa, & Bolinger, Mark. PV Field Reliability Status--Analysis of 100,000 Solar Systems. United States. doi:10.1002/pip.3262.
Jordan, Dirk, Marion, William, Deline, Christopher, Barnes, Teresa, and Bolinger, Mark. Sun . "PV Field Reliability Status--Analysis of 100,000 Solar Systems". United States. doi:10.1002/pip.3262.
@article{osti_1659924,
title = {PV Field Reliability Status--Analysis of 100,000 Solar Systems},
author = {Jordan, Dirk and Marion, William and Deline, Christopher and Barnes, Teresa and Bolinger, Mark},
abstractNote = {In this paper, we analyzed annual production data from 100 000 photovoltaic systems as well as comments relating to their performance and maintenance. Our analysis revealed that 80% to 90% of all systems performed within 10% of the predicted production or better. Also, 56% of the systems were still performing above P50 or the median at 5 years. However, a small but significant tail of about 7000 systems perform below P90 expectations. In general, residential systems have a lower rate of failure than utility or commercial systems. Despite higher rates of component failures, utility systems lose less power than residential or commercial systems. This outcome is likely due to closer monitoring and better operations and maintenance practices. Inverters are still the components that reportedly fail most often (4%-6%), but other failures such as unspecified repair and meters cause more production loss. Reported module failures are relatively rare (0.2%) and are within the range of historical values. Installation quality affects performance and safety as indicated by data showing connector, wiring, breaker, and fuse failures due to undersizing, electrical design, and improper connection. Lastly, early detection of degradation and proactive response resulted in less impact on production than reactive, unplanned repairs.},
doi = {10.1002/pip.3262},
journal = {Progress in Photovoltaics. Research and Applications},
number = 8,
volume = 28,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
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This content will become publicly available on March 15, 2021
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