Task 13

Performance and Reliability of Photovoltaic Systems

The overall objective of Task 13 is to improve the operation, reliability and, consequently, the electrical and economic output of photovoltaic power systems and subsystems through:

  • providing a common platform whereby quality aspects are elaborated and
    exchanged amongst the stakeholders
  • disseminating this knowledge to different market actors.

Task 13 will focus on:

  • compiling reliable statistical data for a variety of decision makers for different PV applications and system locations (e.g. different countries, regions, climates)
  • technical issues such as adapting test methods and lifetime assessment of PV modules, comparing the long-term behaviour of systems and components, as well as performance analysis and optimization of PV systems
  • economic and institutional issues such as the comparison of investment costs and energy costs, the analysis of maintenance costs of specific components, as well as the analysis of failures and statistics.

Two approaches to data collection and analysis of PV system performance will be applied:

  • the scientific approach that enables in-depth analysis of selected samples, and
  • a broader approach that employs statistical means to evaluate larger samples at a simpler level.

The PV industry is very interested in information on performance and reliability.
Companies which have the required data at their disposal tend, however, to be reluctant to share this information. The project partners will meet this challenge by involving these companies at an early stage of the project development. This will give the industry’s representatives the opportunity to introduce cooperative and tailor-made activities into the work plan. In order to guarantee anonymous processing of the data provided by the industry, standardized reporting forms will be developed and agreements will be established with the project partner in charge of the respective subtasks.

Various branches of the PV industry will be addressed by the national participants in their respective countries using existing business contacts. Given the international nature of the project consortium, cooperation will include important markets such as Europe, Japan and the USA.