On 17 September SolarPower Europe Advisor, Thomas Doering, moderated the conference 'PV system performance and reliability - quo vadis?' Here distinguished industry experts shared their views on strategies and instruments to predict, monitor and improve the performance of PV plants.
All specialists agreed on the paramount importance of comprehensive, granular and reliable data for conducting robust analyses of connected plants. Industry strategies and instruments to improve data mining are numerous: Dr. Nicolas Sebastien, Chief Technology Officer, Reuniwatt described the benefits of combining ground measurement and satellite data, while Jeanna Panella, Team Leader Performance Engineering Group, First Solar stressed the necessity of advanced analytical software tools and algorithms.
The experts concurred that the quality of materials and of modules, beyond the existing industry standards, makes a great difference with respect to the long-term performance of PV plants. Dr. Lucie Garreau-Iles, Technical Manager EMEA, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions explained that the quality of backsheets is vitally important, as it can impact the long-term durability and reliability of solar systems.
Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Senior Technical Manager EU pointed out that his company Jinko Solar has adopted several strategies to improve module performance and reliability, selecting the appropriate BOMs through a program of tests beyond the standards and introducing a new optimizer for the avoidance of hotspots offering 3 MPPT per module.
Another question answered was: What happens when modules fail? Christoph Reiners, Head of O&M, BayWa r.e. outlined several replacement strategies. These depend both on costs and on the legal framework, the latter requiring some clarification in many European countries.
Commenting on the recently issued IEA PVPS Task 13 report on performance and reliability described by Dr. Wilfried van Sark, Associate Professor at the Utrecht University, the experts agreed that smart prevention, detection and classification of failures of PV plants will continue to be a major focus of PV research.
EU PV Platform conference was organized by The European Photovoltaic Technology Platform.
The presentations from the event are available here.