12 April 2012
Given the growing importance of photovoltaics (PV) for providing electricity from renewable energy sources, the issues of reliability and efficiency in PV modules are becoming increasingly important. The workshop PV Module Reliability, which will take place on 3-4 May 2012 in Lugano, Switzerland, is devoted to this key topic.
Under the auspices of the European Union's (EU) project SOPHIA, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and the Institute for Applied Sustainability to the Built Environment (ISAAC) Supsi invite the international public involved in the field of PV to discuss the current state of the art of PV module reliability and to attempt to integrate existing industry requirements into the durability of the modules in research and testing. Online registration is available until 30 April 2012.
Focusing on reliability and operating life, the workshop organizers Fraunhofer ISE and ISAAC Supsi seek to meet the needs of the PV industry, which has become increasingly concerned with quality assurance issues and the reliable operating life and yield predictions of modules. After all, optimizing the reliability of PV modules creates new challenges for researchers, manufacturers and certifiers; in particular, the balance between sustainability and economics must be redefined. The question of the relationship between reliability and security, the implementation of non-destructive measurements to determine efficiency, durability and the requirements of application-oriented tests are also aspects of the workshop, as well as the search for possible causes of deviations from specifications and requirements on the part of investors and insurance companies.
Peter Hacke (National Renewable Energy Laboratory—NREL), Tony Sample (Joint Research Centre—JRC), Thomas Friesen (ISAAC Supsi) and Michael Köhl (Fraunhofer ISE) provide an overview of the following topics in their respective presentations: Mechanical Load, Potential Induced Degradation and Moisture, UV Radiation and Moisture, Possible Errors and their Effects and Materials.
During the first PV Module Reliability workshop in 2011, 130 participants from 13 countries discussed various issues surrounding the reliability of PV modules such as material test procedures; reexamined questions and results that had come up in the final plenary discussion; and provided industrial and research partners with an important impetus for further action with regard to optimizing the reliability of PV modules. In small groups, topics such as quality assurance, operating life predictions and material requirements were addressed and debated in terms of their practical implementation.