Evolution Labs (PVEL), an independent test lab for the global downstream solar industry, today published its first PV Inverter Scorecard. It is the only publicly available report that names the solar inverter manufacturers with the best results following independent, rigorous reliability and performance tests.
While strong performance by some manufacturers confirms their attention to quality, PVEL's Scorecard also highlights significant inverter safety and performance issues:
- One third of products tested failed Arc Fault Testing, which evaluates an inverter's ability to detect events that could lead to fires and explosions due to unsafe electrical conditions.
- Over 20% of products tested failed Damp Heat and Humidity Freeze tests, indicating susceptibility to early lifetime failure from degradation in common field conditions such as rain and snow.
- All tested products, including those that failed, were certified by IEC and/or UL.
PVEL's findings are aligned with independent studies that demonstrate inverters are the leading cause of maintenance calls in PV power plants and that manufacturers can underestimate annual maintenance expenses by more than 500%.
The Scorecard summarizes test reports from the PVEL Inverter Product Qualification Program (PQP), a unique Program established by PVEL in 2014 in partnership with its network of downstream project developers, financiers and other industry stakeholders. PVEL partners can receive complimentary copies of PQP reports.
The scorecard is available for download at pvel.com.