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Quality

Saturday read: rethinking degradation

PV module making is a brutally competitive industry. And for Slovenian module maker Bisol, in business since 2004, one of the keys to success has been to remain focused on the value its products deliver to the customer. And as company founder and CEO Uroš Merc explains, in 2021 this means reimagining module degradation.

A repair tape for cracked backsheets

Backsheet failures have plagued the industry, causing hefty financial burdens to many asset owners. DuPont has launched a product it says allows for easy repair of modules.

Module testing reveals increase in mechanical failures

Last week, testing specialists PV Evolution Labs launched its latest Module Reliability Scorecard, which names more than 100 products from 26 manufacturers as top performers, after being put through their paces in extensive lab testing. This year’s scorecard reveals an increase in modules seeing at least one failure during the testing procedure, with newly added mechanical stress procedures causing the greatest number of failures.

Sunday read: Battery testing builds certainty

Owners and operators of energy storage systems, as well as investors, need transparent ways to evaluate battery performance. They need certainty that the selected batteries for their ESS projects will perform reliably, have predictable life expectancies, and meet projected revenue and contractual obligations over their lifetimes. The economic viability of entire projects depend on this confidence, writes Michael Kleinberg of DNV.

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Saturday read: Microcracks and module design

New cell and module technologies are boosting power outputs, but they often have implications for quality. A focus purely on cell cracking illustrates just this point, with some approaches proving beneficial, and others potentially problematic – cue Tristan Erion-Lorico from PV Evolution Labs (PVEL).

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Sunday read: time to standardise

Not all quality control plans, processes and agreements are created equal, writes Frédéric Dross, the VP of strategic development for Senergy Technical Services (STS). Indeed, developers can find themselves saddled with agreements that allow unacceptably low levels of quality, unless they have followed standards.

Is Australia’s solar industry really still shonky? Finn Peacock on the industry’s best and worst bits

Why do you almost never hear about prosecutions for illegal phoenix activity? Why do some Approved Solar Retailers behave so badly? And what remains of Australian solar’s cowboy history?

Australians paying the price for cheap, abundant solar

Faulty or failing rooftop solar systems are behind one in five enquiries made to Sydney-based retailer Solaray Energy, according to the company’s co-founder and director, Jonathan Fisk. “And it’s going to continue to accelerate,” Fisk told pv magazine Australia.

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Insight on Quality – the prickly issue of PV module warranties: big promises and little recourse

PV modules are being sold with ever longer warranties, but when modules underperform or fail, making claims on those warranties is rarely straightforward. So are the warranties worth the paper they’re written on? Where does this leave installers? And how can this liability be mitigated?

400,000 applications for STCs in 2020 — how the CER makes sense of a cornucopia of data

The Clean Energy Regulator is both watchdog — assessing applications for Small-scale Technology Certificates, Large-scale Generation Certificates and Emissions Reduction Fund credits — and oracle, weaving data to provide an overview of Australia’s energy supply and demand and the performance of renewable resources. A recent transformation of its digital capabilities benefits consumers and the renewable energy industry.

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