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20 August 2009 Photovoltaic-reliability R&D toward a solar-powered world
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The continued exponential growth of photovoltaic technologies paves a path to a solar-powered world, but requires continued progress toward low-cost, high-reliability, and high-performance PV systems. High reliability is an essential element in achieving low-cost solar electricity by reducing operation and maintenance (O&M) costs and by extending system lifetime and availability, but these attributes are difficult to verify at the time of installation. Utilities, financiers, homeowners, and planners are demanding this information in order to evaluate their financial risk as a prerequisite to large investments. Reliability research and development (R&D) is needed to build market confidence by improving product reliability and by improving predictions of system availability, O&M cost, and system lifetime. Universities, industry, National Labs, and other research entities can be most effective by working together and in complementary ways. The Department of Energy supports a variety of research projects to improve PV-system reliability. These projects and current reliability issues for each PV technology are surveyed.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Sarah Kurtz, Jennifer Granata, and Michael Quintana "Photovoltaic-reliability R&D toward a solar-powered world", Proc. SPIE 7412, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems II, 74120Z (20 August 2009);


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