Performance, Operation and Reliability of Photovoltaic Systems

Performance, Operation and Reliability of Photovoltaic Systems 

Performance and reliability of PV modules and systems are key topics that are attracting more and more attention from various stakeholders every day. Recently, it also comes in combination with the terms of quality and sustainability. Task 13 has so far managed to create the right framework for the calculations of various parameters that can give an indication of quality of PV components and system as a whole. The framework is now there and can be used by the industry who has expressed in many ways appreciation towards the results included in the high quality reports.

Task 13 aims at supporting market actors to improve the operation, the reliability and the quality of PV components and systems. Operational data of PV systems in different climate zones compiled within the project will allow conclusions on the reliability and on yield estimations. Furthermore, the qualification and lifetime characteristics of PV components and systems shall be analysed, and technological trends identified.

The overall objectives of Task 13 are to:

  • Gather the most up-to-date information from each member country on a variety of technical issues related to PV performance and reliability. This will include summaries of different practices from each country, experiences with a variety of PV technologies and system designs.
  • Gather measured data from PV systems from around the world. This data will be used to test and compare data analysis methods for PV degradation, operation & monitoring (O&M), performance and yield estimation, etc.
  • Communicate to our stakeholders in a number of impactful ways including reports, workshops, webinars, and web content.

The Task 13 is divided in the following 4 Subtasks:

Subtask 1 New Module Concepts and System Designs

This subtask addresses the following objectives:

  • Investigate new module concepts, designs, and materials - Specific innovations related to new functional materials and module designs will be reviewed and presented in a report.
  • Focus on quantitative studies of bifacial PV performance from fielded systems around the world: Investigate new bifacial PV module and system designs.
  • Focus on how to characterize the performance of innovative parts in PV systems where the current methods cannot be applied (e.g. PV with integrated energy storage).
  • Investigate on the service life prediction of PV modules. We will assemble data and models for service life predictions as well as explore methods used to accelerate the ageing of PV modules.

Subtask 2 Performance of Photovoltaic Systems

This subtask aims the next targets:

  • Review the uncertainty in yield assessments - Link the uncertainty framework and the scenarios with cash flow models and LCOE calculations comparing with real case studies.
  • Analysis of the effectiveness of predictive monitoring in avoiding failures in real case studies and assess the possibility to integrate the algorithms in monitoring platforms.
  • Investigate all technology related influencing factors on the energy yield of PV modules in different climates.
  • Compare and summarize different approaches and methods to determine soiling losses.
  • Explore the methodologies for the calculation of the degradation and performance loss rates (PLR) of PV plants.

Subtask 3 Monitoring - Operation & Maintenance

This Subtask addresses the following objectives:

  • Increase the knowledge of methodologies to assess technical risks and mitigation measures in terms of economic impact and effectiveness during operation.
  • Provide best practice on methods and devices to qualify PV power plants in the field.
  • Compile guidelines for operation & maintenance (O&M) procedures in different climates and to evaluate how effective O&M concepts will affect the quality in the field.

Subtask 4 Information Dissemination

Task 13 status reports can be found in the annual reports of the IEA PVPS Programme.

All Task 13 reports available for download can be found under Documents or Archive.

The PV Performance Database can be reached here.