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October 14, 2019

Please save the date of 14 October 2019 for a Seminar of COST Action PEARL PV in Malta of the topic of

PV Reliability and Durability

The solar photovoltaic (PV) market has experienced an accelerated growth accompanied by remarkable cost declines for solar PV technologies. The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from solar PV decreased by more than 70% between 2010 and 2017 – reaching the cost range of fossil fuels. As solar PV power systems become increasingly competitive, constant market growth relies on assurances of performance and durability.

A well-established quality assurance framework that comprises metrology, standards, testing methods, inspections, certifications, accreditation, among others, can mitigate development and operational risks, decrease failure rates and improve the overall performance of solar PV technologies.
Typically, it is also difficult for a PV plant owner to investigate technical problems since it requires advanced knowledge about the design of PV modules and systems as well as high-end equipment to measure the impact in terms of performance loss of the various degradation modes which might occur. Failures and performance losses can be associated with different kind of events, which cannot all be attributed to the technology and its implementation.
Though, before one starts digging into the different type of failures and the related performance loss, the industry and experts should be involved to move all together towards a common nomenclature of failures found in the field.
Historical data of performance and failure modes of PV systems are not easily accessible to all market players. These stakeholders have a diverse background and can be categorized as investors (private and public), PV plant owners, asset managers, EPCs, O&M operators, and insurance companies. The reasons behind the difficulty to have access to historical data of PV plants relies in the short time upon which most PV systems have been operational so far. Furthermore, a tendency exists among system operators and component manufacturers to keep performance and failure data confidential.
In addition, detailed performance data are in most cases not available for PV plants of the residential and commercial market segment as the cost of monitoring is still perceived as an added cost. Finally, although the description of the failure and corrective measures is common practice in the field of operation and maintenance, this is not often carried out at a sufficient level of detail for PV systems. However, for the PV industry, these performances and failures data are required to have a better understanding of the technical risks, risk management practices, and the related economic impacts.
This information is also essential to ensure investor confidence and hence to develop a mature and bankable market.
In the next years, as the availability of measured data will exponentially increase, it will be imperative to build large databases, as in PEARL-PV, with a potentially harmonized method to increase the confidence level of the statistical analysis and thus reduce the perceived risks for investors.


All these aspects are covered by the activities of the PEARL-PV network and will be explored during the seminar where world leading experts in the field will present first hand experience coming from monitoring, field inspections, characterization techniques, etc in order to provide extremely valuable knowledge in the topic of quality and reliability of PV modules and systems.

David Moser

Chair of the Seminar

The Seminar’s preliminary program is as follows:

Travel information for Malta can be accessed here: TrainingSchool_Host_Info_Malta

This event is supported by the following organizations:
Conventions Malta https://www.conventionsmalta.com/en-GB
Malta Council for Science and Technology https://mcst.gov.mt/
MCAST Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology https://www.mcast.edu.mt/
in collaboration with The University of Malta https://www.um.edu.mt/

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October 14, 2019




Cavalieri Art Hotel, Malta
Spinola Road
St Julian's, Malta
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