A testing organization has found that the frequency with which brand-new solar modules sustain damage has increased. And it's not only because some items are broken in transit or packaging. The Dutch testing company SolarTester has detected an increasing damage rate for solar modules. Among other things, SolarTester deals with the testing and acceptance of solar modules in major solar parks. The business has said that the number of poorly functioning solar panels has increased dramatically. According to the news blog, Solarserver.de, this is because of the current market scenario and the resulting scarcity of raw materials at the producers, which has disrupted supply chains.
Since 2019, there has been a discernible rise in the number of damaged modules. More than 42% of 20,000 modules were defective in 2020. That's a significant increase of almost 60% compared to the prior year. Even more alarming, SolarTester projects that by 2022, this damage rate will have increased by a factor of 2, to roughly 80%. As a result, only 2% of newly manufactured solar modules pass efficiency tests.
SolarTester mentions a wide variety of so-called micro-defects as a frequent source of mistakes. These are the tiny spots or cracks in the modules that can significantly affect the module's performance down the line. This minor damage, when left unchecked, can grow into "hotspots" during operation, drastically reducing the module's yield. Furthermore, there has been a notable increase in transit or handling damage. Also, it has been said that, despite the required quality standards, more and more modules are leaving the facility with production flaws.
Modules that are damaged in transit are often easily identified during system setup and are thus not installed by the solar professional. Modules with manufacturing-related micro-defects are more challenging to detect. At least at first, these should function within the parameters of the manufacturer's stated performance. Efficiency gradually declines only with passing time.
The yields of different systems can be compared, so it's essential to keep an eye on the performance data of your system. Checking the system's performance on various days throughout the year will help you spot any shifts, for instance, on a day with no clouds, a partly cloudy day, and an overcast day. Do this on an annual or monthly basis and then evaluate the differences. If your Photovoltaic system shows wear and tear, contact your solar expert to set up a professional measurement or inspection.
There are two types of warranties available when you purchase a photovoltaic system (PV) or solar modules: the product warranty and the performance warranty. The warranty on your solar panel pledges that it will arrive in pristine condition. In the event of product faults traceable to a faulty module supplied, we promise to repair or replace the item at no cost to you. Solar modules come with a performance guarantee that lays out the minimum expected output of the product after a specified amount of time has passed. This information is included in the manual for your PV system.