Performance and Reliability
Why Solar Efficiency Is Important
You may be wondering what solar efficiency is and why high efficiency solar panels are better than low efficiency panels. Here are some solar power facts to help you understand how solar efficiency works and why it should be a key consideration for any solar investment.
Generation III High Efficiency Lower Cost Technology: Transition to full scale Manufacturing
PVLife: An Integrated Model for Predicting PV Performance Degradation over 25+ Years
Temperature of Solder Contact in Back-Contact Si Solar Cells and Its Effect on Reliability of Modules under Localized Shading Environments
Solar Energy System Performance Modeling
--by Ben Bourne
SunPower Corporation develops and maintains a custom photovoltaic (PV) simulation tool called PVSim for producing estimates of PV system energy production (yield). Although there are sophisticated “off-the-shelf” PV simulation tools available, SunPower has chosen to invest in developing our own custom tool to provide maximum flexibility to meet the changing modeling needs of the company. In particular, in-house development enables us to quickly adapt the model to accurately reflect new module and mounting products and allows us to make use of measured performance data from over 350 MW (over 650 systems) for model-level and system-level validation. The purpose of this Summary is to give a brief description of the SunPower PVSim tool and the validation of the simulation against actual results.
Performance Results of a Low-Concentration Photovoltaic System Based on High-Efficiency Back-Contact Solar Cells
--by Zachary S. Judkins, Keith W. Johnston, Charles Almy, Ryan J. Linderman, Brian Wares, Nicholas A. Barton, Matt Dawson and Jack Peurach
As the solar industry scales towards installation capacities in the range of 30 to 50 gigawatts per year, SunPower has begun to evaluate concentration in order to leverage solar cell production capacity. SunPower is focusing research and development investments in low concentration photovoltaic (LCPV) systems, which can reduce capital expense per watt by up to 90% while minimizing design changes in SunPower’s high efficiency back contact solar cells.
High-Confidence Prediction of Energy Production from High-Efficiency Photovoltaic Systems
--by Doug Rose, Oliver Koehler, Ben Bourne, David Kavulak and Lauren Nelson
This paper discusses four interrelated topics regarding energy production from photovoltaic systems and prediction of that energy production. Together these topics support high kWh/kWp performance of SunPower modules and accurate prediction of that performance across a wide range of applications.
Qualification, Manufacturing, and Reliability Testing Methodologies for Deploying High-Reliability Solar Modules
--by D. DeGraaff, S. Caldwell, R. Lacerda, G. Bunea, A. Terao and D. Rose
With over a decade of experience fielding and maintaining solar fields – built with a wide variety of PV modules from more than a dozen different manufacturers – SunPower has broad experience with reliability. Combining this field data with the manufacturing rigor inherited from roots in the semiconductor industry has lead to the development of a robust methodology for deploying high-reliability solar modules. This paper shares SunPower’s methodology, which spans qualification testing, supplier quality, manufacturing quality and ongoing reliability testing.
Performance and Reliability of Solar Panels with Anti-Reflective Coated Glass
Anti-reflection coated (ARC) glass is being used in an increasing percentage of PV modules due to expected higher power and energy output. Assurance of the energy gain and the reliability of the coating is essential to create value. This paper reports on the steps taken to test, qualify, and release in production photovoltaic modules made with ARC glass.