Muñoz-García, Miguel Angel and Alonso Garcia, M. Carmen and Chenlo, Faustino
Early degradation of PV modules and guaranty conditions.
In: "24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference", 21/09/2009 - 25/09/2009, Hamburgo, Alemania. ISBN 3-936338-25-6.
CIEMAT PVLabDER has largely increased its demand on testing and characterizing PV plants, according to the fast growth of PV installed capacity in Spain. One of the topics in which manufacturers, promoters, and owners of the plants are more interested in, is the possible degradation of PV modules and its relationship to guarantee contracts, as it is related to subsidies. This paper presents some findings in campaigns of PV plants evaluation carried out during last years. This evaluation usually consists of visual inspection, I-V curve measurement in the fields (the whole plant or selected areas), thermal evaluation by IR imaging, and, in some cases, measurement of the I-V characteristic and thermal behaviour of selected modules in the plant, chosen by the laboratory. It must be noticed that new defects that grow when the module is into operation may appear in modules initially free of them (named as hidden manufacturing defects). Usually some of these hidden defects that only appear in normal operation are not detected in reliability tests (EN61215 or EN 61646)  due to the different operational conditions of the module in the standard tests and in the field (serial-parallel connection of many PV modules, power inverter influence, over voltage on wires, etc.)