MaRS Library Critical Factors and Opportunities in Solar Power Electronics: Perspectives from Ontario industry players
This white paper examines the issue of photovoltaic (PV) systems reliability, tabling system problems, common PV system component failure and their impact on the cost and energy production of PV systems.
In the eighteen years since the first 500 kW grid-supported photovoltaic system opened in Kerman, California, it has supplied 12 gigawatts of on-grid power. But how efficiently has it supplied that energy over time? What failures has it experienced and costs has it incurred? How do those failures map against key performance indicators? In short, how do solar systems perform in the real world and what can we learn from their failures?
In building the paper, we asked industry experts to share their opinions on PV system data and suggest areas of improvement for researchers and entrepreneurs. Areas discussed by our interviewees include: Key performance parameters, the balance between reliability versus costs, central improvements and emergent markets and market opportunities.
We hope that by understanding, identifying, and examining this “real life” data, researchers and manufacturers will be able to design better products, achieve optimum performance and ideally turn today’s failures into tomorrow’s innovation.