New tests reveal issues in quality

” New tests reveal issues in quality ” March 2013

Consumers generally do not understand the issues that arise with photovoltaic (PV) modules and their construction. As a result, there has been a flood of modules that have come on the market claiming to be just as good as, or better, than other ones. Well- known names for other consumer products have also brought products onto the market and consumers assume that they must be good.

The fact is they are not always good, and new extensive testing indicates that the problems tend to surface in around seven to eight years. The new testing is being done to prove the bankability of solar modules and manufactures long-term warranty claims. Pacific Islands Construction wants to keep you informed, and the following is what these new tests are finding that indicate that not all modules are equal:

-New tests indicate that there is a problem called “snail trails”. The Phenomenon is so called because of the appearance of dark trails on the modules’ surface causing hot spots and underperformance. More than 25 manufacturers have been found so far to have this problem. The cause of it has not been fully determined, but likely factors include micro- cracks in cells, cheaper components, weaker frames and poor construction.

-The tests have indicated that many modules seem to have been built to meet only the minimum standards, and these new, more stringent tests can predict the life expectancy of solar modules. Few modules are actually passing these new tests, and this information is being used by financial institutions who are investing in 20 year solar farm projects to protect their

Pacific Islands Construction believes that it is our responsibility to provide what is right for our customers. It provides options inclusive of purchase, leasing and a PPA. The company can be reached at 841-7756 if you are interested in discussing your PV needs.