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20 August 2009 Product reliability and thin-film photovoltaics
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Despite significant growth in photovoltaics (PV) over the last few years, only approximately 1.07 billion kWhr of electricity is estimated to have been generated from PV in the US during 2008, or 0.27% of total electrical generation. PV market penetration is set for a paradigm shift, as fluctuating hydrocarbon prices and an acknowledgement of the environmental impacts associated with their use, combined with breakthrough new PV technologies, such as thin-film and BIPV, are driving the cost of energy generated with PV to parity or cost advantage versus more traditional forms of energy generation. In addition to reaching cost parity with grid supplied power, a key to the long-term success of PV as a viable energy alternative is the reliability of systems in the field. New technologies may or may not have the same failure modes as previous technologies. Reliability testing and product lifetime issues continue to be one of the key bottlenecks in the rapid commercialization of PV technologies today. In this paper, we highlight the critical need for moving away from relying on traditional qualification and safety tests as a measure of reliability and focus instead on designing for reliability and its integration into the product development process. A drive towards quantitative predictive accelerated testing is emphasized and an industrial collaboration model addressing reliability challenges is proposed.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ryan Gaston, Rebekah Feist, Simon Yeung, Mike Hus, Mark Bernius, Marc Langlois, Scott Bury, Jennifer Granata, Michael Quintana, Carl Carlson, Georgios Sarakakis, Douglas Ogden, and Adamantios Mettas "Product reliability and thin-film photovoltaics", Proc. SPIE 7412, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems II, 74120N (20 August 2009);


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