Although solar PV systems are very reliable, conditions in Australia can be very harsh, and so equipment can fail, and installations can be suboptimal. However, very little information is available on the types of problems that occur, where they occur and how frequently.
Under an APVI research project, a web-based survey has been developed for anyone who owns, operates, installs or inspects a PV system and/or has detected a fault/problem with whole or part of the system.
This ‘PV Module and System Fault Reporting Portal’ has been developed to increase the understanding of the PV industry about the types of problems that are found with different system components when they are exposed to the Australian environment. It will help to improve future PV system design, component selection, product development and product approvals for Australian conditions.
A summary of the information collected will be made publicly available through reports on the Australian PV Institute (APVI), Clean Energy Council (CEC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) websites, and will be used in journal publications. Neither personal information nor individual system information be disclosed to anyone outside the project team or presented in any publications without written permission.
This work is supported by ARENA, the APVI and the Clean Energy Council, with partners UNSW, Murdoch University and CAT Projects. It contributes to the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Task 13: Performance and Reliability of PV Systems and the International PV Module Quality Assurance Task Force through advice on the development of monitoring guidelines and a climate based PV module rating scheme.
The survey can be found here.