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Solar module index report

John Sedgwick
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2023 PV Module Index Report


RETC, a North American member of the VDE Group, publishes its 5th annual PV Module Index Report.

Tackling the global climate crisis via mass electrification and deep decarbonization requires massive solar investment, manufacturing, and deployment increases. Deploying photovoltaic (PV) power systems at an unprecedented scale across ever-expanding geographies and policy environments using new products or technologies is not without risk—for manufacturers, developers, constructors, investors, and insurers. Industry stakeholders must remain vigilant regarding the technical risks inherent to an accelerated pace of change and the short time frames between innovation and mass production. 

As an independent testing laboratory with the highest level of accreditation, RETC performs technical due diligence that not only benefits solar industry stakeholders but also businesses and communities that require reliable power systems. Its 2023 PV Module Index Report compiles the results of bankability and beyond-qualification tests conducted at RETC’s accredited laboratories over 12 months, spanning Q2 2022 through Q1 2023. Like previous editions, this year’s report catalogs testing sequences and data according to three interrelated and equally influential manufacturing disciplines: module quality, performance, and reliability. 

Within each of these three disciplines, RETC presents performance distribution data for specific highly accelerated stress tests. Project stakeholders can use these comparative test results to specify products or project designs best suited to a particular environment, location, or portfolio. Products that perform well in tests that simulate high wind speeds may not perform well in tests that simulate high humidity. PV module designs resilient to severe hail or snow may not be cost-effective in large utility-scale applications in locations that rarely experience these perils. The goal of a data-driven approach to project development is not to eliminate every risk at any cost but rather to balance risk mitigation based on a holistic cost-benefit analysis.

Throughout the 2023 edition of its PV Module Index Report, RETC showcases 78 instances of high achievement from 19 different manufacturers. Moreover, the report’s industry trends articles and subject matter expert interviews explore sustainable development success stories, increasing solar-plus-storage integration, perovskite-based PV technologies, and the impact of severe hail losses on solar project insurance.

Download the 2023 PVMI Report www.retc-ca.com/pvmi

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