The modern solar cell was invented in 1954. In the spring of 1997, Siemens Solar Industries announced the extension of its PV module warranty – expanding it from 10 years to 25 years. This announcement marked the beginning of an industry standard, setting the 25-year warranty as a basic requirement for project investors trying to understand the full life economic viability of solar projects.
Yet even today, the risks associated with module performance over long periods of time remain fairly unclear. Publicly available and high quality field data on long-term operating performance of photovoltaic (PV) systems is limited. Additionally, field data take many years to generate and by that time the technology has evolved. Because of this, over the past few years, high quality and independent laboratory data have established a critical role in evaluating PV module quality and long-term reliability.
Of the more than 300 GW of installed global PV capacity, 78% has been in the field for less than five years. It will be more than 20 years from now before actual lifetime field data for the majority of today’s capacity can be gathered.
PV ScoreCard By DNVGL