Solar performance in the field: Learning from two decades of data

Solar performance in the field: Learning from two decades of data

In the eighteen years since the first 500 kW grid-supported photovoltaic system opened in Kerman California, it has supplied 12 gigawatts of on-grid power. But how efficiently has it supplied that energy over time? What failures has it experienced and costs has it incurred? How do those failures map against key performance indicators?

In short, how do solar systems perform in the real world and what can we learn from their failures?

Critical-Factors-and-Opportunities-in-So Our white paper “Critical Factors and Opportunities in Solar Power electronics: Perspectives from Ontario Industry players”, presents and explores this field data, tabling system problems and their impact on the cost and energy production of PV systems.

In building the paper, we asked industry experts to share their opinions on PV system data and suggest areas of improvement for researchers and entrepreneurs. Areas discussed by our interviewees include: Key performance parameters, the balance between reliability versus costs, central improvements and emergent markets and market opportunities.

We hope that by understanding, identifying, and examining this “real life” data, researchers and manufacturers will be able to design better products, achieve optimum performance and ideally turn today’s failures into tomorrow’s innovation.

Join MaRS for Beyond the Solar Module a discussion on advancements in photovoltaic (PV) technologies. Distinguished speakers will focus on these topics:

  • the state of the market for solar PV balance of systems (BOS)
  • best practices for system monitoring, operations and maintenance
  • challenges and potential solutions for Ontario’s connection and grid constraints, as seen by utilities and developers