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PV Deployment and Reliability

The work conducted during NCPRE-II in All India Surveys has revealed that solar modules in hot climates experience higher degradation rates, with notable failure mechanisms including Potential Induced Degradation (PID), cell cracks, interconnect degradation, hotspots, and diode/junction box failures. NCPRE contributed significantly to addressing these issues by determining activation energies for encapsulant lifetime prediction under UV exposure and developing accelerated tests, such as the new bypass diode test for hot climates, which has been incorporated into the international standard IEC TS 63126. Despite 25-30 year module warranties and the emergence of new international standards, ensuring the desired performance of photovoltaic (PV) modules over such extended durations in various Indian regions remains challenging. Factors contributing to this challenge include the introduction of new PV technologies, hot and harsh climates, deployment in diverse configurations (floating, trackers, Agri-PV, BIPV), changing bills of materials to match cost reductions, and a diversified supply chain for materials and components in crystalline silicon PV modules.

Therefore, in order to reduce the cost of Operation & Maintenance and diagnostics in PV plants, identify potential reliability issues in emerging technologies before large scale adoption, find solutions to observed reliability issues in commercial PV plants, to develop new standards to reduce the probability of occurrence of these issues in the first place and to innovate new technologies for supporting the startups and industry in this area, following activities are being planned by the PV Deployment and Reliability group of NCPRE Phase-III.

  • Assessment and prediction of field performance and reliability of PV power plants in Indian conditions for Bankable PV deployments and Technology Readiness Level (TRL) acceleration of emerging technologies through evaluation at newly created field test sites operated by NCPRE, IIT Bombay
  • Perform 3 Thematic Field Surveys (each with at least 200 modules) in collaboration startup companies and industry targeting the identified areas of interest. Publish 2 All India Survey Reports based on the data from thematic surveys
  • Develop a Field Test Site spread over 2-5 acres for the Controlled Assessment of New PV Technologies and Provide Feedback to the Indian PV Community regarding performance benchmarking of various emerging PV technologies
  • Technology Transfer of 2 Novel PV Testing Technologies / Equipment to Industry / Startups