Performance, Reliability and User Experience

  • Jahn U
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This chapter focuses on the evaluation of the technical performance of photovoltaic (PV) systems. Existing evaluation procedures are based on the European guidelines and the IEC Standard 61724. This chapter discusses results, experiences, and lessons learnt from the analysis of grid-connected PV systems. The PV systems investigated have an installed capacity between 1 kWp and 3 MWp adapted to various applications and located worldwide. The chapter illustrates the operational behavior of different grid-connected PV systems. The chapter presents an overview of performance indicators. Trends in long-term performance and reliability are also discussed in detail. Lessons learnt from PV systems that provided well-documented failure reports are discussed. In these systems, power conditioner units often caused problems over the first year of installation. After problems of the utility interactive inverters had been solved, the system operated well for many years. A second high failure rate period of inverters was observed after 8-10 years of system operation. The replacement of "old" power conditioner units caused long repair times, and thus high operational losses. Good contacts between system user, installer, and manufacturer of the system components helped to reduce delays in the replacement of the faulty parts.

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  • Ulrike Jahn

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