Enertis Applus+ highlights key strategies to ensure quality in solar PV module manufacturing
- Although industry standards improve continuously, an exhaustive process of defining quality specifications and checks is required to mitigate risks associated with the procurement of PV modules.
- The most severe risks come from systematic failures related to improper BOM management, process controls, procedures, or execution of the quality management system.
- The company has organized a webinar on key aspects that should be monitored across all stages of the process, from design to installation.
Enertis Applus+, a global consulting, engineering and quality control firm, reference in the renewable energy and storage solutions sectors, has carried out a webinar today on the risks of solar PV module production, shipping and installation processes that should be monitored in order ensure the quality of this key component of solar PV projects.
As the company experts have pointed out, margins are slim and the strive to decrease costs for the industry is constant. Manufacturers are pressured to pursue cost savings and push for high equipment utilization to offset the fixed costs of running a factory. This, combined with the intricacies of the module production process, results in severe risks from serial and random failures related to improper Bill of Materials (BOM) management, poor process controls, a lack of procedural control, poor execution of the quality management system, insufficient training, or inadequate production oversight. Such risks can result in large product recalls and significant additional costs from schedule setbacks, lost energy production, and human resources used to manage the failures.
The session has also aimed to highlight the keys to mitigate these risks and make sure that the integrity and functionality of solar PV modules aren’t compromised. Enertis Applus+ experts highlighted the importance for a client to have a comprehensive and proper quality assurance and quality control program in place that includes accelerated testing and proper BOM management at the factory: pre-production audits, production supervision, pre-shipment inspections and BOM validation testing. Proper testing and oversite prior to and during solar PV module production is vital, given that there are many defects that are completely hidden once a module is sealed and will not present themselves until early failure or until massive early wear out. At the shipment and installation phases, specific onsite technical inspections can also be carried out.
Regarding solar module design, there are different options that help boost efficiency, reduce degradation, and improve reliability. The industry continues to innovate and push forward technologically, while keeping an eye out for new mechanisms of degradation.
In the last four years, Enertis Applus+ has provided quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) services for 220+ PV projects in 35+ locations worldwide, evaluating 30+ PV module manufacturers, carrying out 230+ factory audits and visiting 125+ workshops.