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PV system reliability - Preliminary findings from the PV module and system fault reporting website

Zaman, A., Parlevliet, D., Calais, M., Djordjevic, S., Pulsford, S., Bruce, A. and Passey, R. (2014) PV system reliability - Preliminary findings from the PV module and system fault reporting website. In: Asia Pacific Solar Research Conference, 8 - 10 December, Sydney, Australia

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Abstract

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system installations are enjoying a continued and remarkable growth in Australia. Currently there are over a million PV systems installed in the country with an installed capacity of over 3.5GW, the majority of which are small grid-connected rooftop systems of less than 10kW capacity. Australian conditions can be very harsh, contributing to early equipment failure rates, while installation of small systems can be suboptimal,and often without monitoring. Documentation of faults with PV products and installations in Australia is limited and there is little publically available information in regards to the types of problems that occur, where and why they occur, how frequently and if they are an ongoing issue.

The reliability of PV systems is a strong determinant of cost effectiveness, and critical to continued investor confidence. A ‘PV Module and System Fault Reporting Portal’ (PVFRP) has been developed to increase the understanding of the PV industry and other stakeholders
about the types of problems that are found with different system components in the Australian environment. The PVFRP contains a survey to collect data from owners, operators, installers and inspectors of PV system who have detected a fault/problem with whole or part of a system. Analysis and dissemination of the Portal data will help to improve future PV system design, component selection, product development and product approvals for Australian conditions. The survey is available at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/pvwebportal.

This paper presents the initial findings of the survey after five months of operation. The number of responses received thus far is not large enough to reach to any substantive conclusions, however, they are in agreement with the research outputs achieved elsewhere. This information will help the industry address the challenges that PV systems, components and related service delivery are facing in Australia. The information presented here will be updated as more data become available and will be published on a regular basis.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/37762
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