Aging solar panels

Some 15% of Germany’s solar capacity – 10 GW – could be affected. That equates to up to €2 billion ($2.18 billion) in replacement costs, with only a fraction of the affected panels likely detected thus far…

HaWe’s Weinreich estimated the 10 GW figure, including 2 GW of severely-affected panels installed between 2010 and 2012; and 6 GW installed between 2004 and 2014, that feature other backsheet types and are expected to fail before their 20-year lifespan…

pv magazine‘s EPC source says warranties only apply if manufacturers are still keen to sell in Germany. Repairs were suggested to the source’s company at one solar site, they add, “but that seemed futile to us and to the expert we commissioned.”

Replacement is a better option, even if it involves a rebuild to ensure old and new modules are not mixed on a string. While longer-term performance warranties should apply to safety-related shutdowns – rather than product guarantees – litigation is costly.