Oregon’s SolarWorld is the first PV manufacturer to offer a linear performance guarantee on all modules installed as of 2010.
The new approach guarantees first-year operation at a minimum of 97 percent of nominal rated output, and from the second year of operation warrants that output will not decline by more than 0.7 percent per year.
After 25 years of operation, the module is guaranteed to have at least 80.2 percent of the rated nominal output. Traditional module guarantees use a tiered performance approach, typically covering 90 percent of nominal output for the first 10 years, then 80 percent for years 11 to the end of the warranty period.
The linear performance guarantee that SolarWorld pioneered increases PV plant investors’ confidence by warranting against the possibility of significant, unpredictable and nonlinear drops in output over the plant’s operational lifetime. SolarWorld is also rolling out “plus sorting” in the US. Modules will be sorted in 5 W increments and shipped only if they flash test in the positive tolerance range. Flash-test data will be included with all module shipments.