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Downstream Partners

Best Practices for Module Procurement

Researching top-performing PV modules is only one aspect of risk mitigation for solar PV assets. The Kiwa Group supports downstream project stakeholders at every step of project development, construction, and operation.

Below are Kiwa’s recommended best practices for module procurement:

Procure Top-Performing Bills of Materials

Each Top Performer listed in the Scorecard represents a unique bill of materials (BOM). PVEL supports its network of downstream partners with BOM information for the products we test. PVEL’s downstream partners use this data to specify BOMs in PV module supply agreements. Contact us to access test reports and BOM data for Top Performers.

Audit and Monitor Factories

Sophisticated module purchasers require factory audits, or independent inspections of a manufacturer’s production lines, before PV module procurement to ensure suppliers meet quality standards. Monitoring PV module production during the manufacturing process also helps prevent quality issues in the modules produced for a specific project and ensures that the PQP-tested BOM is being used. These services are performed by PI Berlin and others in the Kiwa Group.

Validate Quality

Testing statistically significant samples of PV modules during module production helps buyers identify and remedy quality issues in the modules being deployed to their sites. This process, known as batch testing, requires shipping a randomly selected subset of PV modules from the factory to PVEL or other Kiwa Group labs for assessment. This can also be performed via third party oversight in the manufacturer’s in-factory lab.

Verify Performance

Testing PV modules upon delivery to the project site and prior to system commissioning helps identify damage that has occurred during transportation or installation. PVEL and other Kiwa Group companies provide on-site testing for utility-scale solar projects across much of the globe. When performance or reliability issues arise in the field, PVEL and the Kiwa Group are available to diagnose problems and provide guidance for remediation.

Become a PVEL ‘Premium Partner.’

Subscribers to PVEL’s Premium Partner Program receive a quarterly spreadsheet of all PVEL PQP test results.

This allows for quickly benchmarking manufacturers and model types via the industry’s largest database of reliability and performance testing results (module manufacturers can opt-in to share their results, others are shared anonymously). Users can customize the pass/fail criteria to identify BOM combinations that meet your quality requirements.

Subscribers also receive other insights from PVEL’s experts on a quarterly basis. Contact us to subscribe as a Premium Partner.

Factory Insights – PI Berlin Reports a Growing Trend in Cell Defects

Go beyond model types. Procure PV modules with top-performing bills of materials.

Join PVEL’s downstream partner network.

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Continue Exploring the 2023 Scorecard