Climate is indeed changing all over the world, resulting in both more “extreme” weather events, and just non-historical weather events on certain areas. Hail, for example. The cost of hail damage has been rising due to the increased severity and frequency of hailstorms. Thus, Hail damage is becoming a bigger problem for solar projects.
Luckily, more PV module manufacturers are stepping up to meet the challenge. PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) publishes an annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard that summarizes results from its PV Module Product Qualification Program (PQP), a comprehensive testing regime that provides empirical data for PV module benchmarking and project-level energy yield and financial models. The Scorecard offers actionable insights for PV module procurement based on data from PVEL’s lab and field testing.
“Hailstorms are growing increasingly frequent in certain regions that otherwise may be ideal for large utility-scale solar sites,” notes Tristan Erion-Lorico of PVEL. “With concerns around the severe risk of damage hail poses to PV modules in these locations, we’re often asked which manufacturers and models did well in our hail testing.”
One company that performed exceedingly well in PVEL hail testing is Boviet Solar Technology Co. The company’s Vega Series 540W Bifacial PV Modules (BVM7612M-XXX-H-HC-BF-DG and BVM7612M-XXX-H-HC-BF) for utility-scale projects were not only named as Top Performers in PVEL’s 2023 PV Module Reliability Scorecard but also demonstrated exceptional performance in PVEL’s Hail Stress Sequence (HSS).
This testing employs lab-manufactured ice balls to subject modules to the equivalent impact energy of natural hail and simulate post–hail impact field conditions to assess potential power loss. The results allow buyers to benchmark the hail resistance of different PV modules.
“Across the past year of hail testing and dozens of modules tested, Boviet Solar’s double glass modules were one out of only a couple module models where neither sample tested experienced breakage in our 50-mm-diameter hail test. We typically see a greater than 85 percent glass breakage rate for double glass modules in this test. Boviet Solar’s glass backsheet modules also showed impressive results,” Erion-Lorico said.
Participation in PVEL’s PQP and Scorecard is voluntary for manufacturers. Boviet Solar’s PV modules are known for their power, performance, and quality and have been rated as Top Performers on PVEL’s Scorecard since 2019.
“We are proud to offer product options that can suit the need of developers looking to bring economies of scale to investors through the excellent solar resource and available land hail-prone locations can offer,” Yanli Shi, Director of Quality, Boviet Solar. “The high hail resistance of our modules can help reduce insurance claims requiring large deductibles that push damage risk onto project stakeholders and instead ensure successful long-term operations.”
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