Concerns Rise Regarding the Selection of PV Modules in India

Thursday, March 7, 2013 0 comments

Photovoltaic module occupies the highest cost sharing in the overall cost of the project. Return on investment for investors largely depend on performance of solar module after certain years. It is the only asset that generates real money for the investor. Obviously ROI has been getting highest attention on procurement of PV panels.

Since solar market is still emerging worldwide, ideas about its development are untested; every year new issues arise, it may be regarding to overcapacity or the securitization of domestic market. Especially in India it is immature in nature. Many developers are never exposed to such situations, they are lagging in planning and commissioning of the project, procuring and testing of the equipment. 

In that background selection of PV panels becomes hard task. Conventionally developers’ buy solar panel based on warranty, Insurance and company’s balance sheet or past records. But recently those criteria seem to be falling down as many plants are raising issues with their PV panels. A warranty associated with PV panels does not cover most of the field failures, insurance can backup warranties but suitable insurance are highly expensive for the projects. Another important concern is that, to claim for warranty after 10-15 years will only be valid if the Module Manufacturer are still existing. But the biggest concern nowadays, is that most of the manufacturing unites are shutting down.

Many buyers only start their quality assessment when the modules arrive on plant, and this creates few serious issues. Also some developers saw the fault in Panels, only after the installation.  

Increasing demand and failing manufacturing companies are triggering more and more concerns about the selection criteria of PV modules at the time of procuring. We are expecting more caution in this area in near future.

Article Written by Sumit V Nawathe
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