KYOCERA Solar Modules Tested to Show Only Minimal Power Output Degradation After 20 Years in the Field

France‘s first grid-tied solar power installation recently lab tested, demonstrating reliable long-term performance

09/10/12

September 10, 2012
Kyocera Corporation‘s (President: Tetsuo Kuba) solar modules installed in a French village to the east of Lyon recently marked a special anniversary — the modules, which were used for France‘s first grid-tied solar power generating system, have been producing clean energy for the last 20 years. Furthermore, recent laboratory testing of the pioneering system confirms that Kyocera‘s solar modules, which were installed in 1992, show only minimal degradation in performance. The 945-watt system, which is installed on a roof in the small village of Lhuis, showed only 8.3% degradation in performance from its original power output level. The performance of this system is a testament to the extraordinary long-term reliability and performance of Kyocera modules.

The recent test on the solar modules was carried out by the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) — which is connected with the State Solar Research Institute INES — and the certification laboratory CERTISOLIS. The inspectors removed a sampling of the solar modules from the installation and tested them under laboratory conditions in accordance with international standards. Kyocera cooperated with the study by providing the original technical specification sheets, as well as a reference module. The evaluation instruments were then matched to the customary methods used at the time of manufacturing. The results showed that the modules still perform at 91.7% of their original maximum power output.

Pioneering, High-Quality Solar Technology

The 945-watt installation was commissioned in 1992 by Hespul, a French non-profit organization involved in the promotion of renewable energies and energy efficiency. The installation consists of 15 modules each with an output of 63 watts. In the constantly innovating field of solar energy, 20 years is a long time, which makes the long-term performance and efficiency of these modules manufactured with the technology available at that time particularly remarkable. For the past 20 years, as a leader in innovative solar module technology, Kyocera has been able to further enhance the reliability and efficiency of its modules.

As one of the pioneers in the field of renewable energies, Kyocera started R&D of solar energy as early as 1975, and the company is one of only a few in the solar industry that can lay claim to real-life, tried-and-tested solar power generating systems which have been operating with high performance for upwards of 28 years straight, including such installations in Japan (est. 1984), Sweden (est. 1984), and China (est. 1985).

Further illustrating their high quality and reliability, Kyocera‘s solar modules were the first in the world to be certified by TUV Rheinland's Long-Term Sequential Test; and the non-profit Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP‘s potential induced degradation (PID) test demonstrated that Kyocera‘s modules did not show any degradation after being subjected to high voltage stress testing.