In the solar industry, there are well established technical due diligence firms to guide you which “bankable” PV modules to buy. However, most of these organizations do not make their evaluations and reports readily available on the internet. Luckily, PVEL Top Performers Scorecard and BNEF PV Module Tier 1 List are two of the most recognized organizations to make their findings to the public each year. There’s also a lesser known report: PV Module Index Report, by RETC
What is PVMI (PV Module Index Report by RETC)?
Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC) is an engineering services and certification testing provider for renewable energy products headquartered in Fremont, California.
RETC has created an annual PV Module Index report (PVMI) to focus on the following goals:
- Creating a report that is free & accessible to all
- Providing specific, data-backed findings
- Reporting noteworthy performance & trends
Objectively highlighting manufacturers’ accomplishments and showing who is best at manufacturing product in the industry. Ultimately, it boils down to this: if manufacturer achievements are based on a typical ranking system, it doesn’t necessarily mean that each and every product that the manufacturer makes is good. It also doesn’t guarantee that the manufacturer is able to make consistently good products. It just means that they were on that ranking and that their appearance on it could be based on just one criterion. A manufacturer on a ranking system could fail 90% of all the tests but do amazingly well on one test, and it’s still going to appear in that ranking.
The problem is obvious, so how would RETC address this:
To resolve this issue, RETC’s PVMI report is made to be as direct as possible. It’s as simple as this: manufacturers selected as a High Achiever by RETC have to tick off all the checkboxes, not just the best in one category. We hope that you enjoy reading about the latest in PV Module trends & the high-achievers we’ve vetted as high-performing, high-reliability in all aspects.
So what’s in their report this year? Let’s take a look.
Top five overall performers on 2021 PVMI Report!
In the 2021 Edition, RETC has recognized 11 different manufacturers in the process
of showcasing 42 examples of high achievement in manufacturing. All factors considered, the best of the best are:
- Q CELLS •
- JA Solar •
- Jinko Solar
- LONGi Solar •
- Trina Solar
HIGH ACHIEVEMENT IN RELIABILITY
- DAMP HEAT TEST: JA Solar • LONGi Solar • Trina Solar
- DYNAMIC MECHANICAL LOAD SEQUENCE: JA Solar • LONGi Solar • Trina Solar
- POTENTIAL-INDUCED DEGRADATION: LONGi Solar
HIGH ACHIEVEMENT IN PERFORMANCE
- MODULE EFFICIENCY: Hansol Technics • Hanwha Q Cells • JA Solar • LONGi Solar
REC Solar • Yingli Solar
- PTC-TO-STC RATIO: Hanwha Q Cells • JA Solar • LONGi Solar • REC Solar • Yingli Solar
- PAN FILE CHARACTERIZATION: JA Solar • Jinko Solar • Hyundai Solar • LG • LONGi Solar
Trina Solar • Yingli Solar
- LID RESISTANCE: Hanwha Q Cells • JA Solar • Jinko Solar • LONGi Solar • Trina Solar
- LeTID RESISTANCE: Hanwha Q Cells • JA Solar • Jinko Solar • LONGi Solar, Trina Solar • Yingli Solar
HIGH ACHIEVEMENT IN QUALITY
- THRESHER TEST: Hanwha Q Cells • JA Solar • Jinko Solar • LONGi Solar
Tesla • Trina Solar
The list of Top Performers on PVMI Report is fairly well-known among solar EPCs engineers. Other than PVEL, BNEF, there are also other well established technical due diligence firms:
- RINA (formerly OST Energy),
- ATA Renewables,
- Wood Plc,
- Black & Veatch,
- STS Certified,
- Clean Energy Associates,
- PI Berlin,
- Leidos Engineering,
- the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT)
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