The introduction of new technologies has plummeted PV module prices in the last few years. From discussing achieving grid parity for solar PV power generation, it has now proven to be the most competitive power source in many countries. As solar PV has reached economies of scale, it has led to greater penetration in the energy mix. With the growing prosperity of solar PV modules, concerns over their quality, performance, and warranty claims have been noted.
Thorough scrutiny and inspection of all the processes involved in translating the raw material into a finished product is essential to ensure that quality is an integral part of the process. The testing of incoming raw material till the factory acceptance test of PV modules; all of this is well documented and the client is provided with lot-wise reports highlighting the non-conformities during material traceability, manufacturing, tests performed, packaging, and shipping.
Balance of System (BoS) components encompasses all the components of the project except the solar PV modules. The solar PV modules comprise of the major share on project expenditure sheet, whereas the BoS components cost approximately 40% of the total project costs.
The significance of procuring the most apt technology for a project has often overshadowed the importance of BoS components, quality of BoS components are often sacrificed for meeting budgetary requirements by EPCs and Developers, and therefore the need to perform factory level inspection of these components is easily overlooked. This practice has at times costed heavily in the long run, often leading to catastrophic plant failure.