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Join us for an opportunity to engage with three leading scientists on photovoltaic performance and reliability. ASU students, faculty and researchers are encouraged to participate in the entirety of the summit, but can participate in one or more session talks.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Memorial Union (MU), Alumni Lounge 202 [map]
Register online—space is limited.

Defining a Technical Basis for Confidence in PV Investments
Sarah Kurtz, Reliability Group Manager, Principal Scientist, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)

We would like to predict how long a module will last as a function of the climate and the system design and to be able to quantify our confidence in that prediction. Today, we have an excellent set of qualification tests that detect most issues and the knowledge of how to achieve excellent reliability, but there is room for improvement. This talk will propose additional tests with supporting evidence of how these predict better durability in the field. A path to a comprehensive rating system and, ultimately, to service life predictions will be described.

Reliability and Durability of PV Modules: Lessons Learned in Hot-Dry Climates
Mani G. TamizhMani, Director, Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory, Arizona State University

With low module price ($0.5/watt) and long lifetime (>20 years), the grid parity goal can be achieved. The current module price is as low as $0.70/watt, and is expected to reach $0.50/watt in the next few years. However, the lifetime of more than 94% of the installed modules which have been installed only in the last five years is yet to be demonstrated. The lessons learned on the reliability and durability issues of older power plants would be greatly useful for the lifetime prediction of newer power plants. This talk will present the lessons learned on the degradation rates,soiling losses and failure modes of older (12-18 years) PV power plants installed in hot-dry climatic conditions.

Reliability of Space Photovoltaics
David Wilt, Tech Advisor, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory,Kirtland Air Force Base, NM

Nearly every spacecraft is powered by photovoltaics. Given the huge expense in building and launching satellites, plus the virtual inability to repair spacecraft on-orbit, high reliability power subsystems are particularly critical. This presentation will discuss the sources of challenges to space photovoltaic reliability, the implications of power system failure, industry practices employed to address and assure reliability and finally a discussion of recent spacecraft photovoltaic anomalies.

Questions: Contact Rebecca Davis at 480-965-9572 or

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