Impact of solar panel failures on you and your PV system

Failures have occurred in installations with less than 5 years of field experience.


Solar panel failures have bigger implications than just wear and tear on your system. Weaknesses inherent to unproven backsheets threaten the long-term performance, durability and ROI of solar panels and solar panel generation. These weaknesses are significant risks to your reputation, personal safety, and the security of your financial investment.

Unproven Materials Impact on Solar Safety and Performance

As materials degrade (as seen with PA, PET, and PVDF), mechanical property strength goes down. As a result, backsheet failures occur, including degradation, embrittlement, cracking, and delamination.

One major mechanical risk of these solar panel failures is electrical safety. Unproven backsheets decrease electrical safety and can cause electrical insulation failure. In the field, electrical current leaking to the frame can become a safety hazard and potential ground fault, putting your panels and your personnel at risk.

To avoid these solar panel risks, field-proven materials (such as Tedlar® PVF film-based backsheets) should be selected. Tedlar® based backsheets provide superior insulation and weatherability, reducing system defects. Minimizing defects improves electrical safety and helps reduce ground faults, resulting in increased system availability and reduced operational expenses.

Unproven Materials Impact on You and Your Finances

PV module defects increased from 19% in 2013 to 48% in 2015, according to research conducted by TUV, putting at risk the reliable delivery of this solar capacity. When systems fail, replacement costs go up – a significant unplanned expense.

And the replacement of defective solar systems, such as those made with PVDF, PET, and PA, increase a system’s Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).Replacing 6% of modules in a residential system was found to be equivalent to an annual 1% degradation rate.

Solar panel failures also impact reputational and business factors. Poor materials lower resale value and the trustworthiness of the supplier, in addition to forcing the new owner to conduct costly testing to ensure reliable performance.

In the end, system lifetime is key to investment returns. The more reliable the system lifetime is – and the power provided over that lifetime – the more reliable and certain the investment. DuPont materials have been vigorously tested in extreme environments[MS1]for over 30 years, helping avoid the failures that plague lesser proven materials while delivering you proven power and lasting value, day after day.