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Ins and Outs of PV Solar Module Warranty in India

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Solar Modules Limited Warranty

Solar Modules Limited warranty, also known as Module warranty, is one of the key aspects while selecting the modules to be used for a solar project. Various module manufacturers offer different warranties with various terms and conditions which need to be taken care of. The module buyers or end customers who are getting installed solar plants need to have a thorough knowledge of various types of warranties and their riders/conditions so that their money invested could become safer. So keeping this in mind the importance of the subject, eSun Solar have endeavoured to provide detailed overview of the warranties provided by solar module manufacturers.

Module Limited warranty can be classified in to two categories on the type of warranties offered by module manufacturers:

  • Product Warranty
  • Power Warranty (Also known as Performance or Output warranty)

Product Warranty

Module manufacturers provide limited product warranty that the Modules along with respective DC connectors & cables, if any, will be free from defects in design, materials and workmanship under normal installation and usage conditions. Material defects shall not include normal wear and tear like stains, scratches, rust, spots or any aesthetic defect. Product warranty applicable for below defined period is depending upon the module manufacturers and type of modules.
a) 5 year product warranty for ‘cut cell’ modules (up to 140 Wp module)
b) 5 / 10/ 12 year product warranty for ‘full cell’ modules

Module manufacturer, at its sole discretion,may follow the below options if any module fails to conform to the warranty terms.
a) Repair the module.
b) Replace The module or
c) Refund the depreciated module value to the customer as a compensation

Power (Performance) Warranty

A module manufacturer provides Limited Power Warranty that the Modules will provide below ‘linear actual power output’ within below time period from the ‘warranty start’ date. The output at the end of first year would be 97/ 97.5% and linear power output would depend upon the module manufacturers’ warranty terms and module technology used.

For Standard Glass-Backsheet type Modules
a) 90% Power output at the end of 10 / 12 years
b) 80% Power output at the end of 25 /27 years

For Glass to Glass type and Glass to Glass Bifacial type Modules
a) 90% Power output at the end of 12 years
b) 82.5/83.5% Power output at the end of 30 years

under Standard Testing Conditions (STC) of 25°C, 1.5 AMG,1000 W/m2.

Warranty starting date is considered the date of invoicing of modules or six months after the module manufacturing date (Mostly mentioned in the serial number of module).

The theoretical table for the Actual power output with respect to years in %age to the Defined Rated output of the module is given below depending on the various Module Technologies.

TechnologyMonoMultiGlass to GlassGlass to Glass Bifacial
YearPower Output %Power Output %Power Output %Power Output %
Year 197.097.597.098.0
Year 296.496.896.597.5
Year 395.796.296.097.0
Year 495.195.595.596.5
Year 594.494.895.096.0
Year 693.894.294.595.5
Year 793.193.594.095.0
Year 892.592.893.594.5
Year 991.892.193.094.0
Year 1091.291.592.593.5
Year 1190.590.892.093.0
Year 1289.990.191.592.5
Year 1389.289.591.092.0
Year 1488.688.890.591.5
Year 1587.988.190.091.0
Year 1687.387.589.590.5
Year 1786.686.889.090.0
Year 1886.086.188.589.5
Year 1985.385.488.089.0
Year 2084.784.887.588.5
Year 2184.084.187.088.0
Year 2283.483.486.587.5
Year 2382.782.886.087.0
Year 2482.182.185.586.5
Year 2581.481.485.086.0
Year 2680.880.884.585.5
Year 2780.180.184.085.0
Year 28Power Output is still generated by the Module but No warranty is being provided by the module manufacturer due to chances of high power loss which could lead to less output.83.584.5
Year 2983.084.0
Year 3082.583.5

But the Limited Module warranty comes along with various riders/conditions as described by the module manufacturer. Module warranty is therefore not so easy to get and is subjected to various exclusions. These need to be taken care of by the module buyers or end customers so that the warranty terms and conditions do not get violated as defined by Module Manufacturers.

Below are the major conditions which violate the warranty terms

  • Warranty claim not received by the Module Manufacturer within the stipulated time period as defined in manufacturer warranty conditions.
  • Failure to provide proof of module purchase.
  • Tampering, abuse, neglect, misuse or accident.
  • No warranty claim if the serial number of the module is found damaged, altered, removed or tampered.
  • Improper installation, application or use or service.
  • Removed and reinstalled at any location other than the physical location in which it was originally installed.
  • Improper transportation, handling, storage, alteration.
  • Exposure to voltage in excess to the maximum system voltage at the lowest temperature of the place or power surges.
  • Used in manner non-compliance with instructions in the installation manual.
  • Installed on mobile platforms (other than single- or dual-axis trackers).
  • Repair or modifications like new mounting holes etc by someone other than an approved service technician of the same module manufacturer.
  • Installation in direct contact with corrosive agents or salt water; pest damage or offshore and marine applications.
  • In case of glass breakage, there should be no external cause for the breakage of glass and warranty applicable only on breakage caused by the glass or module.
  • Force majeure, power failure surges, installation failure, lightning, flood, fire, natural disaster, vandalism, tampering, accidental breakage, or other events outside module manufacturer’s control.
  •  Negligence or willful misconduct or other improper acts or omissions of the customer, its employees or agents, or other third parties.
  • Any other instructions not followed as per the guidelines in the installation manual.
  • The foregoing remedies shall be Module Manufacturer’s sole and exclusive obligation, and the customer’s sole and exclusive remedy, for any module’s failure to conform to the Limited Warranty, and any repair or replacement shall not extend the warranty period set forth herein.

Conclusion

Various module manufacturers offer different solar module warranties depending on the type of module and their terms & conditions. The product warranty offered by various module manufacturers varies from 5 to 12 Years but mostly offered for 10 years/ 12 years in case of full/half cut cell modules nowadays. The Power output warranty offered by various module manufacturers is 90% after 10/12 Years and 80% after 25 / 27 years for standard glass back sheet modules while extra warranty of 90% output after 12 years and 82.5% at the end of 30 years in Glass to Glass type modules depending upon their product offerings. So the Module buyer or end customer should definitely prefer modules having product or performance warranty for a longer number of years but should also consider warranty conditions and thoroughly read the warranty statement and installation manual of module manufacturers before deciding the module ‘make’ to be purchased.

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Sahil
Sahil
2 months ago

Detailed insights about module warranty

Rahul Sharma
Rahul Sharma
2 months ago

Thanks for making the complex subject into a more simple and understandable…well done..

Bhuvnesh Pathak
Bhuvnesh Pathak
2 months ago

EPC