July 5 (Renewables Now) - Germany’s KGAL Investment Management GmbH & Co KG said Thursday it will replace around 73,000 defective modules installed in 33.5 MWp of solar farms in southern Italy by the end of 2019.
This figure includes 17,640 modules already replaced at the Mezzanote solar farm, with seven more sites to follow this year. Installation of new modules will take place at the Ardea, Colleferro Aria, Colleferro Acqua, Colleferro Fuoco, Colleferro Terra, Ginosa and Noce Laccu solar farms.
Without naming the manufacturer, KGAL said the modules it has been forced to replace were produced in 2011 and 2012. Two years later, the firm’s asset managers and technicians noticed that UV radiation caused damage in the film on the back of the modules. As the film serves as electrical insulation, the modules were left without protection against moisture and stopped functioning properly. Eventually, glass breakage and a complete disintegration of the photovoltaic (PV) module was observed.
The German asset manager was able to claim warranty on the modules and have the manufacturer deliver new ones at its own expense.
KGAL effectively repowered the Mezzanote solar farm with more powerful modules so it was left with some free space on the substructures, mechanical engineer Clément Leger explains. The firm is now considering expanding the park.