Everyone knows the running joke that nothing today is made as well as it used to be. Most appliances these days are expected to last approximately ten years, but it feels like they never do. Solar systems need to last much longer, though, and they need to do it outdoors through a wide variety of weather conditions.
To help ensure that solar systems hold up, Sunrun and SolarBuyer, a provider of quality assurance services for the solar industry, have announced their collaboration on a comprehensive program for further managing and improving solar panel and inverter quality. The improved program builds upon Sunrun’s history of panel testing and quality assurance.
Sunrun and SolarBuyer proactively developed the program, which incorporates a rigorous qualification and ongoing monitoring process of inverters, PV modules, manufacturers, and manufacturing facilities that significantly exceeds current international standards. The program is designed to independently assure the quality of the hardware being installed on customers’ rooftops by Sunrun and its ecosystem of nationwide partners.
“We build and service thousands of solar systems a month and are devoted to providing the best customer experience possible by installing only high quality equipment from world-class manufacturers who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to quality and consistency,” said Paul Winnowski, Sunrun’s chief operating officer. “With SolarBuyer, we are providing quality to consumers that is unmatched in the industry, which will play an ever-increasing role in customer referrals and the adoption of home solar by even more families. Homeowners can feel assured that they have a high quality system on their roof that will reliably produce clean electricity for the long term.”
The program, which was originally developed by SolarBuyer, includes assessing the design, material, and manufacturing quality of panels and inverters to ensure that the long-term performance and reliability requirements of Sunrun systems will be met. This is achieved with a combination of laboratory testing, factory auditing, and regular inspection of finished hardware on a quarterly and annual basis.
“We are excited to be partnering with Sunrun and supporting their efforts to ensure solar system quality. The program developed for Sunrun was based on a clear understanding of their needs and tailoring a solution to fit their goals,” said Ian Gregory, managing director for SolarBuyer. “We have nearly a century of cumulative experience with panels that gives us an edge in helping customers like Sunrun who need to understand what makes a good quality solar system. And we have demonstrated a consistent track record by performing more than 140 factory audits on more than 65 different mainstream suppliers, and independently inspecting thousands of solar components a year.”
As the industry matures, this kind of quality control is increasingly important. “It is vitally important that leading residential solar companies proactively manage the quality of their systems for the benefit of homeowners relying on that system to run their daily lives from turning on their lights to charging their devices and running appliances. Sunrun also recognizes that taking the lead on quality will support the long-term sustainable growth of the industry,” said Winnowski.