Standardization of solar equipment has been a hot topic in recent months in the solar community.
The difficulty with standardizing parts is that solar is not a mature industry. In fact, solar technology is changing so rapidly that the speed of technology is outpacing installations (at least in R&D, not necessarily in adoption). Like the computer revolution, as soon as you’ve purchased the latest state-of-the-art solar product another superior technology is introduced. As you can imagine, it would be quite challenging to write industry standards when in 6 months time that part might be obsolete.
There are good, bad & ugly parts of solar standardization.
- Consumers will know what they are getting
- Mass production is easier so parts will become cheaper
- Design requirements are clear
- Discourages creativity
- Inhibits customization of parts
- Standards may not meet customer’s needs
- Expenses in verifying parts meet the required standards
- Increased quality assurance oversight
- Bureaucracy in creating and changing standards
Read more about solar standardization in a recent article on CSP today.