The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Solar Standardization

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.

The Good

  1. Consumers will know what they are getting
  2. Mass production is easier so parts will become cheaper
  3. Design requirements are clear

The Bad

  1. Discourages creativity
  2. Inhibits customization of parts
  3. Standards may not meet customer’s needs

The Ugly

  1. Expenses in verifying parts meet the required standards
  2. Increased quality assurance oversight
  3. Bureaucracy in creating and changing standards

Read more about solar standardization in a recent article on CSP today.

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