ASQ - Electronics and Communications Division

Reliability Assessment of High-Concentration Photovoltaic Trackers

Abstract: 2010 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must first be obtained from the IEEE.

Ten years of accelerated reliability test data for trackers used in high-concentration photo-voltaic power systems have been generated, collected and analyzed. The life test plan was developed based on potential failure modes of the tracker hardware, which are dominated by wear-out mechanisms. The number of units on test and the test duration are based on a 2- parameter Weibull distribution. The data collected include motor currents, voltages, temperatures and vibrations for gears and bearings. Time-based and frequency-based analyses are both used to assess reliability. Equations used to help identify degrading bearings and gears were based on vibration frequency analysis. The results show both wear-in and wearout mechanisms. Hardware times-to-failure distributions and tracker reliability estimates were developed.

Keywords: RAMS 2011 Proceedings - Accelerated Life Testing - Weibull - Electronics

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