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Virtual Insight on Quality @ All-Energy Australia 2020

The video recording is available!


With PV modules being sold today with longer warranties than ever before the PV installer community should feel safe in offering their customers assurances that the products will stand the test of time. However, when modules underperform or fail, making claims on those warranties is rarely straightforward.

Some failures, such as backsheet degradation, can be visible to the naked eye – but their impact on long-term performance can be disputed. Other performance issues, such as PID, LID or LeTID, may be detected by monitoring, power electronics or on-site testing, however even here manufacturers may require lengthy processes to be followed before issuing replacements or reimbursement.

Given these circumstances, where does it leave the installer? How can this liability, often extending to the many thousands of modules, be mitigated? pv magazine Australia’s “Insight on Quality” session will address this, through the discussion of a case study that both shocks and astounds.

The Insight on Quality is a part of the All Energy 2020 digital conference and brings together an unparalleled team of team of technologists and market participants to discuss this vital issue.

The video recording is available!



14:00 – 14:01

Welcome and introductions

Jonathan Gifford, Editor in Chief Global, pv magazine group and Founding Editor, pv magazine Australia

14:01 – 14:05

QUALITY CASE STUDY: What does degradation on the rooftop look like? And what to do if you think you've found it?

Jonathan Gifford presents the case

14:05 – 14:10

PRESENTATION 2: Data driven diagnostics

Nigel Morris, Business Development Director, Solar Analytics

14:10 – 14:15

PRESENTATION 3: Root cause analysis for module degradation

George Touloupas, Director of Technology and Quality, Clean Energy Associates

14:15 – 14:30

DISCUSSION GROUP 1: Degradation detection, analysis, and testing

George Touloupas, Director of Technology and Quality, Clean Energy Associates
Michelle McCann, Partner, PV Lab Australia
Nigel Morris, Business Development Director, Solar Analytics

14:30 – 14:35

PRESENTATION 4: R&D update on LID and LeTID

Alison Ciesla, Project Leader of Industry Collaborations, UNSW

14:35 – 14:40

PRESENTATION 5: Degradation mitigation in manufacturing

Richard Qian, Product Engineer, LONGi Solar

14:40 – 14:50


Alison Ciesla, Project Leader of Industry Collaborations, UNSW
Richard Qian, Product Engineer, LONGi Solar

14:50 – 14:55

PRESENTATION 6: Effective connections, cabling and connectors in focus

Eric Ast, Head of Business Development Alternative Energies, Stäubli Electrical Connectors

14:55 – 15:00

PRESENTATION 7: Common BoS failures leading to system underperformance

Ben Macias, Vice President Sales, Shoals Technologies Group

15:00 – 15:05

DISCUSSION GROUP 3: BoS components and underperformance

Ben Macias, Vice President Sales, Shoals Technologies Group
Eric Ast, Head of Business Development, Alternative Energies, Stäubli Electrical Connectors

15:05 – 15:10

PRESENTATION 8: Warranties, wholesalers, and liabilities

Durmus Yildiz, Manager Director, Baywa r.e. Solar Systems

15:10 – 15:15

PRESENTATION 9: Enabling DG installers to provide kWh guarantees

Jan Napiorkowski, Global Head of Clean Energy, Ariel Re

15:15 – 15:30

DISCUSSION GROUP 4: Warranties, guarantees, and rooftop liabilities

Durmus Yildiz, Manager Director, Baywa r.e. Solar Systems
Jan Napiorkowski, Global Head of Clean Energy, Ariel Re
Geoff Bragg, Managing Director, Sunman Solar Pty Ltd


Eric Ast | Head of Business Development Alternative Energies | Stäubli Electrical Connectors

Eric Ast is the Head of Business Development Alternative Energies at Stäubli Electrical Connectors AG (formerly known as Multi-Contact AG), a technology leader and pioneer in the fields of electrical and fluid connectors, robotics and textile machinery since its foundation in 1892. Eric Ast joined Stäubli in 2008 and has over 12 years of experience in different senior leadership roles internationally and holds a B.Sc. in Marketing and International Business. Ast also served as President of SOLARUNITED since 2014. SOLARUNITED is the only trade association focusing on Quality, Reliability, Innovation, and PV Technology.

Geoff Bragg | Managing Director | Sunman Solar

Geoff Bragg has lived with off-grid solar for over 20 years and has been working in the industry since 2002, holding accreditation for both on and off-grid design and installation. He is managing director of consultancy firm Sunman Solar Pty Ltd & installation supervisor for New England Solar Power, a residential & commercial PV retailer in the Northern Tablelands, regional NSW. Geoff is regularly involved in developing Professional Development training for industry, also holding a Cert IV Training & Assessment qualification . Geoff is Vice Chairman of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and Secretary of the Smart Energy Council.

Alison Ciesla | Project Leader of Industry Collaborations | UNNSW

Alison is a Scientia Research Fellow at UNSW Sydney. Through collaboration with industry, she specilizes in understanding defects and hydrogen in commercial solar cells, especially regarding the degradation and reliability of PV modules.

Jonathan Gifford | Founding Editor | pv magazine Australia

While overseeing pv magazine‘s Australian website, Jonathan also reports on equipment supply, thin film and Australasia for the global print edition and online. With a background in broadcast journalism for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Deutsche Welle

Ben Macias | VP Sales | Shoals Technologies group

Ben Macias is currently the Vice President of Sales for Shoals Technologies Group, the global leader in electrical balance of systems components. The company was founded in 1996 and has deployed over 40 GW of products globally. Ben was previously Sales Director at Nextracker, where he led sales and business development in the Eastern US; establishing significant brand recognition that led to 10X market share growth in the region. Prior to joining Nextracker, he served as Vice President of Business Development for SolarBOS, where he spearheaded the development and implementation of SolarBOS’ utility-scale sales and marketing strategy, resulting in the company achieving 2X revenue growth.

Nigel Morris | Business Development Director | Solar Analytics

Nigel Morris has been involved in the solar industry for more than 25 years and is currently employed as the Director of Business Development at Solar Analytics. He has been involved in almost every aspect of the solar industry including manufacturing, installing, selling and designing solar, monitoring and storage systems around the world. In 2018 Nigel was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award by the Clean Energy Council. Prior to joining Solar Analytics he was: - Chief Executive Officer of RoofJuice, a premium solar retailer - Founder of Solar Business Services acting as a consultant, analyst, industry advisor and business coach - Was a senior manager at BP Solar for almost twelve years.

Michelle McCann | Partner | PV Lab Australia

Michelle has worked in solar energy since 1996. She is currenlty a consultant to the PV industry and the co-founder, CEO and director of PV Lab Australia. She was also the CEO and co-founder of Spark Solar Australia, an Australian company that was seed funded by a group of German experts in the PV field, with the mission of raising funds to establish solar manufacturing in Australia.

Jan Napiorkowski | Global Head of Clean Energy | Ariel Re

Jan developed the insurance market for renewable energy performance warranties since 2009. After heading Munich Re’s APAC Renewable Energy unit, since 2015 Jan leads Ariel Re's Clean Energy practice specialized in a wide range of Performance Guarantee solutions for utility scale and C&I portfolios of solar, waste to energy and storage projects. Jan is a trained theoretical physicist and holds a MBA in Insurance and Risk Management.

Richard Qian | Product Engineer | LONGi Solar

Richard Qian has been in the solar industry for more than 8 years. After graduating from UNSW, he started as Project Manager at TUV Rheinland Shanghai in charge of solar panel certification and testing. Later he cofounded a company called Terra Solar which focuses on providing technical services to solar farm owner/EPC e.g. solar panel in-line QA, factory inspection etc. Before joining LONGi Solar Australia, Richard was Technical Lead at Solar Juice supporting our sales and customers. He is currently responsible for all technical related matters on LONGi’s products.

George Touloupas | Director of Technology and Quality | Clean Energy Associates

George Touloupas is the Director of Technology and Quality at the solar PV quality assurance, supply chain management and engineering services firm Clean Energy Associates. At CEA he leads projects centered on developing CEA’s internal quality standards, researching new production technologies, and developing new services. George has an extensive background in PV manufacturing, as well as downstream experience, working among others, prior to joining CEA, as the Chief Operating & Technical Officer at Philadelphia Solar in Jordan and Technical & Operations Director at Recom.

Durmus Yildiz | Managing Director | BayWa r.e. Solar Systems

Durmus Yildiz worked as a solar system designer and installer for several years in Germany before moving to Australia in late 2000. Since then he has been at the forefront of Australia’s solar industry, working for Solar Sales before eventually starting his own company, Solarmatrix in 2007. Solarmatrix merged into the BayWa r.e. group in late 2016 and now trades under BayWa r.e. Solar Systems Pty Ltd. Durmus attributes the exceptional growth and success that the company has seen over the past few years to his highly experienced team that have established strong relationships with installers and suppliers around Australia.

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