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Title: Adhesion and Debonding Kinetics of Photovoltaic Encapsulation in Moist Environments

Debonding of photovoltaic (PV) encapsulation in moist environments is frequently reported but presently not well understood or quantified. Temperature cycling, moisture, and mechanical loads often cause loss of encapsulation adhesion and interfacial debonding, initially facilitating back-reflectance and reduced electrical current, but ultimately leading to internal corrosion and loss of module functionality. To investigate the effects of temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH) on the kinetics of encapsulation debonding, we developed a mechanics-based technique to measure encapsulation debond energy and debond growth rates in a chamber of controlled environment. The debond energy decreased from 2.15 to 1.75 kJ m-2 in poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) (EVA) and from 0.67 to 0.52 kJ m-2 in polyvinyl butyral when T increased from 25 to 50 degrees C and 20 to 40 degrees C, respectively. The debond growth rates of EVA increased up to 1000-fold with small increases of T (10 degrees C) and RH (15%). To elucidate the mechanisms of environmental debonding, we developed a fracture-kinetics model, where the viscoelastic relaxation processes at the debonding-tip are used to predict debond growth. The model and techniques constitute the fundamental basis for developing accelerated aging tests and long-term reliability predictions for PV encapsulation.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications; Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 2
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE encapsulation debonding; interfacial adhesion; moisture; delamination; durability