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Title: Durability of polymeric encapsulation materials in a PMMA/glass concentrator photovoltaic system

Abstract

We examined the durability of polymeric encapsulation materials using outdoor exposure at the nominal geometric concentration of 500 suns. The results for 36-month cumulative field deployment are presented for materials including: poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate), (EVA); polyvinyl butyral (PVB); ionomer; polyethylene/polyoctene copolymer (PO); thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU); poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS); poly(diphenyl dimethyl siloxane) (PDPDMS); and poly(phenyl-methyl siloxane) (PPMS). Measurements of the field conditions including ambient temperature and ultraviolet (UV) dose were recorded at the test site during the experiment. Our measurements for the experiment included optical transmittance (with subsequent analysis of solar-weighted transmittance, UV cut-off wavelength, and yellowness index), mass, visual photography, photoelastic imaging, and fluorescence spectroscopy. While the results to date for EVA are presented and discussed, examination here focuses more on the siloxane materials. A specimen recently observed to fail by thermal decomposition is discussed in terms of the implementation of the experiment as well as its fluorescence signature, which was observed to become more pronounced with age. Modulated thermogravimetry (allowing determination of the activation energy of thermal decomposition) was performed on a subset of the siloxanes to quantify the propensity for decomposition at elevated temperatures. Supplemental, Pt-catalyst- and primer-solutions as well as peroxide-cured PDMS specimens were examined to assess the sourcemore » of the luminescence. Furthermore, our results, including the change in optical transmittance, observed failure modes, and subsequent analyses of the failure modes are described in the conclusions.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). National Center for Photovoltaics
  2. Daido Steel Co., Nagoya (Japan)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1328997
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5J00-66588
Journal ID: ISSN 1062-7995
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Progress in Photovoltaics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 1062-7995
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; durability; polymer; reliability; UV degradation; weathering

Citation Formats

Miller, David C., Kempe, Michael D., Muller, Matthew T., Gray, Matthew H., Araki, Kenji, and Kurtz, Sarah R.. Durability of polymeric encapsulation materials in a PMMA/glass concentrator photovoltaic system. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/pip.2796.
Miller, David C., Kempe, Michael D., Muller, Matthew T., Gray, Matthew H., Araki, Kenji, & Kurtz, Sarah R.. Durability of polymeric encapsulation materials in a PMMA/glass concentrator photovoltaic system. United States. doi:10.1002/pip.2796.
Miller, David C., Kempe, Michael D., Muller, Matthew T., Gray, Matthew H., Araki, Kenji, and Kurtz, Sarah R.. 2016. "Durability of polymeric encapsulation materials in a PMMA/glass concentrator photovoltaic system". United States. doi:10.1002/pip.2796. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1328997.
@article{osti_1328997,
title = {Durability of polymeric encapsulation materials in a PMMA/glass concentrator photovoltaic system},
author = {Miller, David C. and Kempe, Michael D. and Muller, Matthew T. and Gray, Matthew H. and Araki, Kenji and Kurtz, Sarah R.},
abstractNote = {We examined the durability of polymeric encapsulation materials using outdoor exposure at the nominal geometric concentration of 500 suns. The results for 36-month cumulative field deployment are presented for materials including: poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate), (EVA); polyvinyl butyral (PVB); ionomer; polyethylene/polyoctene copolymer (PO); thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU); poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS); poly(diphenyl dimethyl siloxane) (PDPDMS); and poly(phenyl-methyl siloxane) (PPMS). Measurements of the field conditions including ambient temperature and ultraviolet (UV) dose were recorded at the test site during the experiment. Our measurements for the experiment included optical transmittance (with subsequent analysis of solar-weighted transmittance, UV cut-off wavelength, and yellowness index), mass, visual photography, photoelastic imaging, and fluorescence spectroscopy. While the results to date for EVA are presented and discussed, examination here focuses more on the siloxane materials. A specimen recently observed to fail by thermal decomposition is discussed in terms of the implementation of the experiment as well as its fluorescence signature, which was observed to become more pronounced with age. Modulated thermogravimetry (allowing determination of the activation energy of thermal decomposition) was performed on a subset of the siloxanes to quantify the propensity for decomposition at elevated temperatures. Supplemental, Pt-catalyst- and primer-solutions as well as peroxide-cured PDMS specimens were examined to assess the source of the luminescence. Furthermore, our results, including the change in optical transmittance, observed failure modes, and subsequent analyses of the failure modes are described in the conclusions.},
doi = {10.1002/pip.2796},
journal = {Progress in Photovoltaics},
number = 11,
volume = 24,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}

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  • Cited by 1
  • Durability of Polymeric Polymeric Encapsulation Encapsulation Materials for a PMMA/glass Concentrator Photovoltaic System
  • The durability of polymeric encapsulation materials was examined using outdoor exposure at the nominal geometric concentration of 500 suns. The results for 36 months cumulative field deployment are presented for materials including: poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate), (EVA); polyvinyl butyral (PVB); ionomer; polyethylene/ polyoctene copolymer (PO); thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU); poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS); poly(diphenyl dimethyl siloxane) (PDPDMS); and poly(phenyl-methyl siloxane) (PPMS). Measurements of the field conditions including ambient temperature and ultraviolet (UV) dose were recorded at the test site during the experiment. Measurements for the experiment included optical transmittance (with subsequent analysis of solar-weighted transmittance, UV cut-off wavelength, and yellowness index), mass, visual photography, photoelasticmore » imaging, and fluorescence spectroscopy. While the results to date for EVA are presented and discussed, examination here focuses more on the siloxane materials. A specimen recently observed to fail by thermal decomposition is discussed in terms of the implementation of the experiment as well as its fluorescence signature, which was observed to become more pronounced with age. Modulated thermogravimetry (allowing determination of the activation energy of thermal decomposition) was performed on a subset of the siloxanes to quantify the propensity for decomposition at elevated temperatures. Supplemental, Pt-catalyst- and primer-solutions as well as peroxide-cured PDMS specimens were examined to assess the source of the luminescence. The results of the study including the change in optical transmittance, observed failure modes, and subsequent analyses of the failure modes are described in the conclusions.« less
  • Polymeric encapsulation materials are typically used in concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) modules to protect the cell from the field environment. Because it is physically located adjacent to the cell, the encapsulation is exposed to a high optical flux, often including light in the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) wavelengths. The durability of encapsulants used in CPV modules is critical to the technology, but is presently not well understood. This work seeks to identify the appropriate material types, field-induced failure mechanisms, and factors of influence (if possible) of polymeric encapsulation. These results will ultimately be weighed against those of future qualification andmore » accelerated life test procedures.« less