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Title: An end of service life assessment of PMMA lenses from veteran concentrator photovoltaic systems

Abstract

The optical performance of poly(methyl methacrylate) lenses from veteran concentrator photovoltaic modules was examined after the end of their service life. Lenses from the Martin-Marietta and Intersol module designs were examined from the 'Solar Village' site near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as well as the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, followed by the Arizona Public Service Solar Test and Research (APS-STaR) center in Tempe, Arizona. The various lens specimens were deployed for 20, 27, and 22 years, respectively. Optical characterizations included lens efficiency (Solar Simulator instrument), material transmittance and haze (of coupons cut from veteran lenses, then measured again after their faceted back surface was polished, and then measured again after the incident front surface was polished), and direct transmittance (as a function of detector's acceptance angle, using the Very Low Angular Beam Spread ('VLABS') instrument). Lens efficiency measurements compared the central region to the entire lens, also using hot and cold mirror measurements to diagnose differences in performance. A series of subsequent characterizations was performed because a decrease in performance of greater than 10% was observed for some of the veteran lenses. The optimal focal distance of the lenses was quantified using the Solar Simulator, and then correlated to lens curvaturemore » using a recently developed measurement technique. Surface roughness was examined using atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Facet geometry (tip and valley radius) was quantified on cross-sectioned specimens. As a result, molecular weight was compared between the incident and faceted surfaces of the lenses.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [4];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [3];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
  3. Instituto de Energia Solar - Univ. Politecnica de Madrid (IES-UPM), Madrid (Spain)
  4. Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE), Freiburg (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1353006
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1396909
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5J00-67732
Journal ID: ISSN 0927-0248
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; S2013/MAE2780
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 167; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0927-0248
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; AFM; CPV durability; Fresnel lens; PMMA; SEM; reliability

Citation Formats

Miller, David C., Khonkar, Hussameldin I., Herrero, Rebeca, Antón, Ignacio, Johnson, David K., Hornung, Thorsten, Schmid-Schirling, Tobias, Vinzant, Todd B., Deutch, Steve, To, Bobby, Sala, Gabriel, and Kurtz, Sarah R. An end of service life assessment of PMMA lenses from veteran concentrator photovoltaic systems. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.solmat.2017.03.031.
Miller, David C., Khonkar, Hussameldin I., Herrero, Rebeca, Antón, Ignacio, Johnson, David K., Hornung, Thorsten, Schmid-Schirling, Tobias, Vinzant, Todd B., Deutch, Steve, To, Bobby, Sala, Gabriel, & Kurtz, Sarah R. An end of service life assessment of PMMA lenses from veteran concentrator photovoltaic systems. United States. doi:10.1016/j.solmat.2017.03.031.
Miller, David C., Khonkar, Hussameldin I., Herrero, Rebeca, Antón, Ignacio, Johnson, David K., Hornung, Thorsten, Schmid-Schirling, Tobias, Vinzant, Todd B., Deutch, Steve, To, Bobby, Sala, Gabriel, and Kurtz, Sarah R. Tue . "An end of service life assessment of PMMA lenses from veteran concentrator photovoltaic systems". United States. doi:10.1016/j.solmat.2017.03.031. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1353006.
@article{osti_1353006,
title = {An end of service life assessment of PMMA lenses from veteran concentrator photovoltaic systems},
author = {Miller, David C. and Khonkar, Hussameldin I. and Herrero, Rebeca and Antón, Ignacio and Johnson, David K. and Hornung, Thorsten and Schmid-Schirling, Tobias and Vinzant, Todd B. and Deutch, Steve and To, Bobby and Sala, Gabriel and Kurtz, Sarah R.},
abstractNote = {The optical performance of poly(methyl methacrylate) lenses from veteran concentrator photovoltaic modules was examined after the end of their service life. Lenses from the Martin-Marietta and Intersol module designs were examined from the 'Solar Village' site near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as well as the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, followed by the Arizona Public Service Solar Test and Research (APS-STaR) center in Tempe, Arizona. The various lens specimens were deployed for 20, 27, and 22 years, respectively. Optical characterizations included lens efficiency (Solar Simulator instrument), material transmittance and haze (of coupons cut from veteran lenses, then measured again after their faceted back surface was polished, and then measured again after the incident front surface was polished), and direct transmittance (as a function of detector's acceptance angle, using the Very Low Angular Beam Spread ('VLABS') instrument). Lens efficiency measurements compared the central region to the entire lens, also using hot and cold mirror measurements to diagnose differences in performance. A series of subsequent characterizations was performed because a decrease in performance of greater than 10% was observed for some of the veteran lenses. The optimal focal distance of the lenses was quantified using the Solar Simulator, and then correlated to lens curvature using a recently developed measurement technique. Surface roughness was examined using atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Facet geometry (tip and valley radius) was quantified on cross-sectioned specimens. As a result, molecular weight was compared between the incident and faceted surfaces of the lenses.},
doi = {10.1016/j.solmat.2017.03.031},
journal = {Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells},
number = C,
volume = 167,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Apr 04 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue Apr 04 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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  • The optical performance of poly(methyl methacrylate) lenses from veteran concentrator photovoltaic modules was examined after the end of their service life. Lenses from the Martin-Marietta and Intersol module designs were examined from the 'Solar Village' site near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as well as the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, followed by the Arizona Public Service Solar Test and Research (APS-STaR) center in Tempe, Arizona. The various lens specimens were deployed for 20, 27, and 22 years, respectively. Optical characterizations included lens efficiency (Solar Simulator instrument), material transmittance and haze (of coupons cut from veteran lenses, then measured again after their facetedmore » back surface was polished, and then measured again after the incident front surface was polished), and direct transmittance (as a function of detector's acceptance angle, using the Very Low Angular Beam Spread ('VLABS') instrument). Lens efficiency measurements compared the central region to the entire lens, also using hot and cold mirror measurements to diagnose differences in performance. A series of subsequent characterizations was performed because a decrease in performance of greater than 10% was observed for some of the veteran lenses. Surface roughness was examined using atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Facet geometry (tip and valley radius) was quantified on cross-sectioned specimens. Molecular weight was compared between the incident and faceted surfaces of the lenses.« less
  • 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,more » 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.« less
  • Cited by 1