Degradation in PV Encapsulation Transmittance: An Interlaboratory Study Toward a Climate-Specific Test
Reduced optical transmittance of encapsulation resulting from ultraviolet (UV) degradation has frequently been identified as a cause of decreased PV module performance through the life of installations in the field. The present module safety and qualification standards, however, apply short UV doses only capable of examining design robustness or 'infant mortality' failures. Essential information that might be used to screen encapsulation through product lifetime remains unknown. For example, the relative efficacy of xenon-arc and UVA-340 fluorescent sources or the typical range of activation energy for degradation is not quantified. We have conducted an interlaboratory experiment to provide the understanding that will be used towards developing a climate- and configuration-specific (UV) weathering test. Five representative, known formulations of EVA were studied in addition to one TPU material. Replicate laminated silica/polymer/silica specimens are being examined at 14 institutions using a variety of indoor chambers (including Xe, UVA-340, and metal-halide light sources) or field aging. The solar-weighted transmittance, yellowness index, and the UV cut-off wavelength, determined from the measured hemispherical transmittance, are examined to provide understanding and guidance for the UV light source (lamp type) and temperature used in accelerated UV aging tests. Index Terms -- reliability, durability, thermal activation.
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- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
- Report Number(s):
- DOE Contract Number:
- Resource Type:
- Research Org:
- NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
- Sponsoring Org:
- USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE); Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 14 SOLAR ENERGY Reliability; Durability; Thermal activation
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