Accelerated Aging of PV Cables - The Development of Methods Towards Combined-Accelerated Stress Testing

Research output: NRELPoster


PV cables allow the collection and distribution of electricity from modules to the energy grid. Durable cabling allows continuous operation of PV installations. Cables with a life less than that of the modules must be replaced - reducing electricity generation and adding to the system operating expense. We have examined the durability of a variety of representative cable samples using artificial UV weathering (IEC TS 62788-7-2) and combined accelerated stress testing (C-AST). Jackets in this study include PV-rated (polyolefin), building wire (PVC/PA), and multi-conductor (rubber, as in PV trackers), with some examples of black and red cables. Characterizations at read points include appearance (camera and optical microscope), surface roughness (linear profilometry), instrumented indentation, surface morphology (SEM), chemical composition (EDS), thermal decomposition (TGA), phase transition (DSC), crystalline structure (WAXS), and polymer chemical structure (FTIR). Complimentary examinations confirm damage to the external and interior layer(s) of less durable samples, including changes in morphology (e.g., cracking), chemistry (e.g., oxidation), structure, and mechanical performance (e.g., through-thickness modulus and hardness). The results may be generally compared to other examples from the field (PV installations) or after accelerated testing (IEC 61215). The methods in this study are presently being applied in a follow-on C-AST study, incorporating both dynamic and kinematic fixtures.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the PVSEC-34, 6-10 November 2023, Guangdong, China

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5K00-86969


  • balance of systems
  • BoS
  • C-AST
  • cable
  • Dektak
  • durability
  • nanoindentation
  • reliability


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