Accelerated Stress Testing of Hydrocarbon-Based Encapsulants for Medium-Concentration CPV Applications

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems have great potential to reduce photovoltaic (PV) electricity costs because of the relatively low cost of optical components as compared to PV cells. A transparent polymeric material is used to optically couple the PV cell to optical components and is thus exposed to the concentrated light source at elevated temperatures. In this work polymeric encapsulant materials are positioned close to a Xenon arc lamp to expose them to ultraviolet radiation (UV) that is about 42 times as intense as sunlight. Furthermore, different glass types are used as filters to modify the spectral distribution of light in the UV range. A strong sensitivity of non-silicone-based encapsulants to light below ~350 nm is demonstrated. Of all the materials examined in this study, the polydimethyl silicone samples performed the best. The next best material was an ionomer which maintained optical transmission but became photo-oxidized where exposed to the atmosphere.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages10
    StatePublished - 2011
    Event34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC '09) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Duration: 7 Jun 200912 Jun 2009


    Conference34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC '09)
    CityPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-5200-46085


    • CPV
    • stress testing


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