Computational Modeling of Photovoltaic Mini-Modules Undergoing Accelerated Stress Testing

Michael Owen-Bellini, Joseph Meert, Peter Hacke, James Hartley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


A finite element model of a four-cell photovoltaic mini-module was developed and compared to experimental results from an accelerated stress test protocol in order to validate that computational models can accurately represent their physical counterparts when subjected to mechanical loading and to assess mini-module representativeness against full scale photovoltaic modules. Deflected shapes across the simulated mini-modules were compared to measured mini-module shapes when subjected to various pressure loads. Displaced mini-module shape results constrained to the experimental protocols of 0.4 mm and 1.1 mm of displacement at the mini-module center were compared to experimental results of full-size modules subjected to module qualification test load levels of 1.0 kPa and 2.4 kPa, to assess if the bending of mini-modules was representative of full-sized modules under the load. Temperature cycling was incorporated into the model to simulate the impacts of stress due to thermal expansion of the backsheet and cells. A preliminary uncertainty analysis was performed to show how variations in material properties and geometric parameters change the simulation results.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 14 Jun 2020
Event47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2020 - Calgary, Canada
Duration: 15 Jun 202021 Aug 2020


Conference47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-79409


  • computational modeling
  • finite element method
  • photovoltaics
  • solid mechanics
  • uncertainty quantification


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