Estimating Service Lifetimes of a Polymer Encapsulant for Photovoltaic Modules from Accelerated Testing

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    In this document, most of the emphasis is on A9918 ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) used commercially as the pottant for encapsulating photovoltaic (PV) modules, in which the efficiencies in field-deployed modules have been reduced by 10-70% in 4-12 years. Yet, projections were made by several different research groups in the 1980s that the EVA lifetime could range from 2-100 years. We (1) elucidatethe complexity of the encapsulation problem, (2) indicate the performance losses reported for PV systems deployed since 1981, (3) critically assess the service lifetime predictions for EVA as a PV pottant based on studies by others for which we review the inherent errors in their assumptions about the Arrhenius relation, (4) show how degradation of minimodules in laboratory experiments thatsimulate reality can produce efficiency losses comparable to those in field-degraded PV modules reported in the literature, and (5) outline an acceptable methodology for making a service lifetime prediction of the polymer encapsulant, including the essential need for relating accelerated lifetime testing to real-time testing with a sufficient number of samples.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages4
    StatePublished - 1996
    EventTwenty Fifth IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference - Washington, D.C.
    Duration: 13 May 199617 May 1996


    ConferenceTwenty Fifth IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
    CityWashington, D.C.

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-22518


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