Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate Potential Problems for Photovoltaic Packaging

Michael D. Kempe, Gary J. Jorgensen, Kent M. Terwilliger, Tom J. McMahon, Cheryl E. Kennedy, Theodore T. Borek

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

28 Scopus Citations


Photovoltaic (PV) devices are typically encapsulated using ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) to provide mechanical support, optical coupling, electrical isolation, and protection against environmental exposure. Under exposure to atmospheric water and/or ultraviolet radiation, EVA will decompose to produce acetic acid, lowering the pH and increasing the surface corrosion rates of embedded devices. Even though acetic acid is produced at a very slow rate, it may not take much to catalyze reactions that lead to rapid module deterioration. Another consideration is that the glass transition of EVA, as measured using dynamic mechanical analysis, begins at temperatures of about -15°C Temperatures lower than this can be reached for extended periods of time in some climates. Because of increased moduli below the glass transition temperature, a module may be more vulnerable to damage if a mechanical load is applied by snow or wind at low temperatures. Modules using EVA should not be rated for use at such low temperatures without additional low-temperature mechanical testing beyond the scope of UL 1703.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2006
Event2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, WCPEC-4 - Waikoloa, HI, United States
Duration: 7 May 200612 May 2006


Conference2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, WCPEC-4
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWaikoloa, HI

Bibliographical note

For preprint version see NREL/CP-520-39915

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-520-41318


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