Evaluation of Bifacial Modules and PV Technologies with Combined-Accelerated Stress Testing

Peter Hacke, Akash Kumar, Ashwini Pavgi, Sergiu V. Spataru, Kaushik Roy-Choudhury, GovindaSamy TamizhMani

Research output: NRELPresentation


In view of the increasing interest and market share of bifacial cells and modules, suitable substrates such as glass and transparent backsheets along with ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyolefin elastomer (POE) encapsulants were examined in combined-accelerated stress testing (C-AST) to evaluate and compare degradation modes. Testing with both monofacial and bifacial cells, we found glass-glass modules with monofacial cells led to greater grid finger breakage than those with polymeric backsheets. This is attributed to previous x-ray topography work showing higher stress in cells in glass-glass modules than glass backsheet modules. Consistent with the objectives of C-AST, which stresses modules at levels corresponding to the limits seen in the natural environment, we observed the UV-fluorescence signatures of modules tested in C-AST (considering the degradation associated with developing chromophores, moisture penetration and photobleaching effects) to be like those in fielded modules, more so than other chamber stress testing implemented for comparison. Finally, among multiple cell degradation modes that we observed such as light-induced degradation (LID), we differentiated susceptibility to potential-induced degradation (PID) on the back of the bifacial Passivated Emitter Back Cells (PERC) in C-AST. Confirming with ex-situ tests, we found polarization-type PID most prevalent in glass/glass modules with EVA as would be anticipated considering the greater leakage current through such module encapsulation. Unlike PID tests performed in the dark, which can lead to false positive PID test results, field-representative illumination is experienced by the modules on the front and back side while -1200 V system voltage is applied in C-AST, supporting the conclusion that this module type would be susceptible to PID in the field.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the 8th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC), 26-30 September 2022, Milan, Italy

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5K00-84177


  • bifacial modules
  • c-ast
  • glass/glass
  • photovoltaic


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