Evaluation of High-Temperature Exposure of Photovoltaic Modules

Sarah Kurtz, Kent Whitfield, G. Tamizhmani, Michael Koehl, David Miller, James Joyce, John Wohlgemuth, Nick Bosco, Michael Kempe, Timothy Zgonena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus Citations


Photovoltaic (PV) modules operate at temperatures above ambient owing to the thermal energy of sunlight. The operating temperature primarily depends on the ambient temperature, incident sunlight, mounting configuration, packaging configuration, and wind speed. In this paper, the cumulative thermal degradation is modeled to follow Arrhenius behavior. The data are analyzed to determine the constant temperature that would give average aging equivalent to the variable temperatures observed in the field. These equivalent temperatures are calculated for various locations using six configurations, providing a technical basis for defining accelerated thermal-endurance and -degradation testing. This data may also be useful as a starting point for studies of the combined effects of elevated temperature and other factors such as UV, moisture, and mechanical stress.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)954-965
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-520-47673


  • long-term degradation
  • qualification tests
  • thermal endurance


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