Examination of a Size-Change Test for Photovoltaic Encapsulation Materials (Presentation): NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Research output: NRELPresentation


We examine a proposed test standard that can be used to evaluate the maximum representative change in linear dimensions of sheet encapsulation products for photovoltaic modules (resulting from their thermal processing). The proposed protocol is part of a series of material-level tests being developed within Working Group 2 of the Technical Committee 82 of the International ElectrotechnicalCommission. The characterization tests are being developed to aid module design (by identifying the essential characteristics that should be communicated on a datasheet), quality control (via internal material acceptance and process control), and failure analysis. Discovery and interlaboratory experiments were used to select particular parameters for the size-change test. The choice of a sandsubstrate and aluminum carrier is explored relative to other options. The temperature uniformity of +/- 5C for the substrate was confirmed using thermography. Considerations related to the heating device (hot-plate or oven) are explored. The time duration of 5 minutes was identified from the time-series photographic characterization of material specimens (EVA, ionomer, PVB, TPO, and TPU). Thetest procedure was revised to account for observed effects of size and edges. The interlaboratory study identified typical size-change characteristics, and also verified the absolute reproducibility of +/- 5% between laboratories.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NamePresented at SPIE Optics + Photonics 2012, 12-16 August 2012, San Diego, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5200-56320


  • material characteristics
  • polymers
  • quality assurance
  • shrinkage


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