Fragmentation of Photovoltaic Backsheets After Accelerated Weathering Exposure

Michael Kempe, Yadong Lyu, Jae Kim, Thomas Felder, Xiaohong Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


The backsheet of a photovoltaic (PV) module functions primarily to provide safe operation through electrical insulation and protect the interior from environmental exposure. For most applications, backsheets consist of opaque, but highly reflective, films that protect inner layers from degradation from ultraviolet (UV) light. Backsheets can fail if they delaminate or form cracks under strain. In a PV module, the maximum strains that can be applied are only on the order of a few percent. The greatest strains are likely to be highly localized around topographical features. Therefore, to assess the likelihood of a crack being initiated in a backsheet, we apply small amplitude strains to backsheet films under microscopic examination using a laser scanning confocal microscope. This allows us to monitor both the depth and density of cracks as well as the onset strain. Here we perform these measurements after exposure to UV light.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 111044
Number of pages9
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-77101


  • Backsheet
  • Crack
  • Fragmentation
  • Photovoltaic
  • Tensile testing


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