Highly Accelerated UV Stress Testing for Transparent Flexible Frontsheets

Michael Kempe, Peter Hacke, Joshua Morse, Michael Owen-Bellini, Derek Holsapple, Trevor Lockman, Samantha Hoang, David Okawa, Tamir Lance, Hoi Ng

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


There are many photovoltaic (PV) applications where lighter weight and/or bendable PV power would be beneficial. This includes the curved surfaces of buildings, buildings with weight limitations, boats, automobiles, or other portable applications. In many of these cases, the bending will be only a single occurrence at installation or the amount of bending, even if repeated, is not dramatic. This allows for crystalline silicon modules to be used. For flexible applications, the dominant material for the frontsheet is polyethylene tetrafluoroethylene (PETFE). As a fluoropolymer it resists soiling, is UV stable, and PETFE is a more mechanically durable fluoropolymer. However, in the interests of keeping costs down, less expensive alternative polymers are desirable. In this study, highly accelerated ultraviolet light and heat stresses are applied to candidate materials and the degradation kinetics are determined to provide information to evaluate their suitability for use in a PV application.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 14 Jun 2020
Event47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2020 - Calgary, Canada
Duration: 15 Jun 202021 Aug 2020


Conference47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-77009


  • durability
  • flexible
  • frontsheet
  • polymer
  • reliability
  • ultraviolet


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