Industry Facing PV Degradation Prediction Tool and Database to Enable a 50-Year Life Module

Research output: NRELPresentation


The Photovoltaic (PV) industry constantly aims for lower costs, higher-efficiency cells, and improved module designs. These trends lead to using new materials, designs, and manufacturing processes, resulting in a continually changing technological landscape. These changes can potentially introduce new, unknown degradation mechanisms and failure modes that are difficult to diagnose, analyze, test, and model. This introduces uncertainty into the expected lifetime of PV modules of 25 years. Furthermore, research efforts aim for up to 50 years of service life while keeping performance degradation at a minimum for decades of outdoor weathering - putting additional pressure on improving the accuracy of long-term durability and reliability assessments. Here there is a need to organize the existing degradation data into an accessible format and to provide industry relevant tools for extrapolation from laboratory to field conditions. Because the core of this type of analysis involves calculations that are complicated but ubiquitous for many degradation processes, an enhanced predictive modeling framework will facilitate the analysis to help researchers keep up with the rapid pace of technological changes. In this work, we present an online tool that can be used to search for and analyze degradation information and extrapolate PV module performance and durability to field exposure. A graphical user interface will aid in the understanding of the results. The prediction tool will be built modular and published as open source, enabling users to expand on the existing framework. We use an integration pipeline approach that allows us to leverage weather data from the National Solar Radiation Database to perform geospatial degradation analysis in the US and worldwide. Our repository will contain various degradation models and material parameters suitable for the reliability and durability assessment of materials and components deployed outdoors. We hope to become a repository that can be used for weathering and degradation analysis for various applications beyond the PV industry.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the ASTM Workshop on Weathering and Durability Testing, 28 June 2023, Denver, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5K00-86705


  • degradation
  • DuraMAT
  • open source
  • solar photovoltaics
  • standards


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