Partial Shade Stress Test for Thin-Film Photovoltaic Modules

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

12 Scopus Citations


Partial shade of monolithic thin-film PV modules can cause reverse-bias conditions leading to permanent damage. In this work, we introduce a partial shade stress test for thin-film PV modules that quantifies permanent performance loss. The test reproduces shading and loading conditions that may occur in the field. It accounts for reversible light-induced performance changes and for the effects of light-enhanced reverse breakdown. We simulated the test procedure using a computer model that predicts the local voltage, current and temperature stress resulting from partial shade. We also performed the test on three commercial module types. Each module type we tested suffered permanent damage during masked ash testing totaling < 2 s of light exposure. During the subsequent stress test these module types lost 4%{11% in Pmp due to widespread formation of new shunts. One module type showed a substantial worsening of the Pmp loss upon light stabilization, underscoring the importance of this practice for proper quantification of damage.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2015
Event8th Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components and Systems Conference - San Diego, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201510 Aug 2015


Conference8th Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components and Systems Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5J00-64456 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-65715


  • photovoltaic modules
  • Photovoltaics
  • reliability
  • thin film


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