Progress and Strategies for Testing of Materials for Solar Panels: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Research output: NRELPresentation


Accelerated testing is key to confident launch of a new product. However, for new products like solar panels, the best approach is not always clear. The challenge for materials manufacturers is that test times can be long. Also, small-coupon testing may not predict the behavior in the full-size module, but testing of the full-size module is too expensive. As a result, solar panel test standards like IEC 61215 are useful, but are not sufficient. Material manufacturers have needed to define their own test protocols. This presentation will review some historical data (e.g., data show that manufacturers are making great progress toward reducing encapsulant discoloration) and describe advances in material testing (for example, new techniques are being demonstrated on how to more quantitatively assess adhesion, detect tendency for delamination, and understand how encapsulant properties affect other properties like cracking of cells). The International PV Quality Assurance Task Force has been researching climate-specific weathering tests toward the goal of defining international standards that would simplify qualification and quality assurance testing for materials. The status of these tests and the strategies for how to organize these standards to best meet the needs of the industry will be discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2017 Photovoltaic Polymer International Conference, 16 April 2017, Shanghai, China

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5F00-68417


  • delamination
  • materials manufacturers
  • PV Quality Assurance Task Force
  • PV reliability
  • solar panels
  • weathering tests


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