Test-to-Failure of Crystalline Silicon Modules: Preprint

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Accelerated lifetime testing of five crystalline silicon module designs was carried out according to the Terrestrial Photovoltaic Module Accelerated Test-to-Failure Protocol. This protocol compares the reliability of various module constructions on a quantitative basis. The modules under test are subdivided into three accelerated lifetime testing paths: 85..deg..C/85% relative humidity withsystem bias, thermal cycling between 40..deg..C and 85..deg..C, and a path that alternates between damp heat and thermal cycling. The most severe stressor is damp heat with system bias applied to simulate the voltages that modules experience when connected in an array. Positive 600 V applied to the active layer with respect to the grounded module frame accelerates corrosion of the silver gridfingers and degrades the silicon nitride antireflective coating on the cells. Dark I-V curve fitting indicates increased series resistance and saturation current around the maximum power point; however, an improvement in junction recombination characteristics is obtained. Shunt paths and cell-metallization interface failures are seen developing in the silicon cells as determined byelectroluminescence, thermal imaging, and I-V curves in the case of negative 600 V bias applied to the active layer. Ability to withstand electrolytic corrosion, moisture ingress, and ion drift under system voltage bias are differentiated.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages10
    StatePublished - 2010
    Event35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
    Duration: 20 Jun 201025 Jun 2010


    Conference35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
    CityHonolulu, Hawaii

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-5200-47755


    • accelerated lifetime testing
    • ALT
    • corrosion
    • crystalline silicon (x-Si) (c-Si)
    • electrolytic corrosion
    • leakage currents
    • modules
    • photovoltaics (PV)
    • PV
    • test-to-failure


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