Towards Validation of Combined-Accelerated Stress Testing Through Failure Analysis of Polyamide-Based Photovoltaic Backsheets: Article No. 2019

Michael Owen-Bellini, Stephanie Moffitt, Archana Sinha, Ashley Maes, Joseph Meert, Todd Karin, Chris Takacs, Donald Jenket, James Hartley, David Miller, Peter Hacke, Laura Schelhas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Novel methods for advancing reliability testing of photovoltaic (PV) modules and materials have recently been developed. Combined-accelerated stress testing (C-AST) is one such method which has demonstrated reliable reproduction of some field-failures which were not reproducible by standard certification tests. To increase confidence and assist in the development of C-AST, and other new testing protocols, it is important to validate that the failure modes observed and mechanisms induced are representative of those observed in the field, and not the product of unrealistic stress conditions. Here we outline a method using appropriate materials characterization and modelling to validate the failure mechanisms induced in C-AST such that we can increase confidence in the test protocol. The method is demonstrated by applying it to a known cracking failure of a specific polyamide (PA)-based backsheet material. We found that the failure of the PA-based backsheet was a result of a combination of stress factors. Photo-oxidation from ultra-violet (UV) radiation exposure caused a reduction in fracture toughness, which ultimately lead to the cracking failure. We show that the chemical and structural changes observed in the backsheet following C-AST aging were also observed in field-aged samples. These results increase confidence that the conditions applied in C-AST are representative of the field and demonstrates our approach to validating the failure mechanisms induced.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-79155

Keywords

  • combined-accelerated stress testing
  • photovoltaic modules
  • reliability testing

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