Using Accelerated Testing to Predict Module Reliability

John H. Wohlgemuth, Sarah Kurtz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

51 Scopus Citations


Long-term reliability is critical to the cost effectiveness and commercial success of photovoltaic (PV) products. Today most PV modules are warranted for 25 years, but there is no accepted test protocol to validate a 25-year lifetime. The qualification tests do an excellent job of identifying design, materials, and process flaws that are likely to lead to premature failure (infant mortality), but they are not designed to test for wear-out mechanisms that limit lifetime. This paper presents a method for evaluating the ability of a new PV module technology to survive long-term exposure to specific stresses. The authors propose the use of baseline technologies with proven long-term field performance as controls in the accelerated stress tests. The performance of new-technology modules can then be evaluated versus that of proven-technology modules. If the new-technology demonstrates equivalent or superior performance to the proven one, there is a high likelihood that they will survive versus the tested stress in the real world.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2011
Event37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2011 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: 19 Jun 201124 Jun 2011


Conference37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5200-50645 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5200-55767


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