Various common crystalline silicon cell technologies were exposed to UVA radiation (1.24 Wm-2 nm-1 at 340 nm peak) on the front and back faces at 45 degrees Celsius for periods up to 3000 h, representing about 3 y of solar exposure in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The resulting degradation of the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current is presented. Of the various cell types examined, significant levels of degradation were seen in all cases. Less degradation was generally found after UV irradiation of cell fronts and older cell types, whereas a bifacial PERC type exposed on the rear showed about 25% degradation in short circuit current, attributable to lack of a diffused surface field. Selected cells were exposed to UV irradiation with the addition of long pass UV filters to replicate UV-absorbers in encapsulants. Modern cell designs are sensitive to UV-ID because of reduced or eliminated front and back surface field and increased dependence on high quality surface passivation. Single transformation of the independent variable (t, kW h/m^2) could be used to achieve a linear model of the data to extrapolate to 50 y. Solar Advisor Model (SAM) shows appropriate filtering of UV-irradiation can improve LCOE and net present value of plant. Some advanced cell types are seen to be UV-resistant (cell level solutions also exist). Solutions therefore exist on the cell, glass, and encapsulant level. Changes over time in each of these would also need to be considered (solarization, encapsulant browning...).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the 38th Edition of the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC), 6-10 September 2021, Lisbon, Portugal

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5K00-80994


  • PV modules
  • reliability
  • UV irradiation


Dive into the research topics of 'Value Proposition of UV-Absorbers in PV Module Encapsulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this