Worldwide Physics-Based Lifetime Prediction of c-Si Modules Due to Solder-Bond Failure

Reza Asadpour, Muhammed Tahir Patel, Steven Clark, Nick Bosco, Timothy Silverman, Muhammad Alam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus Citations


Lifetime prediction of the fielded c-Si solar modules due to location-specific weather conditions has been an important topic of photovoltaic research and the economic viability of solar energy. Data analytic techniques such as the performance ratio method, Statistical clear sky model, and Suns-Vmp methods quantify the degradation from measured data of a solar farm, however, the nonlinear time-dependence and correlated degradations make it difficult to use the empirical degradation rates for ultimate lifetime projection. In this article, we propose a complementary physics-based model to predict the solder bond failure caused by mechanical stress associated with the variations of the temperature. Integrating the worldwide weather information from NASA/NSRDB databases, the model predicts the location-specific output-power degradation and the lifetime of a module due to solder bond failure. The model parameters are calibrated against qualification tests involving thermal cycling of specific batches of modules from a specific technology/manufacturer. The results may be summarized as: 1) Modules installed at higher latitudes show a longer lifetime due to reduced damage accumulation. 2) The reduction of temperature fluctuation close to large bodies of water, such as seashores, increases solder bond lifetime significantly. 3) Relatively speaking, modules installed close to the Tropic of Cancer/Capricorn (23.5° North/South) suffer from a higher solder bond damage and have a shorter lifetime, suggesting a conservative design. This model should serve as a building block of a comprehensive reliability framework that can predict the lifetime of a module that experiences simultaneous and correlated degradation mechanisms involving yellowing, corrosion, and potential-induced degradation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-80497


  • Characterization
  • lifetime prediction
  • output power
  • predictive modeling
  • qualification test
  • series resistance
  • solder bond failure


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