Microtech2010 2010

From Qualification Testing Towards Service Life Assessment of PV-modules

M. Koehl
Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE, DE

Keywords: PV modules, qualification testing, service life assessment


Solar technologies aim to be clean technologies. The final proof is the energy pay back during the service life-time compared to the energy needed for production, provided that the further environmental impact is acceptably low. Therefore one goal of R&D must be maximising the life-time, which means minimising the decrease of performance over time at minimal production costs. PV-module manufacturers usually give a warranty for at least 20 years based on their experience. But there is only little knowledge about the lifetime of newly developed PV-modules with innovative materials, and no appropriate service life testing procedure. The development of accelerated service life testing procedures needs data of the main stress factors as there are the UV-irradiation, solar-irradiation, ambient- and module-temperature, ambient humidity and wind speed. Therefore we monitor these loads at 5 outdoor test facilities with different extreme climates. These data are the base for the calculation of integral loads for the comparison of different climatic regions and for the development of appropriate accelerated test procedures suitable for the estimation of the service life. Furthermore new non-destructive analytical tools for the comparison of the degradation of the materials outdoors and after accelerated tests have been developed and applied.
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