The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

PV Durability Initiative Tests First Modules

A joint programme from the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE in Boston, U.S., and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany, has published the first report from their PV Durability Initiative (PVDI).

In this first round of testing, five of the top ten Si-crystalline module producers were selected to be tested over approximately six months. Among them, for example, were modules from manufacturer SunPower.

Dr Harry Wirth, Director Division Photovoltaic Modules, Systems and Reliability at the Fraunhofer ISE, explained to REW that the six-monthly reports could include thin-film technologies, although other technologies differ in their testing requirements or may not yet be mature enough.

According to Fraunhofer, the results so far show a substantial spread in thermal cycling durability, while all of the tested module types proved to have very good stability in the damp heat/UV test sequence.

Modules are subjected to accelerated stress testing and are rated for both performance and safety. The programme partners say that existing IEC and UL protocols address the question of early field failure and safety of solar PV modules, but do not yet yield information about durability or the rate of degradation of power output.

Fraunhofer ISE and Fraunhofer CSE cooperated to develop the programme and tests can be carried out at both locations, Wirth said.

With a robust testing protocol, PVDI generates scores of zero to five that enable what the partners claim is a credible rating of PV modules based on their likelihood to perform reliably under different kinds of stress.

Fraunhofer says that its PVDI testing exceeds the demands of IEC standard module certification with extended accelerated testing, UV irradiation, damp-heat with positive and negative voltage bias as well as dynamic and static mechanical stresses at different temperatures. Also included are typical stresses such as temperature cycling, humidity-freeze, and damp-heat, which have been extended in order to come closer to the actual stress on a module.PVDI testing sequence

In parallel with the accelerated tests, modules are subjected to long-term outdoor exposure while the correlation between the accelerated tests and operation in the field will be determined over time. Where possible, commercial modules are purchased on the open market, to avoid selection bias in the testing process.

Furthermore, Wirth  said: “For us it is more important to adapt the test sequence to newest findings than to have comparability to older module types.”

The research is designed to provide solar PV financiers, developers and other industry players with the first widely available quantitative dataset to assess long-term durability, the authors added. For manufacturers, the data also encourages continuous improvements toward more durable modules.

Geoffrey Kinsey, Director of PV Technologies at Fraunhofer CSE, commented: “The potential for PV modules to fail in advance of their intended service life is a key factor that increases the perceived risk, and therefore the cost, of funding PV installations. PVDI addresses this issue“.

Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE invite PV module manufacturers, system developers, and financiers to participate in the PVDI program. Participants have access to more detailed data, since they finance the programme, Wirth explained.

 

Image: Courtesy Fraunhofer ISE

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Sunrise in Pakistan as the Country Delves into Solar PV

Robert Harker Pakistan has joined the list of countries that are exploring solar power as a means to bridge critical energy generat...

Global Renewable Energy Roundup: China, Kenya, Turkey, India Seeking More Renewables

Bloomberg News Editors China is being encouraged by three industry groups to double the nation’s solar-power goal for 2020 to make up for sh...

Why Smarter Grids Demand Smarter Communications Networks

Mark Madden

Historically, utility networks and communications networks have had little in common.

The Importance of “Switching Costs” to the US Residential Solar Industry

Paula Mints The DoE and numerous organizations and governments globally are focused on driving down the cost of solar convinced t...

PRESS RELEASES

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

Early Bird Registration Deadline for GRC Annual Meeting is This Week

The deadline for early-bird rates for registration for the biggest annual geothermal ev...

Redesigned HydroWorld.com Video Gallery

Hydropower news and information, and interesting promotional announcements are now avai...

FEATURED BLOGS

Transitioning to Net-Zero Living

Judith and Jeffrey adore living in Belfast, Maine – a quaint harbor town of Belfast, Maine. They previously res...

The True Cost of Electric Vehicles in Australia

In order to avoid increased congestion, further greenhouse warming and lessen Australia’s reliance on imported ...

The Coming Multi-trillion Dollar Energy Investment Drive

In coming years, a multi-trillion dollar low-emission energy investment drive will get underway. Three catalysts wil...

The Perfect Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a concise statement that grabs attention and communicates value, ideally leading to a next step...

FINANCIAL NEWS

David Appleyard is a contributing editor. A freelance journalist and photographer, he has some 20 years' experience of writing about the renewable energy sector and is based in Europe.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Intersolar North America 2016

Exhibition: July 12 - 14, 2016; Conference: July 11 - 13, 2016 Intersola...

Intersolar South America 2015

Exhibition and Conference: September 1-3, 2015 Intersolar South America ...

Intersolar Europe 2016

Exhibition: June 22-24, 2016; Conference: June 21-22, 2016 Intersolar Eu...

COMPANY BLOGS

Less Is More

When you’re giving a presentation, one of the easiest things to do...

Captivology

One of the biggest challenges we face as efficiency sales professionals ...

How To Optimize Your Meeting Schedule

Do you spend more time in meetings than you do actually working? While m...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS