4. 1 PV Module Design, Manufacture, Performance and Reliability
Summary / Abstract:
The importance of testing materials and modules in different climates has become more and more relevant in recent years. The concept of “one size fits all”, namely one type of module fits all environmental and climatic conditions, showed its limits and new concepts of climate specific module design as well as artificial ageing tests were brought to the attention of the PV community . New models able to predict power degradation in different locations, and therefore able to make lifetime estimations were developed in recent studies  and a worldwide mapping of degradation rates have been presented . These studies show how the climatic conditions of tropical climates strongly affect the performances of the PV modules. In these cases, the most relevant power losses were detected and correlated to failure modes such as yellowing of the encapsulant, corrosion of metallic interconnections and silver grids, delamination at different interfaces and backsheet cracks, just to name a few.