4. 1 PV Module Design, Manufacture, Performance and Reliability
Summary / Abstract:
UV light is one of the major causes of PV modules degradation. Amongst others, it is held responsible for severe delamination that eventually leads to cell and interconnection corrosion. Concerning places with strong irradiation such as deserts where UV radiant dosage may reach almost twice the one of a temperate climate , UV durability is a criterion of greatest importance as it significantly impacts the module lifetime. Avoiding such phenomenon requires testing PV components for UV dosage representative of, at least, 25 years of outdoor UV conditions. In the current IEC 61215 norm , the only UV test is rated according to the electrical parameters variation of full modules after UV preconditioning. It is unsatisfactory for durability assessment. As PV materials are gradually becoming more UV resistant, comparing them for harsh UV environment requires increased test time. Under these circumstances, pinpointing the most adapted bill of materials for UV-rich environment in less than 3 months without distorting the photodegradation mechanism demands a more sophisticated detection method. In this article, we study the UV stability of encapsulation polymers with Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) to detect and monitor the photodegradation through chemical modifications. By doing so, we’re getting rid of the glass protection that considerably slows down the photooxidation process while assessing the performance of what is generally the weakest PV module component under UV light . We intend to show the relevance of FTIR spectroscopy as a powerful tool for shorter screening tests of encapsulation polymers used in PV modules that will have to withstand strong UV irradiation.