DuPont Electronics and Imaging’s Photovoltaic Solutions business announced it has entered into a collaboration agreement with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, a leading institute for applied scientific and engineering research and development in solar energy, to optimize accelerated testing protocols for crystalline silicon solar panels.
Fraunhofer ISE will validate and accelerate solar panel sequential testing methods developed by DuPont, to enable service life estimation calculations. The tests aim to address the most common types of panel degradation observed in the field at the backsheet level, by type of material used.
Commenting on the agreement, Kaushik Roy Choudhury, Ph.D., Global Reliability Manager, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions said: “We are pleased to be working alongside the scientists at Fraunhofer ISE to help validate our set of accelerated tests. Studying how panels age in the field under multiple environmental stresses is critical for customers and future development of materials.”
The proposed tests will be based on DuPont’s Module Accelerated Sequential Testing protocols, whereby solar panels are subjected to several sequences that combine damp heat, UV and thermal cycling to generate accelerated test conditions aligned with realistic stresses experienced in the field.
Karl-Anders Weiss, Ph.D., Project Manager, Fraunhofer ISE said: “The aim of this work is to determine whether the proposed accelerated testing protocols can accurately predict service lifetime of solar panels made with different types of materials. Our intent is to move from the current IEC standards which are limited to predicting early stage failure mechanisms, to a longer-term view of panel aging in the field.”
As part of this collaboration, the testing protocols will be refined by Fraunhofer ISE to enable a simpler and faster recipe that could help to resolve one of the biggest challenges of the photovoltaic industry.