The aim of the collaboration between the LEEE-TISO and the ESTI laboratory (JRC, Ispra), is to determine the Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) of the first PV plant connected to the public electrical grid in Europe (1982). This entails investigation of the physical degradation mechanisms in action and to correlate field reliability with accelerated lifetime tests (IEC/CEI 61215).
The combination of systematic monitoring and laboratory measurements provide a unique opportunity to study the system. The main work of the collaboration has entailed, detailed visual inspections and Infra Red analysis, performance measurements of strings and individual modules, analysis of the evolution of the system Performance Ratio over time, repeated accelerated lifetime tests and correlation of all these data.
First results obtained on this study, evidence the good condition of the plant and the remarkable resistance of its modules.