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Testing and Analysis for Lifetime Prediction of Crystalline Silicon PV Modules Undergoing Degradation by System Voltage Stress

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8 Author(s)
Hacke, P. ; Nat. Renewable Energy Lab., Golden, CO, USA ; Smith, R. ; Terwilliger, K. ; Glick, S.
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Acceleration factors are calculated for crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules under system voltage stress by comparing the module power during degradation outdoors with that in accelerated testing at three temperatures and 85% relative humidity. A lognormal analysis is applied to the accelerated lifetime test data, considering failure at 80% of the initial module power. Activation energy of 0.73 eV for the rate of failure is determined for the chamber testing at constant relative humidity, and the probability of module failure at an arbitrary temperature is predicted. To obtain statistical data for multiple modules over the course of degradation in situ of the test chamber, dark I-V measurements are obtained and transformed using superposition, which is found to be well suited for rapid and quantitative evaluation of potential-induced degradation. It is determined that shunt resistance measurements alone do not represent the extent of power degradation. This is explained with a two-diode model analysis that shows an increasing second diode recombination current and ideality factor as the degradation in module power progresses. Failure modes of the modules stressed outdoors are examined and compared with those stressed in accelerated tests.

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Photovoltaics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 1 )