Fidelitas – Methods to assess reliability of PV modules and their components

Dr. Marc Köntges
Tel.: +49(0)5151-999 432

Subproject: Evaluation of the reliability of PV modules

Within this project, we are investigating failures in PV modules. To this end, failures in PV modules are analyzed and summarized in a statistic. Taking into account the general technical setup, this statistic is used to determine the order of occurring failures. To accelerate failure analysis in the field, a new characterization method is developed. In this subproject, we are focusing on analyzing and modelling failures of the laminate, failures of the antireflection coating, and shading by biofilms. Based on these findings, we will suggest changes to the module design. Additionally, we will survey PV module failures in the field by contacting owners of PV systems and randomly assessing systems visually, via thermography, and by UV fluorescence. The results will be used to create an overall statistic for the entire project. To enable an accelerated failure detection, we will build a mobile lock-in UV fluorescence measurement tool, which is able to indirectly detect failures in the field. In cooperation with the project partners, we will create a failure statistic and assess the different failure modes with regard to frequency, yield loss, visibility, and other criteria, to generate a ranking of relevance. New failure modes will be analyzed in detail using microscopical and chemical methods. The growth of biofilms in tropical regions will be determined experimentally and modelled. An accelerated UV testing for small modules/components will be developed. Using an optical computer simulation, the yield loss due to ARC degradation, yellowing, and algae growth will be estimated.


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Duration of the project

01.12.2014 – 31.05.2019


The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy under grant no 0325735D. The responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors.

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