From Event: SPIE Optics + Photonics for Sustainable Energy, 2016
Gaining an understanding of degradation mechanisms and their characterization are critical in developing relevant accelerated tests to ensure PV module performance warranty over a typical lifetime of 25 years. As newer technologies are adapted for PV, including new PV cell technologies, new packaging materials, and newer product designs, the availability of field data over extended periods of time for product performance assessment cannot be expected within the typical timeframe for business decisions. In this work, to enable product design decisions and product performance assessment for PV modules utilizing newer technologies, Simulation and Mechanism based Accelerated Reliability Testing (SMART) methodology and empirical approaches to predict field performance from accelerated test results are presented. The method is demonstrated for field life assessment of flexible PV modules based on degradation mechanisms observed in two accelerated tests, namely, Damp Heat and Thermal Cycling. The method is based on design of accelerated testing scheme with the intent to develop relevant acceleration factor models. The acceleration factor model is validated by extensive reliability testing under different conditions going beyond the established certification standards. Once the acceleration factor model is validated for the test matrix a modeling scheme is developed to predict field performance from results of accelerated testing for particular failure modes of interest. Further refinement of the model can continue as more field data becomes available. While the demonstration of the method in this work is for thin film flexible PV modules, the framework and methodology can be adapted to other PV products.
Kedar Y. Hardikar, Bill J. J. Liu, and Venkata Bheemreddy, "SMART empirical approaches for predicting field performance of PV modules from results of reliability tests," Proc. SPIE 9938, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems IX, 99380D (Presented at SPIE Optics + Photonics for Sustainable Energy: August 28, 2016; Published: 26 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2239713.
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