Manufacturers of PV-modules usually give a warranty for at least 20 years. There is still only little knowledge about the
lifetime of newly developed modules, however. How do they cope with snow, desert-climate or tropical humidity? In
order to answer this question the Fraunhofer-Institute for Solar Energy Systems and TUV Rheinland have installed
different outdoor exposure sites where modules have to stand extreme climates: high temperatures with high differences
between day and night in the Negev desert at Israel, snow, wind and changing irradiation in the German Alps, and high
humidity at warm temperatures at Indonesia.
Commercial modules from industrial partners as well as innovative modules with different combinations of encapsulants
and back-sheets were exposed. UV-irradiation, solar-irradiation, ambient- and module temperatures, ambient humidity
and wind speed is measured and collected at a central server in Germany. These data are the basis for the calculation of
integral loads for the comparison of different climatic regions and for an estimation of the service life, an exciting field
of work since decades. Results from the evaluation of the monitoring during the fist 12 months of exposure are
Fluorescent lamps are chosen for accelerated UV-testing, since they simulate the UV-irradiation of the sun well while
emitting less thermal radiation than Xenon-lamps. The UV-source is designed for use in climatic cabinets for damp-heat testing with UV.