Photovoltaic (PV)-modules are exposed to solar irradiation, which includes Ultra-violet (UV) light. UV light is wellknown
as degradation factor for polymeric materials, as used for encapsulation of PV-cells. Therefore they are protected
by UV-filtering glass or UV protecting additives. The UV-stability is only tested on a very low level (total UV energy of
15kWh/m2) according to the actual type approval standards (IEC 61215, IEC61646, e.g.). An undefined acceleration is
provided by the testing temperature of 60°C. The real UV-dose can reach more than 120 kWh/m2 per year, however. The
module-temperature during high UV-irradiation ranges between 40°C and 60°C, usually.
The main reason for the inadequate test conditions is the lack of well-defined and inexpensive UV-light sources and
therefore small test capacities.
We developed an UV-radiation unit based on fluorescence tubes, which have the advantage of low visible and NIR
irradiation avoiding overheating of the samples. The spectral irradiation is solar-like in the short-wavelength UV and
lower in the long-wavelength UV, with a limited number of disturbing emission-lines. The design of the unit has been
optimized for high UV-intensities up to 5X and usage on both sides. Our prototype has an area of 1.7m * 3m, which
yields an usable testing area of 6m *1.7m.
The unit is designed for usage in humid ambient in a temperature range up to 90°C for the future development of
combined damp-heat and UV tests, in order to get the tests closer to reality.