19 August 2010 Degradation of photovoltaic modules under high voltage stress in the field
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Abstract
The degradation in performance for eight photovoltaic (PV) modules stressed at high voltage (HV) is presented. Four types of modules—tandem-junction and triple-junction amorphous thin-film silicon, plus crystalline and polycrystalline silicon modules—were tested, with a pair of each biased at opposite polarities. They were deployed outdoors between 2001 and 2009 with their respective HV leakage currents through the module encapsulation continuously monitored with a data acquisition system, along with air temperature and relative humidity. For the first 5 years, all modules were biased continuously at fixed 600 VDC, day and night. In the last 2 years, the modules were step-bias stressed cyclically up and down in voltage between 10 and 600 VDC, in steps of tens to hundreds of volts. This allowed characterization of leakage current versus voltage under a large range of temperature and moisture conditions, facilitating determination of leakage paths. An analysis of the degradation is presented, along with integrated leakage charge. In HV operation: the bulk silicon modules degraded either insignificantly or at rates of 0.1%/yr higher than modules not biased at HV; for the thinfilm silicon modules, the added loss rates are insignificant for one type, or 0.2%/yr-0.6%/yr larger for the other type.
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J. A. del Cueto, J. A. del Cueto, S. R. Rummel, S. R. Rummel, } "Degradation of photovoltaic modules under high voltage stress in the field", Proc. SPIE 7773, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems III, 77730J (19 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.861226; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.861226
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