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19 August 2010 Degradation of photovoltaic modules under high voltage stress in the field
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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 and 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);


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