16 October 2012 Examination of a junction-box adhesion test for use in photovoltaic module qualification
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Engineering robust adhesion of the junction-box (j-box) is a hurdle typically encountered by photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturers during product development. There are historical incidences of adverse effects (e.g., fires) caused when the j-box/adhesive/module system has failed in the field. The addition of a weight to the j-box during the “damp heat” IEC qualification test is proposed to verify the basic robustness of its adhesion system. The details of the proposed test will be described, in addition to the preliminary results obtained using representative materials and components. The described discovery experiments examine moisture-cured silicone, foam tape, and hot-melt adhesives used in conjunction with PET or glass module “substrates.” To be able to interpret the results, a set of material-level characterizations was performed, including thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, and dynamic mechanical analysis. PV j-boxes were adhered to a substrate, loaded with a prescribed weight, and then placed inside an environmental chamber (at 85°C, 85% relative humidity). Some systems did not remain attached through the discovery experiments. Observed failure modes include delamination (at the j-box/adhesive or adhesive/substrate interface) and phase change/creep. The results are discussed in the context of the application requirements, in addition to the plan for the formal experiment supporting the proposed modification to the qualification test.
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David C. Miller, David C. Miller, John H. Wohlgemuth, John H. Wohlgemuth, } "Examination of a junction-box adhesion test for use in photovoltaic module qualification", Proc. SPIE 8472, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems V, 84720M (16 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.929793; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.929793

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