Long term reliability is not well addressed by current standards for PV modules or components, and developing accelerated weathering stress protocols to test the resistance of key components to wear-out is an active area of research. A first step is to understand and quantify the range of actual stresses modules will encounter in the various mounting configurations and in-service environments. In this paper, we use real-world data to benchmark PV module service environments in hot/dry, hot/wet, and temperate environments, with subsequent analysis to translate the microclimate data into a portfolio of practical weathering instrument settings.
A full-spectral monitoring (FSM) system utilizing (charged coupled device) CCD array spectroradiometer and optical fiber has been developed and implemented for accelerated laboratory weathering instruments. The system provides in-situ, real-time irradiance monitoring and control. Compared to the conventional photo diode and fixed band pass interference filter radiometer used for irradiance measurement and control, FSM represents a revolutionary step forward for the weathering industry. Additionally a calibration process utilizing an identical xenon lamp used for testing has been developed for the FSM system. This calibration process greatly simplifies the traditional Mercury plus FEL lamps based calibration process. The total measurement uncertainty of this FSM is also analyzed and discussed in the paper.