A program is underway at Sandia National Laboratories to predict long-term reliability of photovoltaic (PV) systems.
The vehicle for the reliability predictions is a Reliability Block Diagram (RBD), which models system behavior.
Because this model is based mainly on field failure and repair times, it can be used to predict current reliability, but it
cannot currently be used to accurately predict lifetime. In order to be truly predictive, physics-informed degradation
processes and failure mechanisms need to be included in the model. This paper describes accelerated life testing of metal
foil tapes used in thin-film PV modules, and how tape joint degradation, a possible failure mode, can be incorporated
into the model.