Photovoltaic Module Reliability Workshop 2010
February 18-19, 2010
The Photovoltaic (PV) Module Reliability Workshop was held in Denver, Colorado, on Feb. 18-19, 2010. The objective was to share information to improve PV Module Reliability because improved reliability reduces the cost of solar electricity and gives investors confidence in the technology. The workshop was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Program (Solar Program).
The following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. All the presentations from the PV Module Reliability Workshop can also be downloaded (ZIP 125 MB).
In addition, a detailed agenda is available.
The presentations are grouped by topic and session:
- Overview Presentations
- Plenary Session I: Overview of PV Reliability Issues
- Plenary Session II: Predicting Long-Term Performance of PV Products
- Plenary Session III: Ensuring Quality to Satisfy the Investors
- Silicon Issues Session
- Concentrating PV Issues Session I
- Concentrating PV Issues Session II
- Moisture Sensitivity of Thin Films Issues Session
- Packaging Issues Session
- Thin-Film Metastabilities Issues Session
- Poster Session.
This following presenations provided attendees with a summary of the workshop and reliability research that is supported by the Solar Program.
- Opening Remarks and Overview of DOE Solar Program, Kevin Lynn, Systems Integration Lead for DOE Solar Program
- Welcome and Overview, Sarah Kurtz, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Plenary Session I: Overview of PV Reliability Issues
This session on PV reliability issues was chaired by Kevin Lynn and Peter Hacke, NREL.
- Weather Durability of PV Modules; Developing a Common Language for Talking About PV Reliability, Kurt Scott, Atlas Material Testing Technology
- Overview of Failure Mechanisms and PV Qualification Tests, John Wohlgemuth, BP Solar
- Reliability Modeling for Photovoltaic Modules, Patrick McCluskey, University of Maryland Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering
- PV Failure Analysis: Techniques for Microelectronics and Solar, Glenn Alers, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Adhesion and Thermomechanical Reliability, Reinhold Dauskardt, Stanford
- Electrical, Mechanical, and Thermal Modeling, Max Davis, Steel and Silicon Engineering
Plenary Session II: Predicting Long-Term Performance of PV Products
This session on predicting long-term performance for PV products was chaired by Jennifer Granata, Sandia National Laboratories, and John Wohlgemuth, BP Solar. A summary of these presentations and the discussion that followed is also available.
- Statistical Lifetime Predictions for PV Modules, Joseph Kuitche, Arizona State University
- Beyond Qualification: Testing for Long-Term PV Module Durability, Al Zielnik, Atlas Material Testing Technology
- Test-to-Failure for Long-Term Performance Assessment, Peter Hacke, NREL
- Designing for Reliability: Thin-Film Building Integrated Photovoltaic Modules, Ryan Gaston, Dow Chemical Company
- Quantifying the Weather: Analysis for Thermal Fatigue, Nick Bosco, NREL
- Panel Discussion: Can We Use These Results to Predict 20–30 Years into the Future for Products that Have Been Created in the Last Year?
Plenary Session III: Ensuring Quality to Satisfy the Investors
This session on ensuring quality to satisfy investors was chairedby Sarah Kurtz, NREL, and Govindasamy Tamizhmani, TUV Rheinland PTL.
- What Demonstration of Reliability Is Needed Before Investment?, Steve Voss, SunEdison
- Consensus Guidelines for Quality Assurance and Their Role As a Foundation for Lifetime Predictions, Alex Mikonowicz
- Case study: SunPower Manufacturing Quality Methods, David DeGraaff, SunPower
- Panel Discussion: Are quality assurance guidelines adequately defined? What do we need to do as a community to ensure that the billions of dollars of product going into the field are of adequate quality?
Silicon Issues Session
This session on technology-specific silicon issues was chaired by Peter Hacke, NREL. A summary of these presentations and the discussion that followed is also available.
- Failure Modes of Crystalline Si Modules and How to Eliminate Them, John Wohlgemuth, BP Solar
- Experience with Qualification and Safety Testing of PV Modules, Govindasamy Tamizhmani (Mani), TUV Rheinland PTL
- Discussion: Are there field failures that are not caught by the current qual test? Are there new failure modes that need to be studied? Do high system voltages cause new module failures? New materials for modules?
- Degradation Rates, Dirk Jordan, NREL
- Decades in the Installed Environment—Do Silicon Modules Really Last More than 20 Years?, James Bing, New Energy Options
- Discussion: Is the performance in the field adequate? If not, what is needed—better QA, qual test, or?
Concentrating PV Issues Session I
This session on technology-specific issues related to concentrating PV (CPV) was chaired by Peter Hebert, Spectrolab, and Greg Flynn, Emcore. A summary of these presentations and the discussion that followed is also available.
- Solar Resources for CPV, Daryl Myers, NREL
- Test and Evaluation, Matthew Muller, NREL
- Discussion of Solar Resource Issues for CPV
- Failure Modes of CPV Modules and How to Test for Them, Ian Aeby, Emcore
- Thermal and Current Cycling for CPV Qualification, Nick Bosco, NREL
- Discussion of Failure Modes in CPV
Concentrating PV Issues Session II
This second session on CPV was chaired by Robert McConnell, Amonix, and Ian Aeby, Emcore. A summary of these presentations and the discussion that followed is also available.
- Durability of Optical Materials, Andy Hartzell, 3M
- Durability of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate) Lenses Used in CPV, David Miller, NREL
- Discussion of Test Needs for Optics for CPV
- Questions about IEC 62108 Implementation, Mike Ludowise, SolFocus
- Discussion of IEC 62108: Intentions, Interpretation, and Implementation
Moisture Sensitivity of Thin Films Issues Session
This session on technology-specific issues related to moisture sensitivity of thin films was chaired by Ryan Gaston, Dow Chemical Company, and Michael Kempe, NREL. A summary of these presentations and the discussion that followed is also available.
- Common Failure Modes for Thin-Film Modules and Considerations Toward Hardening CIGS Cells to Moisture, Kent Whitfield, Miasole
- Packaging Requirements for ITO-Hardened CIGS, D.J. Coyle, H.A. Blaydes, J.E. Pickett, T.R. Tolliver, and R.A. Zhao, GE Global Research
- Discussion: After Hardening, What Protection Do We Need?
- Methods for Measuring Moisture Ingress, Arrelaine Dameron, NREL
- Approaches to Barrier Coatings for the Prevention of Water Vapor Ingress, Samuel Graham, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Discussion: Which aspects of the problem are solved? Where is more work needed?
Packaging Issues Session
This session on technology-specific issues related to packaging was chaired by Zhiyong Xia, BP Solar. A summary of these presentations and the discussion that followed is also available.
- Types of Encapsulant Materials and Physical Differences Between Them, Mike Kempe, NREL
- Safety Concerns with New Polymeric Materials, Tim Zgonena, Underwriters Laboratories
- Discussion of New Polymeric Materials and Testing Needs
- Why Glass Sometimes Breaks, Christopher Barry, NSG Group
- Discussion of Glass and Expected Changes in the Future
Thin-Film Metastabilities Issues Session
This session on technology-specific issues related to metastabilities was chaired by Jim Sites, Colorado State University. A summary of these presentations and the discussion that followed is also available.
- Metastability of Amorphous Silicon – Historical Perspective and Real-Life Performance, Jeff Yang, Uni-Solar
- Metastable Effects in Polycrystalline Thin Film Cells and Correlations with Performance and Reliability, Dave Albin, NREL
- Comparison of Injection of Carriers Through Light Soaking and Forward Bias in Dark, Joe del Cueto, NREL
- Discussion: How do we differentiate reversible from irreversible changes? How does a-Si experience with the Staebler-Wronski effect help with CIGS/CdTe issues? Can we use the same pre-conditioning test for all thin-film modules?
Companies that did not make presentations were required to contribute at least one poster to stimulate discussion. Because every company contributed, a wealth of information was available to participants. The poster session included a wide variety of presentations and was grouped by topical area. A complete listing of the posters is also available.
- Characterization of an Aggregated Total Internal Reflection Optic, Kevin Fine and David Schultz, Banyan Energy
- Solar Radiation Resource Tools and Data Sources, Daryl R. Myers, NREL
- Design Verification Testing, Clay Stevenson and Doug Williams, Entech Solar
- Durability of Thermally Cycled ELO Solar Cells, Rickey Pastor and Noren Pan, MicroLink Devices
- Ensuring and Predicting the Reliability of CPV: Interconnect Structures, Craig Hillman and Greg Caswell, DfR Solutions, and Jordan Ross, Indium
- Mechanically Induced Microfractures, Paul Lamarche, Solar Junction
- Overview of Aspects of Long-Term Optical Stability of HCPV Fresnel Lenses, J. Berrios, A. Carlson, and J.P.D. Cook, OPEL Solar
- Proposed CPV Bare Cell Thermal Cycle Qualification Test Procedure, Peter Hebert, Spectrolab
- Reliability considerations for a 7kW incident CPV monolithic concentrator module, Leo Baldwin and Tony Chen, Cool Earth Solar
- Reliability through Field Testing in Real World Conditions, Robert McConnell, Adi Nayak, and Geoff Kinsey, Amonix
- Spectral Dependence of CPV Current Generation in the San Gabriel Valley, Neil Fromer, Soliant Energy
- Reliability and Qualification of Amonix Solar Power Plants, Adi Nayak and Geoff Kinsey, Amonix
- Thermal Runaway Failures of CPV Solar Cells, Steve Seel, Bruce Furman, Matt Meitl, Sal Bonafede, and Scott Burroughs, Semprius
- Aging of c-Si PV module Packaging Material, Zhiyong Xia, BP Solar
- Benefits of a Desiccated Edge Seal in TFPV, J. Baratuci, V. Bodnev, S. Hummel, and L.Postak, Truseal
- Comparative Performance and Reliability of Backsheets for PV Modules, W. J. Gambogi, DuPont
- Degradation and Molecular Bond Rupture Kinetics in Organic PV Transparent Barriers, Fernando Novoa and Reinhold Dauskardt, Stanford University
- Lessons Learned Regarding Failure Modes of Glass/Glass Modules in the Field, Forrest Collins and Beth Copanas, Juwi Solar
- Momentive Performance Materials: Silicone Solutions for the Solar Industry, Markus Putzer and Clarissa Miller, Momentive Performance Materials
- Partial Discharge Testing, Pleydon Robert, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics
- Relation of Wet Leakage Resistance with Module Front Glass Resistivity, Adam Brand and Renhe Jia, Applied Materials
- Solar Edge Sealants with a Better Balance of Properties, Rahul M. Rasal and Paul E. Snowwhite, ADCO
- The Reliability and Durability of Novel Silicone Materials for PV Encapsulation, Yi Kang, Chrisopher Shirk, Barry Ketola, Ann Norris, Keith Mclntosh, and Mary Kay Tomalia, Dow Corning
- Accelerated Electro-Chemical Delamination Test for the Durability of Transparent Conductive Oxide Glass, David Strickler, Yu Wang, and Satoshi Tanaka, NSG
- Analysis of CPV Optical Components Using an Light Beam Induced Current System, Mike Sumner, Damien Buie, Igor Kozin, and James Foresi, Emcore
- An Approach Towards Light and Heat Management in PV Modules, Matthias Duell, Biao Li, Matthieu Ebert, Joachim Jaus, Carola Voelker, and Dan M. J. Doble, Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems
- Characterization and Reliability of Polymeric Components in PV Modules, Shuying Yang, Abhay Maheshwari, and Shirish Shah, Solaria
- Comparative Study of the Long-Term Performance of Three PV Systems Installed in Florida, Nicoleta Hickman, Albert Leyte-Vidal, and Kris Davis, Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)-University of Central Florida, and Sarah Kurtz and Dirk Jordan, NREL
- Displacement Test Protocol Considerations, Sam L. Samuels, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions
- Extended Life Testing of Multi-Crystalline Silicon PV Modules, Vivek Gade, Evergreen Solar
- Faster and Adaptable Accelerated Solar PV/Thermal Durability Testing Solution, Jacob Zhang, Richard Schultz, Richard Donato, and Kurt Scott, Atlas Materials Testing Technology
- High Volume Light Soaking and UV Testing of Photovoltaic Modules, Lawrence Dunn and Michael Gostein, Atonometrics
- Impedance Measurement as a Diagnostic Tool for Device Degradation, Xin Jiang and Sean Shaheen, Denver University, Sergey Li and Srinivas Gowrisanker, Plextronics
- OPV Lifetime Testing, Srini Balasubramanian, Elsa Kam-Lum, and Stephen Wicks, Konarka
- Pulsed Valve Mass Spectrometry Film Permeation Tool, Mark Roehrig, Dana Reed, Alan Nachtigal, Mark Weigel, and Robert Messner, 3M Company
- PV Module Reliability and Durability Studies at the FSEC PV Materials Lab, Neelkanth G Dhere, Shirish V. Pethe, and Ashwani Kaul, FSEC-University of Central Florida
- Comprehensive PV Durability Testing, Allen Zielnik and Kurt Scott, Atlas Material Testing Technology
- PV Standards. What Does the IEC Have for You?, Barikmo Howard, Sunset Technology
- Recommended Protocol for Accelerated Aging Testing: A Literature Search, Mani G. Tamizh-Mani, Arizona State University
- Sandia's PV Reliability Program, Rob Sorensen, Michael Quintana, Jennifer Granata, Mike Mundt, Jeff Mahn, Elmer Collins, and Chad Staiger, Sandia National Laboratories
- Short and Long Term Spectral Stability over the Life of Tool, Serreze Harvey, Spire Solar
- Solar Logistics Testing, Herb Schueneman, Westpak
- Split-Plot Design: Characterizing 10 factors in "12" runs, Rob Ong, Solexel
- Thermalreflectance Imaging for High Reslolution Defect Inspection through Glass, Glenn Alers, Dustin Kending and Ali Shakouri, University of California at Santa Cruz
- A Single Layer Thin-film Moisture Barrier for CIGS Solar Cells, P.F. Carcia and R.S. McLean, DuPont, and S. Hegedus, Univesity of Delaware
- CIGS Cell-Level Reliability Task and Studies at NREL, F. J. Pern, R. Sundaramoorthy, S. H. Glick, B. To, X. Li, I. Repins, J. Li, C. DeHart, S. Glynn, L. Mansfield, M. Contreras, R. Noufi, and T. Gessert, NREL
- Cohesion and Phase Separation in Organic PV Heterojunction Layers, Vitali Brand and Reinhold Dauskardt, Stanford University
- Effects of Various Module Preconditioning Procedures on CdTe Pmax Measurements, Michelle Propst, Keith Goshia, and Jason Hevelone, Abound Solar
- Electrically Conductive Adhesive Reliability in Thin Film Photovoltaic Modules, Stephen Ruatta, Louis Rector, Anja Henckens, Hilde Goossens, and Gunther Dreezen, Ruatta, Henkel Electronic Materials
- Frozen Light Soak Test: Simulating the Dawn Effect, Lei Chen and Delphine Bayon, Nanosolar
- Reliability of CIGS Modules, Deepak Nayak, Norbert Staud, Burak Metin, Eric Lee, and Mustafa Pinarbasi, SoloPower
- Thin Specialty Glass for Reliable Thin Film PV Modules, James Webb, Corning