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January 11, 2011

Mtg: Photovoltaic Module Reliability and Failure Analysis: Enduring a Storm

by @ 8:35 am. Filed under ALL, Electrical/Power, Electronics Design, Optics/Displays, Semiconductors

TUESDAY February 8, 2011
SCV Electron Devices Chapter
Speaker: Dr. Glenn Alers, University of California at Santa Cruz
Time: Pizza at 6:00 PM; Presentation at 6:15 PM
Cost: none
Place: National Semiconductor, Building E1, Conference Center, 2900 Semiconductor Drive , Santa Clara
RSVP: not required

In contrast to integrated circuits, solar panels need to withstand large variations in environment and weather conditions.? Photovoltaic modules must withstand 0-100% humidity at -20C to 100C with voltages in excess of 1000V and thousands of thermal cycles.? Therefore, predicting lifetime is no better than predicting the weather.? Yet lifetime estimates directly impact the levelized cost of a power generation system and therefore must be quantified. This tutorial will review some of the qualification procedures used for assuring reliability of photovoltaic panels and the failures that result from these tests.? The wide range of indoor and outdoor failure modes will be summarized along with the failure analysis techniques that are commonly used to detect the failures.? Thermal and emission images are the dominate method for identifying degradation in a solar module including infrared, electroluminescence, photoluminescence and cathodoluminesence.? In addition, recently developed differential IV analysis techniques permit degradation of individual cells to be measured in fully packaged module providing a 50-100 fold improvement in failure statistics.

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