Reliability Testing

Reliability Testing

These tests are designed to evaluate the life time performance of PV modules. Typically accelerated stress tests are used to simulate real world conditions over multiple years in a short time period in the lab. This is done by thermal cycling with large temperature differences, exposure to damp-heat conditions for 1000 to 2000 hours, amplified UV-light exposure, potential-induced degradation tests during damp-heat, mechanical load tests with both static and dynamic loads, including at freezing temperatures, and combined stress tests.

The Fraunhofer PVDI program is an all-encompassing state-of-the-art durability test program that evaluates the long term reliability of PV modules under different stress conditions and ranks them relative to each other.

NREL’s Qualification Plus protocol is another emerging approach to reliability testing that CFV is providing to customers.

CFV also offers customized versions of reliability and accelerated aging tests such as temperature cycling with high number of cycles (e.g. 800), long term Damp Heat (e.g. 2000h) or UV exposure (e.g. 100-400 kWh), dynamic load testing, and combinations of these tests to individual customers.

In power plant projects, it is possible to do reliability tests on a sub-set of modules being installed to determine long term reliability and expected degradation rates. Since reliability problems typically occur only in a small percentage of modules (e.g. due to manufacturing defects), however, it becomes necessary to test a larger number of modules (e.g. 20-100) to have a good likelihood to detect failures and extrapolate results for the entire population of modules being installed.

Reliability Testing: