Research Papers

Lifetime Estimation of a Photovoltaic Module Subjected to Corrosion Due to Damp Heat Testing

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Charki

e-mail: abderafi.charki@univ-angers.fr

D. Bigaud

University of Angers LASQUO-ISTIA,
62 avenue Notre Dame du Lac,
49000 Angers, France

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received March 10, 2012; final manuscript received November 21, 2012; published online January 7, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Santiago Silvestre.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(2), 021010 (Nov 21, 2012) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1069; doi: 10.1115/1.4023101 History: Received March 10, 2012; Revised November 21, 2012

In this paper, a methodology is presented for estimating the lifetime of a photovoltaic (PV) module. Designers guarantee an acceptable level of power (80% of the initial power) up to 25 yr for solar panels without having sufficient feedback to validate this lifetime. Accelerated life testing (ALT) can be carried out in order to determine the lifetime of the equipment. Severe conditions are used to accelerate the ageing of components and the reliability is then deduced in normal conditions, which are considered to be stochastic rather than constant. Environmental conditions at normal operations are simulated using IEC 61725 standard and meteorological data. The mean lifetime of a crystalline-silicon photovoltaic module that meets the minimum power requirement is estimated. The main results show the influence of lifetime distribution and Peck model parameters on the estimation of the lifetime of a photovoltaic module.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Tsuda, I., Igari, S., Nakahara, K., Takahisa, K., Morita, K., and Kato, H., 2003, “Long Term Reliability Evaluation of PV Module,” Proceedings of the 3rd World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, Osaka, Japan, May 11–18, Vol. 2, pp. 1960–1963.
Vázquez, M., and Rey-Stolle, I., 2008, “Photovoltaic Module Reliability Model Based on Field Degradation Studies,” Prog. Photovoltaics, 16(5), pp. 419–433. [CrossRef]
IEC 61215, 2005, “Crystalline Silicon Terrestrial Photovoltaic (PV) Modules–Design Qualification and Type Approval,” International Electrotechnical Commission, Geneva, Switzerland.
Wohlgemuth, J. H., Cunningham, D. W., Nguyen, A. M., and Miller, J., 2005, “Long Term Reliability of PV Modules,” Proceedings of the 20th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Barcelona, Spain, June 6–10, pp. 1942–1946.
Voiculescu, S., Guerin, F., Barreau, M., Charki, A., and Todoskoff, A., 2007, “Reliability Estimation in Random Environment: Different Approaches,” Proceedings of the Reliability and Maintenability Symposium, Orlando, FL, January 22–25, pp. 202–207.
Osterwald, C. R., 2008, “Terrestrial Photovoltaic Module Accelerated Test-to-Failure Protocol,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Report No. NREL/TP-520-42893.
Tiwari, G. N., and Dubey, S., 2010, Fundamentals of Photovoltaic Modules and Their Applications, Royal Society of Chemistry, London.
Sander, M., Henke, B., Scwarz, H., Dietrich, S., Schweizer, S., Ebert, M., and Bagdahn, J., 2010, “Characterization of PV Modules by Combining Results of Mechanical and Electrical Analysis Methods,” Proc. SPIE, Vol. 7773. [CrossRef]
Wohlgemuth, J., and Kurtz, S., 2011, “Reliability Testing Beyond Qualification as a Key Component in Photovoltaic's Progress Toward Grid Parity,” Proceedings of IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium, Monterey, CA, April 10–14.
Quintana, M., King, D., McMahon, T., and Osterwald, C., 2002, “Commonly Observed Degradation in Field-Aged Photovoltaic Modules,” Proceedings of 29th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, New Orleans, LA, May 19–24, pp. 1436–1439.
Realini, A., 2003, “Mean Time Before Failure of Photovoltaic Modules,” BBW 99.0579, Federal Office for Education and Science, Bern, Switzerland, Final Report (MTBF Project).
Sánchez-Friera, P., Piliougine, M., Peláez, J., Carretero, J., and Sidrach de Cardona, M., 2011, “Analysis of Degradation Mechanisms of Crystalline Silicon PV Modules After 12 Years of Operation in Southern Europe,” Prog. Photovoltaics, 19(6), pp. 658–666. [CrossRef]
Kern, G., 1999, “SunSine300: Manufacture of an AC Photovoltaic Module,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Final Report, Phases I & II, 25 July 1995–30 June 1998, Report No. NREL/SR-520-26085.
Nelson, W., 2004, Accelerated Testing: Statistical Models, Test Plans, and Data Analysis ( Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics), Wiley-Interscience, Hoboken, NJ.
Charki, A., Laronde, R., Guérin, F., Bigaud, D., and CoadouF., 2011, “Robustness Evaluation Using Highly Accelerated Life Testing,” Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol., 56(9–12), pp. 1253–1261. [CrossRef]
Laronde, R., Charki, A., Bigaud, D., and Excoffier, P., 2011, “Reliability Evaluation of a Photovoltaic Module Using Accelerated Degradation Models,” SPIE Optics+Photonics, August 21–25, San Diego, CA.
Voiculescu, S., Guerin, F., Barreau, M., and Charki, A., 2009, “Bayesian Estimation in Accelerated Life Testing,” Int. J. Prod. Dev., 7(3–4), pp. 246–260. [CrossRef]
Hall, I., Prairie, R., Anderson, H., and Boes, E., 1978, “Generation of Typical Meteorological Years for 26 SOLMET Stations,” Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, Report No. SAND78-1601.
IEC 61725, 1997, “Analytical Expression for Daily Solar Profiles,” International Electrotechnical Commission, Geneva, Switzerland.
Charki, A., Laronde, R., and Bigaud, D., 2013, “The Time-Variant Degradation of a Photovoltaic System,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 135, p. 024503. [CrossRef]
Kenny, R., Dunlop, E., Ossenbrink, H., and Müllejans, H., 2006, “A Practical Method for the Energy Rating of c-Si Photovoltaic Modules Based on Standard Tests,” Prog. Photovoltaics, 14(2), pp. 155–166. [CrossRef]
Laronde, R., Charki, A., and Bigaud, D., 2010, “Reliability of Photovoltaic Modules Based on Climatic Measurement Data,” Int. J. Metrol. Qual. Eng., 1, pp. 45–50. [CrossRef]
Dixon, R. R., 1980, “Thermal Aging Predictions From an Arrhenius Plot With Only One Data Point,” IEEE Trans. Electr. Insul., EI-15(4), pp. 331–334. [CrossRef]
Crowe, D., and Feinberg, A., 2001, Design for Reliability, CRC Press, Boca Ratón, FL.
Kurtz, S., Whitfield, K., Tamizhmani, G., Koehl, M., Miller, D., Joyce, J., Wohlgemuth, J., Bosco, N., Kempe, M., and Zgonena, T., 2011, “Evaluation of High-Temperature Exposure of Photovoltaic Modules,” Prog. Photovoltaics, 19, pp. 954–965. [CrossRef]
Vázquez, M., Algora, C., Rey-Stolle, I., and González, J., 2007, “III-V Concentrator Solar Cell Reliability Prediction Based on Quantitative LED Reliability Data,” Prog. Photovoltaics, 15(6), pp. 477–491. [CrossRef]
Osterwald, C. R., and McMahon, T., 2009, “History of Accelerated and Qualification Testing of Terrestrial Photovoltaic Modules: A Literature Review,” Prog. Photovoltaics, 17(1), pp. 11–33. [CrossRef]
King, D. L., Quintana, M. A., Kratochvil, A., Ellibee, D. E., and Hansen, B. R., 2000, “Photovoltaic Module Performance and Durability Following Long-Term Field Exposure,” Prog. Photovoltaics, 8(2), pp. 241–256. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Reliability assessment using accelerated life testing

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Description of a photovoltaic module

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Analytical profile for daily solar illumination

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Stochastic normal stress

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Reliability of a component with stochastic stress

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

PVMODREL toolbox under SIMULINK®

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Measurement data of temperature during November–December

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Measurement data of temperature with Tday centered around zero

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Relative humidity data measured for the period of November–December

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Relative humidity data with HRday centered around zero

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

PVMODREL toolbox developed

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Power rate versus damp heat exposure time for a c-Si module [4]




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In