Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems

Reliability of PV-Modules

Outdoor exposure of PV-Modules under extreme climatic conditions

Manufacturers usually give a warranty for at least 20 years although there is still only little knowledge about the lifetime of newly developed module types. How do they cope with snow, salty ambience, desert-climate or tropical humidity? The Fraunhofer-ISE has therefore installed an outdoor exposure sites at the Schneefernerhaus where modules have to stand the extreme climate: snow, wind, extreme UV-irradiation and frost.
Besides serial modules provided by industrial partners, Fraunhofer ISE exposes experimental modules with innovative encapsulation- and back sheet-materials. UV-irradiation, solar-irradiation, ambient and module-temperature, humidity and wind speed are measured and the data is collected at a central server. Based on this data the climatic loads can be calculated and used for the estimation of the service life.