SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Degradation of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Modules Installed in Different Climates
Chiara Barretta1, Astrid E. Macher1, Julián Ascencio-Vásquez2,3, Marc Köntges4, Marko Topič3, Gernot Oreski1
1Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH (PCCL), Leoben, Austria
/2Envision Digital, Redwood City, CA, United States
/3Laboratory of Photovoltaics and Optoelectronics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
/4Institut für Solarenergieforschung, Emmerthal, Germany

The study presents a degradation analysis carried out on photovoltaic modules with the same bill of materials exposed in different climates: moderate (Germany) and tropical (the Caribbean). The modules exposed in tropical climate experienced severe power degradation after about 7 years of exposure, mainly due to the occurrence of acetic acid-related degradation modes. Evidence of acetic acid presence could be seen in the electroluminescence images and ion chromatography. Reduction of molar mass could be detected by means of differential scanning calorimetry, but thermogravimetric analysis and infrared spectroscopy were proven to be not suitable methods to detect chain scission phenomena.