SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Progress in PV Material Durability Test Methodologies
William Gambogi
Technical Advisor, Wilmington, DE, United States

Accelerated test methods to assess the durability of photovoltaic modules is an active area of research in the PV technical community.  The seminal work in this area was conducted under a US DOE program in the 1980s led by researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  Many of the industrial standards for testing PV module reliability were based on this early work.  As the PV industry grew, PV reliability research groups throughout the world were formed and advanced the field through targeted module and materials accelerated testing.  Field experience and assessment also provided insights into failure mechanisms and comparison to accelerated testing results.  New materials and module designs were introduced into the industry at an accelerated pace with growing interest as the installed PV base grew and as price pressure led to lower cost materials and designs.  These cost pressures led to some notable early product field failures that were not caught by existing test standards.  In this paper, we will review the recent progress and direction in accelerated testing of PV materials and modules.