IEEE PVSC 49
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SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Arrhenius Analysis of the Degradation Modes in Emerging Photovoltaic Backsheets
Naila M. Al Hasan1, Rachael Arnold1, David C. Miller1, Jimmy Newkirk1, Emily Rago1, Michael Thuis1, Bruce L. King2, Laura T. Schelhas1, Archana Sinha3, Kent Terwilliger1, Sona Ulicna3, Peter Pasmans4, Christopher Thellen5
1National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, United States
/2National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, United States
/3National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, United States
/4National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, United States
/5National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, United States
/6National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, United States
/7Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, United States
/8National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, United States
/9SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA, United States
/10National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, United States
/11SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA, United States
/12Endurans Solar Solutions B.V., , Gelen, Netherlands
/13Worthen Endurans Solar, Nashua, NH, United States

With increasingly large-scale deployments of photovoltaic (PV) modules to meet global energy demands, interest in extending their lifespan is growing. Traditionally, polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) based backsheets have been used, reinforced with fluoropolymer surface layers that improve field durability but limit their environmentally friendly recycling or decomposition in end-of-life processing. Co-extruded polyolefin- (PO) based backsheets are environmentally durable alternatives, that may be more easily processed at the end of their service. In this study, seven different backsheets (PET, PO and polyamide PA based) prepared as mini-modules (MiMos) and sheet “coupon” samples are subjected to three hygrometric and four UV photolytic accelerated test conditions. After now having completed 4000 cumulative hours of aging, data from a comprehensive characterization of resulting electrical (breakdown voltage, I-V performance), mechanical (tensile test), surface roughness (gloss), crystalline content (DSC and WAXS), chemical (FTIR), and appearance (L, a*, b* color) changes will be analyzed to quantify degradation rates, the corresponding activation energy, and cross-correlate between the characteristics examined, thereby providing insights between physical characteristics and operating performance. For conciseness, we will focus specifically on the hygrometric tests to perform Arrhenius modeling of thermal degradation of backsheets. In addition to the quantitative data, qualitative data including camera photography, optical microscopy, and electroluminescence imaging may be used to interpret the correlation of characteristics and performance.