Reliability and Long-Term Stability Testing

Climatic chambers for the investigation of reliability
© Fraunhofer ISE
Climatic chambers for the investigation of reliability.

One important area of research focus at ConTEC (Concentrator Technology and Evaluation Center) lies in analyzing the reliability of individual components. Within concentrator photovoltaics, the thermal connection between the solar cell and substrate is particularly crucial, since extremely high energy flow is applied to the assembly via the concentrated radiation.
In order to investigate the long-term stability of modules or components, accelerated aging tests are performed. The following environmental test chambers are available for this purpose:

  • Temperature degradation up to 250 °C
  • Temperature cycling: changing the temperature (-40 °C to 180 °C)
  • Damp heat test: Environment with increased humidity and temperature (10 %rh to 98 %rh)
  • Humidity freeze test: Increased humidity and changing temperature cycling (-40 °C to 180 °C and 30 %rh to 95 %rh)

We also develop and research new test methods that replicate the demands placed on concentrator modules. One such example is the analysis of solar cells, optical components or encapsulating materials under concentrated UV radiation.