FEM-Simulations of PV Modules and Components

Finite element method (FEM) simulations of the physical product behavior of PV modules and their components can quickly reveal optimization potential with regard to design and the interaction of materials. This greatly reduces the need for prototype construction. In addition, root causes of failures occurring during operation can be analyzed in great detail.

We use FEM simulations to examine a wide range of physical influences on the PV module and its components, such as the module frame or the substructure. For example, we simulate thermomechanical stresses during production, in tests according to the IEC 61215 standard or under real environmental loads in order to identify and thus avoid potential defects already during development.

With FEM, PV modules can be developed and optimized widely computer-based. Through the interface with CAD programs and the use of a High Performance Computing Clusters (HPC cluster), we are able to simulate very complex and thus computationally expensive geometries and issues in the field of solar energy.

FEM-Simulation eines handelsüblichen Solarmoduls
© Fraunhofer ISE

FEM simulation of a commercial solar module with 60 cells in mechanical load test from 2400 Pa pull to 5400 push load. Shown is the tensile stress in the solar cells.

Our R&D Services on this Topic:



  • Multiphysical FEM simulation on high performance computing clusters (HPC cluster).
  • Digital product development and material qualification
  • Digital product optimization
  • Root Cause Anaylsis of failures
  • Material characterization to determine material properties , e.g. as input for FEM simulation
  • Experimental validation in the test laboratories of Fraunhofer ISE 


FEM simulations make thermomechanical stresses in PV modules visible



FEM simulations make wind loads on PV modules visible



FEM simulations reveal inhomogeneous temperatures in PV modules



FEM simulations make electric currents in PV modules visible



FEM simulations make sound waves in PV modules visible