Combined UV and damp heat test

PV modules in a climatic chamber with combined UV and damp heat stresses. At Fraunhofer ISE, PV modules can be tested in a realistic combined UV damp-heat test.

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Outdoor weathering facility for PV modules in the Negev Desert, Israel

Climatic factors which are critical for aging (e.g. ambient temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, UV radiation) are quantified in several outdoor weathering facilities and their effects on PV modules are monitored and investigated.

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UV test chamber with PV module

Our UV test chamber is equipped with different light sources and spectra. In addition, the ambient/module temperature can be controlled during testing. Typical failure mechanisms, like yellowing or different types of snail tracks, are triggered by ultraviolet radiation.

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Humidity freeze test of a PV module

The humidity freeze test (from -40°C to +85°C/+85 %) imposes high thermal stresses on the module, firstly due to the freezing humidity and secondly due to the thermal cycling.

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Analysis of failures and defects

Delamination on the front of a PV module. Production failures, defects caused by transportation, installation and operation can be examined with a variety of analytical methods.

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Service Life and Failure Analysis

In the field of work “Service Life and Failure Analysis”, we examine the quality and the aging behavior of PV modules as well as their materials and individual components. Throughout our work, we can refer to a large wealth of experience gained in the analysis and evaluation of numerous cases of failures in field operation. In addition, we monitor and examine the aging behavior of PV modules at realistic real time conditions as well as accelerated aging tests. At several outdoor test facilities worldwide, we expose photovoltaic module to determine the correlation between operating data and weathering and to adjust conditions of artificial weathering; we develop procedures to simulate aging mechanisms - like for example so-called “snail trails” - in accelerated aging tests to examine the modules’ sensitivity to specific effects.

In the accredited TestLab PV Modules we perform type-approval tests for photovoltaic modules according to IEC standards as well as customized tests. The synergies which are created through the cooperation of the TestLab PV Modules lead to fast processes of highest quality based on the accreditation according to ISO 17025.

Our many years of experience with module failures in outdoor weathering and accelerated aging tests provide us with a deep understanding of mechanisms and defective material combinations. For tests and analyses, we have the most modern and innovative equipment at our disposal, which we partially developed ourselves for the special application to PV modules.

Selected Research Projects



Development of characterization methodology for modules and systems applying bifacial PV technology



Transparent OPV Glass Facade



Global load classification system for solar technical materials

Trade Fairs / Conferences


May 27-30, 2018
Shanghai, China

World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-7)

June 10-15, 2018
Waikoloa, Hawaii

Intersolar Europe

June 20-22, 2018
Munich, Germany

Video, Brochure and Flyer: Service Life and Failure Analysis


Video: TestLab PV Modules

Brochure: TestLab PV Modules

Flyer: PV Module Certification

Flyer: PID - Analysis and Mitigation

Flyer: UV Testing and Qualification of PV Modules and Materials

Current publications - Service Life and Failure Analysis


YearTitle/AuthorDocument Type
This publication list has been generated from the publication database Fraunhofer-Publica.