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.

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.

Climatic chamber for PV modules

Climate chamber for weathering tests under various climatic conditions (max. -55 ° C to + 180 ° C) in the accredited laboratory „TestLab PV Modules“. Through a vertical air flow a homogenous temperature distribution within the chamber is present leading to highest comparability of test results.

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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.

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.

Hail test for PV modules

With a special compressed air gun, developed by Fraunhofer ISE, the robustness of the module is determined by firing hailstones at defined, standardized target points (such as the conductor connection points).

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.

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 out of the operation in the field. 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 tracks” - in accelerated aging tests to examine the modules’ sensibility 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.

The IEC-accredited TestLab PV Modules provides measurements and tests for PV module type approval in line with national and international standards.

We are actively participating in several standardization committees and working groups, amongst others:

  • Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik, DKE: AK 373.0.10: Working group solar cells, wafers and modules
  • International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC: TC82 / WG 2: technical committee 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems / working group 2: Modules, non-concentrationg
  • IEC/TS 62876-2-1 "Nanotechnology - Reliability assessment - Part 2.1: Nano-enabled photovoltaic devices - Stability test"

Mit dem Thema Gebrauchsdauerprüfung und Schadensanalytik sind wir auf folgenden Messen und Konferenzen vertreten:

32. Symposium Photovoltaische Solarenergie

08.03.2017 - 10.03.2017
Bad Staffelstein, Kloster Banz

Silicon PV

03. - 05.04 2017
Freiburg, Freiburg Concert Hall

SNEC 2017

19. - 21.04.2017
Shanghai | China

Intersolar Europe

31.05. - 02.06.2017

Munich, Messe Munich

Current publications - Service Life and Failure Analysis


YearTitle/AuthorDocument Type
2016Effect of thermal insulation of the back side of PV modules in the module temperature
Koehl, M.; Hamperl, S.; Heck, M.
Journal Article
2016Silver grid finger corrosion on snail track affected PV modules - investigation on degradation products and mechanisms
Dürr, I.; Bierbaum, J.; Metzger, J.; Richter, J.; Philipp, D.; Wirth, H.
2016Yield predictions for photovoltaic power plants: Empirical validation, recent advances and remaining uncertainties
Müller, B.; Hardt, L.; Armbruster, A.; Kiefer, K.; Reise, C.
Journal Article
2015FEM-simulation of water vapor ingress into glass-glass-modules with polymeric edge sealant and a new experimental set up for permeation tests for sealing material
Klimm, E.; Piekarczyk, A.; Vogt, F.; Ballion, A.; Weiß, K.-A.; Köhl, M.
Conference Paper
2015Impact of soiling on IV-curves and efficiency of PV-modules
Schill, C.; Brachmann, S.; Koehl, M.
Journal Article
2015Interlaboratory study to determine repeatability of the damp-heat test method for potential-induced degradation and polarization in crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules
Hacke, P.; Terwilliger, K.; Glick, S.; Tamizhmani, G.; Tatapudi, S.; Stark, C.; Koch, S.; Weber, T.; Berghold, J.; Hoffmann, S.; Koehl, M.; Dietrich, S.; Ebert, M.; Mathiak, G.
Journal Article
2015Mechanical and chemical characterization of solder joints after accelerated ageing tests
Dürr, I.; Walter, J.; Kraft, A.; Weiß, K.-A.; Eitner, U.; Volk, M.; Ebert, C.
Conference Paper
2015Round robin testing of various back-sheets for PV-modules with different ultra-violet radiation sources and sample temperatures
Köhl, M.; Ballion, A.; Lee, Y.-H.; Wu, H.-S.; Scott, K.; Glick, S.; Hacke, P.; Koo, H.J.
Conference Paper
2015Simulation of water ingress into PV-modules: IEC-testing versus outdoor exposure
Hülsmann, P.; Weiss, K.-A.
Journal Article
2015Soiling and abrasion testing of surfaces for solar energy systems adapted to extreme climatic conditions
Klimm, E.; Kaltenbach, T.; Philipp, D.; Masche, M.; Weiß, K.-A.; Köhl, M.
Conference Paper
2014Accelerated Service Life Testing of Photovoltaic Modules
Köhl, M.
Book Article
2014Brandgefahr durch PV-Anlagen: Teil 1: Statistische auswertung von Hitzeschäden und Brandfällen in PV-Anlagen
Laukamp, H.; Bopp, G.
Journal Article
2014Effect of humidity and temperature on the potential-induced degradation
Hoffmann, S.; Köhl, M.
Journal Article
2014The influence of the additive composition on degradation induced changes in poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) during photochemical aging
Beinert, A.; Peike, C.; Dürr, I.; Kempe, M.D.; Reiter, G.; Weiß, K.-A.
Conference Paper
2014Modeling the soiling of glazing materials in arid regions with geographic information systems (GIS)
Herrmann, J.; Slamova, K.; Glaser, R.; Köhl, M.
Conference Paper
2014Nondestructive determination of climate-specific degradation patterns for photovoltaic-module encapsulation
Peike, C.; Hoffmann, S.; Heck, M.; Kaltenbach, T.; Weiß, K.-A.; Köhl, M.
Journal Article
2014Prediction of silicon PV module temperature for hot spots and worst case partial shading situations using spatially resolved lock-in thermography
Geisemeyer, I.; Fertig, F.; Warta, W.; Rein, S.; Schubert, M.C.
Journal Article
2014PV module degradation in the field and in the lab - how does it fit together?
Peike, C.; Hoffmann, S.; Dürr, I.; Köhl, M.; Weiß, K.-A.
Conference Paper
2014Rethinking solar resource assessments in the context of global dimming and brightening
Müller, B.; Wild, M.; Driesse, A.; Behrens, K.
Journal Article
2014Soiling and anti-soiling coatings on surfaces of solar thermal systems - featuring an economic feasibility analysis
Lorenz, T.; Klimm, E.; Weiß, K.-A.
Journal Article
2014Temperature-dependent water vapour and oxygen permeation through different polymeric materials used in photovoltaic-modules
Hülsmann, P.; Weiß, K.-A.; Köhl, M.
Journal Article
2013Can anti-soiling coating on solar glass influence the degree of performance loss over time of PV modules drastically
Klimm, E.; Lorenz, T.; Weiss, K.-A.
Conference Paper
2013Changes of morphology and material properties of thin Ethylene-Vinyl acetate-films under different aging conditions
Meier, T.; Peike, C.; Kaltenbach, T.; Weiss, K.-A.
Conference Paper
2013Influence of Mechanical Load at Low Temperatures on Cell Defects and Power Degradation at Full Scale PV Modules
Mülhöfer, G.; Berg, H.; Ferrara, C.; Grzesik, W.; Phillip, D.
Conference Paper
2013Investigation on the impact of macro- and micro-climate on the potential induced degradation
Hoffmann, S.; Köhl, M.
Conference Paper
2013Modeling the leakage current for potential induced degradation
Hoffmann, S.; Köhl, M.
Conference Paper
2013Moisture as stress factor for PV-modules
Köhl, M.
Conference Paper
2013Origin of damp-heat induced cell degradation
Peike, C.; Hoffmann, S.; Hülsmann, P.; Thaidigsmann, B.; Weiß, K.-A.; Koehl, M.; Bentz, P.
Journal Article
2013Overview on PV Module Encapsulation Materials
Peike, C.; Hädrich, I.; Weiß, K.-A.; Dürr, I.
Journal Article
2013Simulation of Water Vapor Ingress into PV-Modules under different Climatic Conditions
Hülsmann, P.; Heck, M.; Köhl, M.
Journal Article
2013Thermal influence on the photochemical degradation behavior of ethylene-based PV encapsulants
Peike, C.; Apin, K.; Hummel, M.; Weiß, K.-A.; Köhl, M.
Conference Paper
2013Towards the origin of photochemical EVA discoloration
Peike, C.; Purschke, L.; Weiß, K.-A.; Köhl, M.; Kempe, M.
Conference Paper
2013Ultraviolet radiation as a stress factor for the PV-modules - global approach
Slamova, K.; Wirth, J.; Schill, C.; Köhl, M.
Conference Paper
2013X-ray study on damp-heat induced cell degradation (DHID)
Duerr, I.; Peike, C.; Köhl, M.; Hoffmann S.; Weiß, K.-A.
Conference Paper
This publication list has been generated from the publication database Fraunhofer-Publica.