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Proceedings Paper

Design of high-reliability low-cost amorphous silicon modules for high energy yield
Author(s): Kai W. Jansen; Anthony Varvar; Edward Twesme; Troy Berens; Neelkanth G. Dhere
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Paper Abstract

For PV modules to fulfill their intended purpose, they must generate sufficient economic return over their lifetime to justify their initial cost. Not only must modules be manufactured at a low cost/Wp with a high energy yield (kWh/kWp), they must also be designed to withstand the significant environmental stresses experienced throughout their 25+ year lifetime. Based on field experience, the most common factors affecting the lifetime energy yield of glass-based amorphous silicon (a-Si) modules have been identified; these include: 1) light-induced degradation; 2) moisture ingress and thin film corrosion; 3) transparent conductive oxide (TCO) delamination; and 4) glass breakage. The current approaches to mitigating the effect of these degradation mechanisms are discussed and the accelerated tests designed to simulate some of the field failures are described. In some cases, novel accelerated tests have been created to facilitate the development of improved manufacturing processes, including a unique test to screen for TCO delamination. Modules using the most reliable designs are tested in high voltage arrays at customer and internal test sites, as well as at independent laboratories. Data from tests at the Florida Solar Energy Center has shown that a-Si tandem modules can demonstrate an energy yield exceeding 1200 kWh/kWp/yr in a subtropical climate. In the same study, the test arrays demonstrated low long-term power loss over two years of data collection, after initial stabilization. The absolute power produced by the test arrays varied seasonally by approximately ±7%, as expected.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 September 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7048, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems, 70480M (10 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.795143
Show Author Affiliations
Kai W. Jansen, EPV Solar, Inc. (United States)
Anthony Varvar, EPV Solar, Inc. (United States)
Edward Twesme, EPV Solar, Inc. (United States)
Troy Berens, EPV Solar, Inc. (United States)
Neelkanth G. Dhere, Florida Solar Energy Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7048:
Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems
Neelkanth G. Dhere, Editor(s)

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