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Proceedings Paper

Product reliability and thin-film photovoltaics
Author(s): Ryan Gaston; Rebekah Feist; Simon Yeung; Mike Hus; Mark Bernius; Marc Langlois; Scott Bury; Jennifer Granata; Michael Quintana; Carl Carlson; Georgios Sarakakis; Douglas Ogden; Adamantios Mettas
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Paper Abstract

Despite significant growth in photovoltaics (PV) over the last few years, only approximately 1.07 billion kWhr of electricity is estimated to have been generated from PV in the US during 2008, or 0.27% of total electrical generation. PV market penetration is set for a paradigm shift, as fluctuating hydrocarbon prices and an acknowledgement of the environmental impacts associated with their use, combined with breakthrough new PV technologies, such as thin-film and BIPV, are driving the cost of energy generated with PV to parity or cost advantage versus more traditional forms of energy generation. In addition to reaching cost parity with grid supplied power, a key to the long-term success of PV as a viable energy alternative is the reliability of systems in the field. New technologies may or may not have the same failure modes as previous technologies. Reliability testing and product lifetime issues continue to be one of the key bottlenecks in the rapid commercialization of PV technologies today. In this paper, we highlight the critical need for moving away from relying on traditional qualification and safety tests as a measure of reliability and focus instead on designing for reliability and its integration into the product development process. A drive towards quantitative predictive accelerated testing is emphasized and an industrial collaboration model addressing reliability challenges is proposed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 August 2009
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 7412, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems II, 74120N (20 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.825415
Show Author Affiliations
Ryan Gaston, The Dow Chemical Co. (United States)
Rebekah Feist, The Dow Chemical Co. (United States)
Simon Yeung, The Dow Chemical Co. (United States)
Mike Hus, The Dow Chemical Co. (United States)
Mark Bernius, The Dow Chemical Co. (United States)
Marc Langlois, The Dow Chemical Co. (United States)
Scott Bury, The Dow Chemical Co. (United States)
Jennifer Granata, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Michael Quintana, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Carl Carlson, ReliaSoft Corp. (United States)
Georgios Sarakakis, ReliaSoft Corp. (United States)
Douglas Ogden, ReliaSoft Corp. (United States)
Adamantios Mettas, ReliaSoft Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7412:
Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems II
Neelkanth G. Dhere; John H. Wohlgemuth; Dan T. Ton, Editor(s)

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