Investigation of the Turkey’s Climate for Service Lifetime of Photovoltaic Modules
Photovoltaic (PV) system installations have grown remarkably in recent years; however, service lifetime issues during real-world operation need to be tackled. Polymeric components in PV modules, specially encapsulants, are susceptible to hydrolysis resulting in failures such as cell metallization corrosion and leading to power loss and reduced service lifetime. The standard certification test (IEC 61215) applied to PV modules is designed to determine the manufacturing flaws and premature failures; however, it is haphazardly correlated to service lifetime prediction. The damp heat exposure (85°C/85%RH for 1000 hours) is one of the required protocols within this standard to assess the impacts of long-term ingress of humidity into the module structure; however, its validity as a potential reliability test is often disputed by the PV community. In this work, a methodology for determining equivalent damp heat testing times for 30 years of service lifetime is demonstrated for Turkey and the results are presented as a country map. The analysis clearly shows that equivalent damp heat testing times vary markedly depending on the local climatic conditions and the activation energy of the power degradation. This study underlines the importance of (1) the module structure since it is associated with the activation energy of the degradation processes and (2) climatic conditions since it is related to the effective environmental stressors impacting the modules’ lifetime during real-world operation.
Vahit Anıl Yenigül, Gebze Teknik Üniversitesi Malzeme Bilimi ve Mühendisliği bölümünde dördüncü sınıf lisans öğrencisidir. Halihazırda, güneş enerji panellerinin kullanım ömrü üzerine çalışmaktadır.