TUV Rheinland Japan Ltd. has begun providing accelerated degradation testing at its Solar Energy Assessment Center (SEAC) in Yokohama, Japan.
Failures and degradation of PV modules are caused by combinations of environmental stresses such as solar radiation, humidity and ambient temperature. Although many tests have been introduced to assess these stressors individually, a compound stress test of light, temperature and humidity that simulates the natural environment has never been included in the PV IEC standard, the organization says.
The new testing service applies a combination of light, temperature and humidity to all types of cell technology modules. This test can be used to check for the presence of encapsulant degradation and potential failure modes (e.g., delamination and/or discoloration of EVA), as well as electrode degradation. Accelerated testing can also be used to assess light-induced degradation of amorphous solar cells.