TUV Rheinland has developed a new testing methodology to simulate long-term operational conditions that solar modules could experience throughout their lifetime. The new accelerated test sequence for PV modules is designed to more accurately approximate real outdoor solar module behavior in a laboratory environment.
TUV Rheinland's Long-Term Sequential Test includes a test sequence that is approximately nine months long and is intended to evaluate the degradation of solar modules affected by multiple external variables. The sequence consists of four major subcomponent tests: damp heat, thermal cycling, humidity freezing and bypass diode.
Additional components include the optional plug-in tests for hot spots, hail and mechanical load tests. Due to the harshness of the sequence, only a limited number of products will be able to pass these tests, as a single test module is put through this test sequence and the degradation in power generated is measured after each stage.
TUV Rheinland notes that Kyocera Corp. is the first customer to request this test and that its 210 W solar module has passed the major subtests.