Objectives and key scientific challenges addressed: It is a crosscutting research area with the primary objective to address the PV component reliability issues. The eventual levelized cost of electricity/energy ($/kWh) from PV is dictated not only by the price ($/W) but also by the durability (years) of PV modules. This project aims to instill and emphasize the importance of durability and reliability of devices and the materials used in the module packages right at the fundamental R&D stages of the overall program. As shown in Figure 1, the durability and reliability of PV modules shall be established through a total quality system (TQS) which is composed of four quality arms [S. Kiehn and G. Tamizhmani: PV Module Quality Forum, San Franciso, July 2011]: Design Quality; Manufacturing Quality; Field Data; Failure Analysis. Each of these arms is composed of 3 quality cycles leading to a total of 12 quality cycles. Selection and processing of packaging materials in a module design primarily dictate the eventual reliability and durability of any PV devices (c-Si, thin-film or CPV) in the field. As shown in Figures -Business Sensitive; Not for Distribution- 2 2A and 2B [G. Tamizhmani et al: IEEE PVSC, Hawaii, 2010], the poor module designs miserably fail in the qualification testing of IEC 61215 and IEC 61646 standards. The qualification testing is a minimum requirement for reliability and durability. If the module designs fail even in this minimum design qualification testing, then these designs are expected to have high probability to fail in the field in the short as well as long terms. The key scientific challenge addressed in this project is to test and evaluate all the current and emerging materials, including cell and packaging materials, right at the initial phases of the project so the long-term reliability and durability (>25 years) issues are addressed at the lowest bill of materials and processes possible.
|Effective start/end date||7/23/13 → 3/31/18|
- US Department of Energy (DOE): $617,920.00