The module whisperers

In its current issue, the trade magazine "Sonnenenergie" reports on a new method developed by HI ERN researchers to non-destructively characterize PV backsheets in the field.

High-quality components are a prerequisite for trouble-free and long-lasting use of photovoltaic modules for energy production. In recent years however there has been a significant increase in serial module failures, which can be attributed to the failure of individual backsheets (BS) and the associated loss of insulation of the modules. The result is increased downtime and even destruction of the modules due to complete failure of the backsheets. In some cases, the operational reliability of entire PV-systems can no longer be guaranteed.

Die Modulflüsterer
Inspecting a PV module with the "module stethoscope" that is used when performing the measurements.
HI ERN/Kurt Fuchs

In its current issue, the trade magazine "Sonnenenergie" reports on the new method developed by researchers at HI ERN, with which backsheet films can be characterized non-destructively on a large scale in the field. This involved a large-scale study that created a unique data set linking the electrical performance data of 28,030 photovoltaic modules to the identity of the backsheet films for each of the modules tested. The study showed that the polymer stacks used in the backsheet are critical to its performance and durability. With this unique dataset, it is now also possible to infer the structure of the polymer stacks used through non-destructive surface measurements.

The findings of the large-scale study will enable solar parks to forecast degradation and failure risk with greater module accuracy in the future and to develop an operating and refurbishment strategy adapted to this. In addition, the study also provides important findings with regard to future materials and their combination in order to improve the durability of the modules.

Article "Die Modulflüsterer" (in german) published in trade magazine "Sonnenenergie" (Issue04/2022)
Publisher: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sonnenenergie e.V.

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Dr. Ian Marius Peters

Gruppenleiter "Hoch­durch­satz Cha­rakter­isierung und Modell­ierung für die PV"

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    Last Modified: 22.08.2023