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Core Objective 2: Multi-Scale, Multi-Physics Modeling

As a core objective, DuraMAT develops modeling tools to rapidly scale accelerated testing results and quantitatively assess the impacts and degradation modes of new photovoltaic (PV) materials and designs.

Multi-scale, multi-physics modeling of the bulk packaging material properties, interfaces, and interconnects within a PV module will be used to simulate behavior under environmental stresses and as a function of material or design changes. These simulations require extensive experimental validation of material properties and packaging behavior under stress.

Experimentally validated simulations help DuraMAT scientists understand the physics of failure and will eventually be used to extrapolate accelerated test results to longer time scales. Modeling can help researchers visualize and predict how each ambient stressor, e.g. temperature or humidity, affects degradation in the packaging materials, and integrated PV module.

Under this objective, the key results include building a model multi-scale thermo-mechanical model that serves a framework for future work, insights into the structural behavior of electrically conductive adhesives (ECA) under environmental exposures, and wind effects on PV tracker arrays.

Key Results 

  • Quantify relevant driving forces for mechanically related failures in full-sized modules.
  • Define equivalent mini module form and mechanical loading to replicate the relevant stress induced in full-sized modules through both accelerated testing and field deployment.
  • Define an equivalent accelerated test for modules containing ECA interconnects.
  • Define an accelerated test for ECA interconnect durability that is equivalent to (the current evaluation of/ thermal cycling for) metallic solders.

Related Projects

Contact

To learn more about this core objective, contact Nick Bosco