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Field Deployment

Through field deployment, DuraMAT demonstrates the durability of photovoltaic (PV) module materials, coatings, and module packaging designs. This includes:

  • Materials weathering studies of existing or new construction materials
  • Deployment of mini-modules
  • Deployment of full systems
  • Detailed electrical characterization of functional modules or prototypes.

Our field deployment ranges from traditional materials weathering studies—e.g., exposing small coupons to natural sunlight—to more complex studies, e.g., grid-tying high-voltage systems through a central inverter.

Degradation is characterized by a variety of methods appropriate for the experiment. For example, we might track the durability of a new coating through periodic measurement of transmission loss, while we might track the durability of system modules by macroscopic changes in electrical properties.

Also, we might further apply a variety of destructive and non-destructive analytical techniques to understand changes in material properties at the molecular level. By confirming the field relevance of degradation mechanisms and acceleration factors, it complements accelerated stress testing and predictive simulation.

Our field deployment infrastructure is ready to deploy coupons, modules, or full systems. We offer a variety of established analytical methods for tracking degradation. We're also developing additional non-destructive analytical capabilities to assess material degradation.

Projects

A Hybrid Hydrophobic-Hydrophilic Coating with Combined Anti-Reflective and Anti-Soiling Properties

Laboratory

Sandia National Laboratories

References

King, B.H.; Stein, J.S.; Riley, D.; Jones, C.B.; Robinson, C.D. (2017). "Degradation Assessment of Fielded CIGS Photovoltaic Arrays. " 44th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Washington, DC.

Jones, C.B.; King, B.H.; Stein, J.S.; Fada, J.S.; Curran, A.J.; French, R.H.; Schnabel, E.; Koehl, M.; Lavrova, O. (2017) "Quantifying Photovoltaic Module Degradation using the Loss Factor Model Parameters. " 44th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Washington, DC.

Boyle, L.; Burton, P.D.; Danner, V.; Hannigan, M.P.; King, B. (2017) "Regional and National Scale Spatial Variability of Photovoltaic Cover Plate Soiling and Subsequent Solar Transmission Losses. " IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics.

Contact

To learn more about this capability area, contact Bruce King.

Photo of a small PV module on testing equipment

Figure 1. Long-term PV connector weathering study

Photo of outdoor testing equipment with a variety of attached PV modules.

Figure 2. Flexible, two-axis tracker capable of testing a wide variety of PV module sizes and form-factors

Photo of multiple PV modules attached to make a long array

Figure 3. Prototype flexible module study. Full system deployed on a mock roof structure.