Highly Instrumented Modules for Environmental Characterization and Simulation Model Validation
This DuraMAT SPARK project seeks to develop a proof-of-concept method for embedding strain gauges into photovoltaic modules, to enable in-situ measurements of a module’s mechanical state.
The goal of this effort is to both collect internal strain data for computational model validation and enable instrumented modules to be deployed in field testing to collect data on real-life environmental stress states.
The technical approach begins by building modules with strain gauges directly laminated in place over highly strained locations identified through computational modeling. Laboratory mechanical testing will then be conducted on these modules, to correlate strain gauge output with measured loads and module shapes. These gauge outputs can be used directly for comparison and validation of simulation predicted strains,and if correlations to module shapes are found to be highly successful, instrumented modules could potentially be utilized to characterize the actual loads and deformations experienced by modules in the field.
Sandia National Laboratories
Measurement of internal strain is a precursor for understanding the driving forces behind module degradation modes such as cell cracking and interconnect damage. Successful demonstration of this capability helps to develop and validate damage models and characterize how environmental exposures can affect components inside the module packaging.
Conclusions and lessons learned to be made available throughout DuraMAT Consortium.
Ashley Maes, James Hartley, Mike Rowell, Charles Robinson, Tariq Khraishi. “Instrumented Modules for Mechanical Environment Characterization and Simulation Model Validation”. 47th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conference. Virtual. June 15 -August 21, 2020.
To learn more about this project, contact James Hartley.