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Development of Combined-Accelerated Stress Testing for Photovoltaics

DuraMAT is developing combined-accelerated stress testing (C-AST) for photovoltaics (PV).

C-AST is the combining of the stress factors of the natural environment in an environmental chamber, with fewer modules and with fewer parallel tests. It is possible to discover potential weaknesses that are not known a-priori in new module designs, reduce residual risk, accelerate time to market and bankability, reduce costly overdesign, and apply known degradation rate equations to estimate service life for the degradation mechanisms observed in C-AST.

Core Objective

Disruptive Acceleration Science


National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)


With our research, we combine the environmental stress factors including light, temperature, humidity, rain/spray, system voltage, and mechanical stress (thermo-mechanical and static loading) to reduce the number of tests, samples, and chambers required for PV module or material qualification. C-AST can therefore accelerate development, bankability, and commercialization of PV module innovations.


Negotiated projects with NREL scientists and external collaborators


Owen-Bellini, M.; Sulas-Kern, D. B.; Perrin, G.; North, H.; Spataru S.; and Hacke, P. (2020) "Methods for In Situ Electroluminescence Imaging of Photovoltaic Modules Under Varying Environmental Conditions." in IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, doi: 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2020.3001723.

Hacke, P.; Owen-Bellin,i M.; Kempe, M.; Miller, D.C.; Tanahahi, T.; Sakurai K.; Gambogi, W.; Trout, J, Felder, T.C.; Choudhury, K.; Phillips, N. (2019) “Combined and Sequential Accelerated Stress Testing for Derisking Photovoltaic Modules.” In Advanced Micro-and Nanomaterials for Photovoltaics, Elsevier, 279-313

Hartman K.; Hacke P.; Owen-Bellini M.; Jin Y.; Cummings M.; Taylor A.; Pretorius J.; Fritzemeier L. (2019) “Validation of Advanced Photovoltaic Module Materials and Processes by Combined-Accelerated Stress Testing (C-AST).” In 2019 IEEE 46th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), 2243-2248.

Miller, D.C.; Owen-Bellini, M.; Hacke P. (2019) “Use of indentation to study the degradation of photovoltaic backsheets, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells.” Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 201 110082.

Owen-Bellini, M.; Hacke, P.; Spataru, S.; Miller, D.C.; and Kempe, M.  (2018)  “Combined-accelerated stress testing for advanced reliability assessment of photovoltaic modules.” In 35th EU PVSEC, 1101.

Spataru S.; Hacke P.; Owen-Bellini M. (2018) “Combined-accelerated stress testing system for photovoltaic modules.” In 2018 IEEE 7th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC)(A Joint Conference of 45th IEEE PVSC, 28th PVSEC & 34th EU PVSEC) 3943-3948 


To learn more about this project, contact Peter Hacke.

Photo of three PV modules being stress tested