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Field Deployment

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

Field deployment ranges from traditional materials weathering studies in which small coupons are exposed to natural sunlight to more complex studies in which high-voltage systems are grid-tied through a central inverter. Degradation is characterized by a variety of methods appropriate for the experiment. For example, durability of a new coating might be tracked through periodic measurement of transmission loss, while durability of a system of modules might be tracked by macroscopic changes in electrical properties. A variety of destructive and nondestructive analytical techniques may be further applied to understand changes in material properties at the molecular level.

The field deployment capability within DuraMat is complimentary to the accelerated module testing and predictive simulations capabilities by confirming the field relevance of degradation mechanisms and acceleration factors.

Field deployment infrastructure is ready for the deployment of coupons, modules, or full systems. A variety of established analytical methods are available for tracking degradation. Specialized methods not available on-site may be found at national labs within the DuraMat consortium. Additional non-destructive analytical capabilities to assess material degradation are under development.

Core Objective

Fielded Module Forensics


Sandia National Laboratories


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.


Available to national lab scientists within the DuraMat consortium and external partners.


Bruce H. King, Joshua S. Stein, Daniel Riley, C. Birk Jones, Charles D. Robinson “Degradation Assessment of Fielded CIGS Photovoltaic Arrays,” 44th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Washington, DC, 2017. 
C. Birk Jones, Bruce H. King, Joshua S. Stein, Justin S. Fada, Alan J. Curran, Roger H. French, Erdmut Schnabel, Michael Koehl, Olga Lavrova.  “Quantifying Photovoltaic Module Degradation using the Loss Factor Model Parameters,” 44th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Washington, DC, 2017. 
Liza Boyle, Patrick D. Burton, Victoria Danner, Michael P. Hannigan, and Bruce King, “Regional and National Scale Spatial Variability of Photovoltaic Cover Plate Soiling and Subsequent Solar Transmission Losses.”  IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 2017.    


To learn more about this project, 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.