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Developing the Science Basis for Understanding Polymer Encapsulant Degradation Mechanisms: A Scale-Bridging Computational Framework

DuraMAT will perform experimental encapsulant aging studies to identify degradation products and use these results as inputs to molecular scale models to determine diffusion and reaction kinetics occurring during encapsulant degradation.

We aim to assess degradation indicators to inform encapsulant material choice prior to fielding a photovoltaic module. Many factors simultaneously contribute to encapsulant degradation, however, distinguishing one specific primary driver is difficult. Concentrations of proprietary manufacturing additives, dissolved species, water, impurities, or metallization ions can result in chemical reactions that promote degradation. We refer to these collective interactions as combined effects, where encapsulant degradation occurs in the presence of one or more species with a dependence on concentration. These chemical reactions are often limited by the diffusive properties of degradation products and dissolved species, such as acetic acid and water in the case of ethylene vinyl acetate. Therefore, a more complete understanding of the heterogeneous degradation process requires knowledge of the migration of species, concentration dependence, and their combined effects on degradation rates.

Core Objective

Central Data Resource


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


  • Algorithms developed for data cleaning can be used in conjunction with many analyses of degradation and will be integrated into existing tools (e.g., pvlib, rdtools, pvanalytics).
  • The PV-Pro method developed can be used to analyze production data and extract single diode parameters that can indicate sources of degradation.
  • The bill of materials analysis can help address whether data analytics can identify issues in materials properties that ultimately lead to reliability failures.


The results of this project will be available and disseminated publicly.


To learn more about this capability, contact Anubhav Jain.

A magnification inset of a material fiber from a 3D cube full of material fibers.

Molecular scale modeling of encapsulant materials will be utilized to quantify diffusional and reaction kinetics occurring during degradation.