News Article

DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions Partners With Fraunhofer ISE


DuPont Electronics & Imaging's Photovoltaic Solutions
business announced it has entered into a collaboration agreement with the
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, a leading institute for
applied scientific and engineering research and development in solar energy, to
optimize accelerated testing protocols for crystalline silicon solar panels.

Fraunhofer ISE tests
and certifies PV modules according to IEC 61215 and IEC 61646.

The test equipment includes a climatic chamber for combined
exposure to UV radiation and damp heat. PV modules are weathered and tested
with UV radiation, humidity and elevated temperatures. © Fraunhofer ISE

Fraunhofer ISE will validate and accelerate solar panel
sequential testing methods developed by DuPont, to enable service life
estimation calculations. The tests aim to address the most common types of
panel degradation observed in the field at the backsheet level, by type of
material used.

Commenting on the agreement, Kaushik Roy Choudhury, Ph.D.,
Global Reliability Manager, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions said: “We are pleased
to be working alongside the scientists at Fraunhofer ISE to help validate our
set of accelerated tests. Studying how panels age in the field under multiple environmental
stresses is critical for customers and future development of materials.”

The proposed tests will be based on DuPont's Module
Accelerated Sequential Testing protocols, whereby solar panels are subjected to
several sequences that combine damp heat, UV and thermal cycling to generate
accelerated test conditions aligned with realistic stresses experienced in the

Karl-Anders Weiss, Ph.D., Project Manager, Fraunhofer ISE
said: “The aim of this work is to determine whether the proposed accelerated
testing protocols can accurately predict service lifetime of solar panels made
with different types of materials. Our intent is to move from the current IEC
standards which are limited to predicting early stage failure mechanisms, to a
longer-term view of panel aging in the field.”

As part of this collaboration, the testing protocols will be
refined by Fraunhofer ISE to enable a simpler and faster recipe that could help
to resolve one of the biggest challenges of the photovoltaic industry.

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