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Characterization of PV Modules by Combination of Mechanical and Electrical Analysis Methods

: Sander, M.; Henke, B.; Schweizer, S.; Ebert, M.; Bagdahn, J.


European Commission:
25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, EU PVSEC 2010. Proceedings : 5th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, 6-10 , September 2010, Valencia, Spain
München: WIP-Renewable Energies, 2010
ISBN: 3-936338-26-4
European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) <25, 2010, Valencia>
World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion <5, 2010, Valencia>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IWM ()

This contribution compares different characterization methods and their suitability to detect mechanical and electrical defects. Commercially available photovoltaic (PV) modules were tested using different analysis methods. Some methods are already standard in solar cell inspection like electroluminescence or thermography but have rarely been expanded to module scale. Other methods like laser-doppler vibrometry or digital image correlation are used for mechanical purposes and can be used to determine mechanical parameters of PV modules as a mechanical element. The combination of mechanical and electrical analysis methods allows a very precise assessment of the mechanical and electrical condition which is essential for reliability and lifetime concepts. Also an understanding of many effects and their causes is possible and can be used for module layout improvement. Because micro-cracks caused by mechanical or thermal loading are a serious problem in crystalline PV modules, the mechanisms of this specific defect type should be investigated. For this purpose laminated test specimens on smaller scales were produced and analyzed over production process and during temperature cycles derived from the international standards IEC 61215 and IEC 61646. The analysis was done by electroluminescence imaging and the crack development was evaluated statistically. The results are presented and are compared to results from numerical simulations.