Degradation study on optical materials for concentrator photovoltaics
In this work the impact of accelerated aging on the spectral transmission and the mechanical robustness of silicone elastomers for concentrator photovoltaic applications was investigated. Therefore, specific test samples were manufactured. The samples were annealed at 150 degrees C to assure a complete cross-linking These samples were exposed to humidity freeze, to a pressure cooker test, and to UV light. To investigate optical materials under UVA intensity up to 10 W/cm(2) a test setup was developed. Thus, a UV dosage of 10000 kWh/m(2) was applied to the silicone samples after thermal treatment. The mean transmission was used as a measure to identify changes in the spectral behavior and was, therefore, compared after the stress tests with the initial value. No total failures but rather degradation was observed, mainly in the range of ultraviolet and visible light. In addition, the shear strengths for the silicone elastomers were compared before and after stress.