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Field Analysis and Degradation of Modules and Components in Distributed PV Applications
H. Hu, W.J. Gambogi, K. Choudhury, L. Garreau-Iles, T. Felder, S. MacMaster, O. Fu, T.-J. Trout
Rooftop, Module, Distributed PV
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: PV Module Design, Manufacture, Performance and Reliability
Event: 35th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5BO.12.1
1072 - 1075
ISBN: 3-936338-50-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/35thEUPVSEC20182018-5BO.12.1
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


The Chinese Photovoltaic (PV) market grew rapidly in 2017 with 53GW of new installations. Distributed PV (DPV) accounted for 19.4GW growing from 4.2GW in 2016. Examples of DPV include small scale (usually < 20MW) PV installations on commercial and residential rooftops, over-water installations and small size off-grid installations. The DPV segment is expected to keep growing in the next few years. However, along with the high-speed growth and development, field failures and underlying mechanisms/root causes need to be assessed. A field investigation by DuPont of more than 1GW and ~300 installations, ranging from newly installed to 30+ years old with a variety of module types including mono, poly, fixed, tracking, glass/backsheet, glass/glass, and bifacial, in DPV and ground installations. The data shows higher module visual failure rate for DPV (32.5%) compared with large scale ground PV (22.8%), while backsheet failure rate in DPV is > 2.5 times higher than that of conventional PV. Examples are shown of module and component failures including solar cell corrosion, hot spots, EVA browning and glass delamination, and backsheet yellowing, cracking and thickness erosion. To understand failure mechanisms, non-destructive analysis and lab destructive analysis were conducted and defects were analyzed.