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PV Module Damages Caused by Hail Impact and Non-Uniform Snow Load
G. Mathiak, J. Sommer, W. Herrmann, N. Bogdanski, J. Althaus, F. Reil
Electroluminescence, Testing, Qualification, Snow load, Hail impact
Operation, Performance, Reliability and Sustainability of Photovoltaics
Subtopic: PV Cells and Modules
Event: 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5DO.10.4
1692 - 1696
ISBN: 3-936338-41-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20162016-5DO.10.4
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


Extreme weather events as hail impact or heavy snow loads can destroy PV modules by glass breakage. But also hidden damages as cell cracks can lead in the combination with thermo-mechanical stresses caused by wind load and temperature changes to follow-up failures and energy yield losses. A five-year equivalent sequential stress testing of PV modules from a system, which suffered from hail impacts showed power losses up to 4%. Severely affected modules from these stresses were more sensitive for sub sequential testing under accelerated weathering in the laboratory. Non-uniform snow load tests according to IEC 62938 (draft) simulated failure types similar to the field. The key parameter for the durability during the non-uniform snow load test is the frame adhesive, which revealed load resistances between 4600 Pa for acrylic foam tape to 8400 Pa for silicone.