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Investigating the Degradation of Front and Rear Sides of c-Si PV Cells Exposed to Acetic Acid
N. Kyranaki, J. Zhu, R. Gottschalg, T.R. Betts
Back Contact, Degradation, Metallization
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: PV Module Design, Manufacture, Performance and Reliability
Event: 35th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5CV.3.47
1372 - 1375
ISBN: 3-936338-50-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/35thEUPVSEC20182018-5CV.3.47
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, poster


The goal of this paper is to investigate the reactions responsible for the degradation of the front and rear side of c-Si solar cells that are immersed in acetic acid solutions. The types of degradation are characterised by electrical, optical and chemical methods. The identified degradation modes are compared to those observed in PV cells undergoing damp-heat aging. The degradation of the power output of a PV cell exposed under damp-heat conditions typically is observed after 3000-5000 hours of exposure. The purpose of this work is to research if acetic acid immersion of PV cells can result in the same types of degradation observed for damp-heat aging and how these degradation modes affect their power output. It is observed that acetic acid immersion and damp-heat exposure show a similar mechanism of degradation. This degradation is identified to occur because of reaction of acetic acid with lead, tin and aluminium. Lead and tin migration causes separation of the ribbons and the silver contacts from the cells. Aluminium corrodes severely because of presence of moisture, causing a series resistance increase of the cells.