Mechanical Models for 50-Year Lifetime PV Modules

Recipient NREL (PI: Owen-Bellini, Michael PI: Bosco, Nick)

Subs None Status Awarded

Abstract This project will focus on the development of material behavior models which can be used to address long-term degradation issues in PV modules. The viscoelastic behavior of various polymeric components will be characterized and fit to existing models (i.e. Generalized Maxwell model), and their respective Prony Series will be made publicly-available for direct input into finite-element analysis software. Additionally, the long-term wear-out mechanisms of solar cell gridlines will be examined. Through scanning electron microscopy with in-situ mechanical loading, the driving forces behind wear-out fatigue of gridlines will be identified and a subsequent probabilistic failure model will be developed. The model will be experimentally-validated using the dynamic mechanical loading tool (DMX) developed in previous DuraMAT efforts.