DURABLE SUSTAINABLE Beautiful THE SILICON ENERGY DIFFERENCE national renewable energy laboratory (nrel) Performance & Reliability Research and Development, National Center for Photovoltaics “Test-to-Failure of Crystalline Silicon Modules” The Silicon Energy module proved to be the most durable module for power performance and extreme terrestrial environmental applications compared to the other modules tested by NREL.About the test: Silicon Energy’s Cascade Series V1 summary: The testing results yielded failures in standardwas one of six crystalline silicon module designs tested modules: moisture penetration leading to delamination,by NREL according to the Terrestrial Photovoltaic Mod- material degradation and corrosion; severe cell shunting;ule Accelerated Test-to-Failure Protocol. This protocol backsheet cracking; Potential Induced Degradation (PID);compares the reliability of various module construc- and failed performance. Failure modes for standardtions on a quantitative basis. The modules under test modules are shown on the following page.were subjected to three accelerated lifetime test paths:1) 85 C/85% humidity with system bias, 2) thermal Silicon energy advantage: The Silicon Energy modulecycling between -40 C and 85 C, and 3) a path that proved to be the most durable in terms of maintainingalternates betweem damp heat and thermal cycling. The performance compared to the other module designs fromNREL test was designed to provide comparative durabil- five of the top-twenty PV module manufacturers by MWity, reliability and performance results between different sold in 2010 per the NREL report. Silicon Energy’sPV module technologies that is presently not provided module was the only module tested with no failure modesby module certification testing under the UL1703 PV under accelerated test scenarios! The thermal image ofcertification. the Silicon Energy module is outstanding when compared to standard modules.
RESULTS: These images illustrate the signifi- cant differences in how a standard module and the Silicon Energy module performed in the NREL test- ing. A consistent color indicates a healthy, fully functioning module. Standard PV Module Black spots in electroluminescence images indicate damaged cells resulting in performance loss. Inconsistencies in the thermal image indicates heat build-up and Photo images Electroluminescence Thermal images hot spots in the module caused by images failure modes such as corrosion, delamination, cracking, and shunt- ing. The images of the standard module were taken at approximately 18-years (simulated). Silicon Energy The Silicon Energy module showed no measureable performance degradation.Comments from the NREL report: The result of Silicon Energy’s “design choices imply a low rate of moisture ingressto the cells compared to modules with polymeric back sheet and an estimated two order of magnitude greater electricalisolation of the internal cell circuitry compared to” standard modules. The Silicon Energy module “proved to be the mostdurable module for power performance.” The results of this testing “suggest favorable consideration of this module designfor the most extreme terrestrial environmental applications compared to the other designs tested.”and the innovation continues: SiliconEnergy’s Next Generation Cascade Series PVModule and Mounting System builds off of theresults and knowledge gained from NREL’s testingproviding you with a module with outstandingreliability and durability, a Class-A fire ratedproduct with a 30-year warranty. It’s a moduledesigned to last! Corrosion Backsheet cracking Standard module failure modes shown above References: Test-to-Failure of Crystalline Silicon Modules Report of results for Silicon Energy Model SiE170, Peter Silicon Energy, LLC Hacke, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, November, 12, 2012 3506 124th Street NE Marysville, WA 98271 USA Using Accelerated Testing To Predict Module Reliability Tel: 360-618-6500 John H. Wohlgemuth and Sarah Kurtz, Presented at the 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference , June 19-24, 2011 Silicon Energy MN, LLC System Voltage Potential Induced Degradation Mechanisms in PV Modules PO Box 376 and Methods for Test, Peter Hacke, Kent Terwilliger, Ryan Smith, 8787 Silicon Way Stephen Glick, Joel Pankow, Michael Kempe, Mt. Iron, MN 55768 USA and Sarah Kurtz, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Ian Bennett and Mario Kloos. Energy Tel: 218-789-1710 Research Centre of the Netherlands, Presented at the 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference , June 19-24, 2011 Crystalline Silicon Modules Peter Hacke, Kent Terwilliger, Steven Glick, David Trudell, Nick Bosco, Steve Johnston,and Sarah Kurtz, National Renewable Energy Laboratory Presented at the 35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, June 20-25, 2010 Revision 02012013