Fluorescence imaging: a powerful tool for the investigation of polymer degradation in PV modules

Published: February 1, 2011

By Jan Schlothauer, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Sebastian Jungwirth, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Beate Röder, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Michael Köhl, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE)

This paper presents fluorescence detection as a new tool for the investigation of the degradation of EVA. The superior sensitivity of the set-up contained herein allows an early assessment of the changes of the EVA after only 20 hours of damp-heat exposure. A newly developed scanning system allows the spatially resolved inspection of entire PV modules. Degradation of the encapsulants was detectable after two years’ outdoor exposure, as was the effect of cracks in c-Si cells, which coincide well with cracks made visible by electroluminescence.

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