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Funding Opportunity: SuNLaMP
SunShot Subprogram: Photovoltaics
Location: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
Amount Awarded: $2,500,000

This project will develop metrics to quantify the performance, safety, and reliability of encapsulants and backsheets at both the material and module level.

APPROACH

Researchers will identify the material properties that govern performance degradation, develop the metrics to quantify these properties, survey historically deployed modules to obtain a threshold value for these properties, and conduct outdoor and indoor accelerated exposure tests to analyze the kinetics of degradation and develop physics-based models that describe the degradation.

INNOVATION

The project will result in international test standards to efficiently quantify the performance, safety, and reliability of the material systems for encapsulants and backsheets at both the material and module level. In addition to standard development, the physics-based accelerated life tests for PV module materials will provide material manufacturers with a tool to quantify their materials reliability even during its development phase. It will also give module manufacturers the ability to confirm the reliability of a material before incorporation into their product, and give investors a metric with which to significantly reduce the uncertainty of projected levelized cost of energy.