Matching Items (12)

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Indoor soiling method and outdoor statistical risk analysis of photovoltaic power plants

Description

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 presents an approach for working towards the development of a standardized artificial soiling method for laminated photovoltaic (PV) cells or mini-modules. Construction of an

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 presents an approach for working towards the development of a standardized artificial soiling method for laminated photovoltaic (PV) cells or mini-modules. Construction of an artificial chamber to maintain controlled environmental conditions and components/chemicals used in artificial soil formulation is briefly explained. Both poly-Si mini-modules and a single cell mono-Si coupons were soiled and characterization tests such as I-V, reflectance and quantum efficiency (QE) were carried out on both soiled, and cleaned coupons. From the results obtained, poly-Si mini-modules proved to be a good measure of soil uniformity, as any non-uniformity present would not result in a smooth curve during I-V measurements. The challenges faced while executing reflectance and QE characterization tests on poly-Si due to smaller size cells was eliminated on the mono-Si coupons with large cells to obtain highly repeatable measurements. This study indicates that the reflectance measurements between 600-700 nm wavelengths can be used as a direct measure of soil density on the modules.

Part 2 determines the most dominant failure modes of field aged PV modules using experimental data obtained in the field and statistical analysis, FMECA (Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis). The failure and degradation modes of about 744 poly-Si glass/polymer frameless modules fielded for 18 years under the cold-dry climate of New York was evaluated. Defect chart, degradation rates (both string and module levels) and safety map were generated using the field measured data. A statistical reliability tool, FMECA that uses Risk Priority Number (RPN) is used to determine the dominant failure or degradation modes in the strings and modules by means of ranking and prioritizing the modes. This study on PV power plants considers all the failure and degradation modes from both safety and performance perspectives.

The indoor and outdoor soiling studies were jointly performed by two Masters Students, Sravanthi Boppana and Vidyashree Rajasekar. This thesis presents the indoor soiling study, whereas the other thesis presents the outdoor soiling study. Similarly, the statistical risk analyses of two power plants (model J and model JVA) were jointly performed by these two Masters students. Both power plants are located at the same cold-dry climate, but one power plant carries framed modules and the other carries frameless modules. This thesis presents the results obtained on the frameless modules.

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  • 2015

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Investigation of 1,900 individual field aged photovoltaic modules for potential induced degradation (PID) in a positive biased power plant

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) modules undergo performance degradation depending on climatic conditions, applications, and system configurations. The performance degradation prediction of PV modules is primarily based on Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) procedures.

Photovoltaic (PV) modules undergo performance degradation depending on climatic conditions, applications, and system configurations. The performance degradation prediction of PV modules is primarily based on Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) procedures. In order to further strengthen the ALT process, additional investigation of the power degradation of field aged PV modules in various configurations is required. A detailed investigation of 1,900 field aged (12-18 years) PV modules deployed in a power plant application was conducted for this study. Analysis was based on the current-voltage (I-V) measurement of all the 1,900 modules individually. I-V curve data of individual modules formed the basis for calculating the performance degradation of the modules. The percentage performance degradation and rates of degradation were compared to an earlier study done at the same plant. The current research was primarily focused on identifying the extent of potential induced degradation (PID) of individual modules with reference to the negative ground potential. To investigate this, the arrangement and connection of the individual modules/strings was examined in detail. The study also examined the extent of underperformance of every series string due to performance mismatch of individual modules in that string. The power loss due to individual module degradation and module mismatch at string level was then compared to the rated value.

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  • 2011

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Potential induced degradation (PID) of pre-stressed photovoltaic modules: effect of glass surface conductivity disruption

Description

Potential induced degradation (PID) due to high system voltages is one of the major degradation mechanisms in photovoltaic (PV) modules, adversely affecting their performance due to the combined effects of

Potential induced degradation (PID) due to high system voltages is one of the major degradation mechanisms in photovoltaic (PV) modules, adversely affecting their performance due to the combined effects of the following factors: system voltage, superstrate/glass surface conductivity, encapsulant conductivity, silicon nitride anti-reflection coating property and interface property (glass/encapsulant; encapsulant/cell; encapsulant/backsheet). Previous studies carried out at ASU's Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (ASU-PRL) showed that only negative voltage bias (positive grounded systems) adversely affects the performance of commonly available crystalline silicon modules. In previous studies, the surface conductivity of the glass surface was obtained using either conductive carbon layer extending from the glass surface to the frame or humidity inside an environmental chamber. This thesis investigates the influence of glass surface conductivity disruption on PV modules. In this study, conductive carbon was applied only on the module's glass surface without extending to the frame and the surface conductivity was disrupted (no carbon layer) at 2cm distance from the periphery of frame inner edges. This study was carried out under dry heat at two different temperatures (60 °C and 85 °C) and three different negative bias voltages (-300V, -400V, and -600V). To replicate closeness to the field conditions, half of the selected modules were pre-stressed under damp heat for 1000 hours (DH 1000) and the remaining half under 200 hours of thermal cycling (TC 200). When the surface continuity was disrupted by maintaining a 2 cm gap from the frame to the edge of the conductive layer, as demonstrated in this study, the degradation was found to be absent or negligibly small even after 35 hours of negative bias at elevated temperatures. This preliminary study appears to indicate that the modules could become immune to PID losses if the continuity of the glass surface conductivity is disrupted at the inside boundary of the frame. The surface conductivity of the glass, due to water layer formation in a humid condition, close to the frame could be disrupted just by applying a water repelling (hydrophobic) but high transmittance surface coating (such as Teflon) or modifying the frame/glass edges with water repellent properties.

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  • 2012

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Characterizations of soil layers artificially deposited on glass and photovoltaic coupons

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The deposition of airborne dust, especially in desert conditions, is very problematic as it leads to significant loss of power of photovoltaic (PV) modules on a daily basis during the

The deposition of airborne dust, especially in desert conditions, is very problematic as it leads to significant loss of power of photovoltaic (PV) modules on a daily basis during the dry period. As such, PV testing laboratories around the world have been trying to set up soil deposition stations to artificially deposit soil layers and to simulate outdoor soiling conditions in an accelerated manner. This thesis is a part of a twin thesis. The first thesis, authored by Shanmukha Mantha, is associated with the designing of an artificial soiling station. The second thesis (this thesis), authored by Darshan Choudhary, is associated with the characterization of the deposited soil layers. The soil layers deposited on glass coupons and one-cell laminates are characterized and presented in this thesis. This thesis focuses on the characterizations of the soil layers obtained in several soiling cycles using various techniques including current-voltage (I-V), quantum efficiency (QE), compositional analysis and optical profilometry. The I-V characterization was carried out to determine the impact of soil layer on current and other performance parameters of PV devices. The QE characterization was carried out to determine the impact of wavelength dependent influence of soil type and thickness on the QE curves. The soil type was determined using the compositional analysis. The compositional data of the soil is critical to determine the adhesion properties of the soil layers on the surface of PV modules. The optical profilometry was obtained to determine the particle size and distribution. The soil layers deposited using two different deposition techniques were characterized. The two deposition techniques are designated as “dew” technique and “humidity” technique. For the same deposition time, the humidity method was determined to deposit the soil layer at lower rates as compared to the dew method. Two types of deposited soil layers were characterized. The first type layer was deposited using a reference soil called Arizona (AZ) dust. The second type layer was deposited using the soil which was collected from the surface of the modules installed outdoor in Arizona. The density of the layers deposited using the surface collected soil was determined to be lower than AZ dust based layers for the same number of deposition cycles.

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  • 2016

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Combined UV-temperature-humidity accelerated testing of PV modules: reliability of UV-cut and UV-pass EVA encapsulants

Description

In the past, the photovoltaic (PV) modules were typically constructed with glass superstrate containing cerium oxide and EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) encapsulant containing UV absorbing additives. However, in the current

In the past, the photovoltaic (PV) modules were typically constructed with glass superstrate containing cerium oxide and EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) encapsulant containing UV absorbing additives. However, in the current industry, the PV modules are generally constructed without cerium oxide in the glass and UV absorbing additives in EVA to increase quantum efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells in the UV regions. This new approach is expected to boost the initial power output of the modules and reduce the long-term encapsulant browning issues. However, this new approach could lead to other durability and reliability issues such as delamination of encapsulant by damaging interfacial bonds, destruction of antireflection coating on solar cells and even breakage of polymeric backbone of EVA. This work compares the durability and reliability issues of PV modules having glass without cerium oxide and EVA with (aka, UVcut or UVC) and without (aka, UVpass or UVP) UV absorbing additives. In addition, modules with UVP front and UVC back EVA have also been investigated (aka, UVhybrid or UVH). The mini-modules with nine split cells used in this work were fabricated at ASU’s Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory. The durability and reliability caused by three stress variables have been investigated and the three variables are temperature, humidity/oxygen and UV dosage. The influence of up to 800 kWh/m2 UV dosage has been investigated at various dosage levels. Many material and device characterizations have been performed to ascertain the degradation modes and effects. The UVC modules showed encapsulant discoloration at the cell centers as expected but the UVH modules showed a ring-shaped encapsulant discoloration close to the cell edges as evidenced in the UV fluorescence (UVF) imaging study. The PV modules containing UVP on both sides of cells with limited access to humidity or oxygen through backsheet (covered backsheet with adhesive aluminum tape) seem to experience encapsulant delamination as evidenced in the UVF images. Plausible explanations for these observations have been presented.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Reliability of PV modules: dependence on manufacturing quality and field climatic conditions

Description

This is a two-part thesis assessing the long-term reliability of photovoltaic modules.

Part 1: Manufacturing dependent reliability - Adapting FMECA for quality control in PV module manufacturing

This part is aimed

This is a two-part thesis assessing the long-term reliability of photovoltaic modules.

Part 1: Manufacturing dependent reliability - Adapting FMECA for quality control in PV module manufacturing

This part is aimed at introducing a statistical tool in quality assessments in PV module manufacturing. Developed jointly by ASU-PRL and Clean Energy Associates, this work adapts the Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMECA, IEC 60812) to quantify the impact of failure modes observed at the time of manufacturing. The method was developed through analysis of nearly 9000 modules at the pre-shipment evaluation stage in module manufacturing facilities across south east Asia. Numerous projects were analyzed to generate RPN (Risk Priority Number) scores for projects. In this manner, it was possibly to quantitatively assess the risk being carried the project at the time of shipment of modules. The objective of this work was to develop a benchmarking system that would allow for accurate quantitative estimations of risk mitigation and project bankability.

Part 2: Climate dependent reliability - Activation energy determination for climate specific degradation modes

This work attempts to model the parameter (Isc or Rs) degradation rate of modules as a function of the climatic parameters (i.e. temperature, relative humidity and ultraviolet radiation) at the site. The objective of this work was to look beyond the power degradation rate and model based on the performance parameter directly affected by the degradation mode under investigation (encapsulant browning or IMS degradation of solder bonds). Different physical models were tested and validated through comparing the activation energy obtained for each degradation mode. It was concluded that, for the degradation of the solder bonds within the module, the Pecks equation (function of temperature and relative humidity) modelled with Rs increase was the best fit; the activation energy ranging from 0.4 – 0.7 eV based on the climate type. For encapsulant browning, the Modified Arrhenius equation (function of temperature and UV) seemed to be the best fit presently, yielding an activation energy of 0.3 eV. The work was concluded by suggesting possible modifications to the models based on degradation pathways unaccounted for in the present work.

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  • 2017

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Effect of series resistance increase on fill factor of PV cells extracted from field aged modules of different climates

Description

Solar photovoltaic (PV) industry is tipped to be one of the front-runners in the renewable industry. Typically, PV module manufacturers provide a linear or step warranty of 80% of original

Solar photovoltaic (PV) industry is tipped to be one of the front-runners in the renewable industry. Typically, PV module manufacturers provide a linear or step warranty of 80% of original power over 25 years. This power loss during the field exposure is primarily attributed to the development of performance affecting defects in the PV modules. As many as 86 different defects can occur in a PV module. One of the major defects that can cause significant power loss is the interconnect metallization system (IMS) degradation which is the focus of this thesis. The IMS is composed of cell-interconnect (cell-ribbon interconnect) and string-interconnect (ribbon-ribbon interconnect). The cell interconnect is in turn composed of silver metallization (fingers and busbars) and solder bonds between silver busbar and copper ribbon. Weak solder bonding between copper ribbon and busbar of a cell results in increase of series resistance that in turn affects the fill factor causing a power drop. In this thesis work, the results obtained from various non-destructive and destructive experiments performed on modules exposed in three different climates (Arizona - Hot and Dry, Mexico - Warm and Humid, and California - Temperate) are presented. These experiments include light I-V measurements, dark I-V measurements, infrared imaging, extraction of test samples from the modules, peel strength measurements and four-point resistance measurements. The extraction of test samples was performed using a mechanical method and a chemical method. The merits and demerits of these two methods are presented. A drop of 10.33% in fill factor was observed for a 0.05Ω increase in the series resistance of the modules investigated in this work. Different combinations in a cell that can cause series resistance increase were considered and their effect on fill factor were observed using four-point probe experiments. Peel test experiments were conducted to correlate the effect of series resistance on the ribbon peel strength. Finally, climate specific thermal modelling was performed for 4 different sites over 20 years in order to calculate the accumulated thermal fatigue and also to evaluate its correlation, if any, with the increase of series resistance.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Photovoltaic modules: effect of tilt angle on soiling

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the next generation's renewable energy sources for our world energy demand. PV modules are highly reliable. However, in polluted environments, over time, they will

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the next generation's renewable energy sources for our world energy demand. PV modules are highly reliable. However, in polluted environments, over time, they will collect grime and dust. There are also limited field data studies about soiling losses on PV modules. The study showed how important it is to investigate the effect of tilt angle on soiling. The study includes two sets of mini-modules. Each set has 9 PV modules tilted at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 23, 30, 33 and 40°. The first set called "Cleaned" was cleaned every other day. The second set called "Soiled" was never cleaned after the first day. The short circuit current, a measure of irradiance, and module temperature was monitored and recorded every two minutes over three months (January-March 2011). The data were analyzed to investigate the effect of tilt angle on daily and monthly soiling, and hence transmitted solar insolation and energy production by PV modules. The study shows that during the period of January through March 2011 there was an average loss due to soiling of approximately 2.02% for 0° tilt angle. Modules at tilt anlges 23° and 33° also have some insolation losses but do not come close to the module at 0° tilt angle. Tilt anlge 23° has approximately 1.05% monthly insolation loss, and 33° tilt angle has an insolation loss of approximately 0.96%. The soiling effect is present at any tilt angle, but the magnitude is evident: the flatter the solar module is placed the more energy it will lose.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Outdoor soiling loss characterization and statistical risk analysis of photovoltaic power plants

Description

This is a two-part thesis:

Part 1 characterizes soiling losses using various techniques to understand the effect of soiling on photovoltaic modules. The higher the angle of incidence (AOI), the

This is a two-part thesis:

Part 1 characterizes soiling losses using various techniques to understand the effect of soiling on photovoltaic modules. The higher the angle of incidence (AOI), the lower will be the photovoltaic (PV) module performance. Our research group has already reported the AOI investigation for cleaned modules of five different technologies with air/glass interface. However, the modules that are installed in the field would invariably develop a soil layer with varying thickness depending on the site condition, rainfall and tilt angle. The soiled module will have the air/soil/glass interface rather than air/glass interface. This study investigates the AOI variations on soiled modules of five different PV technologies. It is demonstrated that AOI effect is inversely proportional to the soil density. In other words, the power or current loss between clean and soiled modules would be much higher at a higher AOI than at a lower AOI leading to excessive energy production loss of soiled modules on cloudy days, early morning hours and late afternoon hours. Similarly, the spectral influence of soil on the performance of the module was investigated through reflectance and transmittance measurements. It was observed that the reflectance and transmittances losses vary linearly with soil density variation and the 600-700 nm band was identified as an ideal band for soil density measurements.

Part 2 of this thesis performs statistical risk analysis for a power plant through FMECA (Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis) based on non-destructive field techniques and count data of the failure modes. Risk Priority Number is used for the grading guideline for criticality analysis. The analysis was done on a 19-year-old power plant in cold-dry climate to identify the most dominant failure and degradation modes. In addition, a comparison study was done on the current power plant (framed) along with another 18-year-old (frameless) from the same climate zone to understand the failure modes for cold-dry climatic condition.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Potential induced degradation (PID) study of fresh and accelerated stress tested photovoltaic modules

Description

Infant mortality rate of field deployed photovoltaic (PV) modules may be expected to be higher than that estimated by standard qualification tests. The reason for increased failure rates may be

Infant mortality rate of field deployed photovoltaic (PV) modules may be expected to be higher than that estimated by standard qualification tests. The reason for increased failure rates may be attributed to the high system voltages. High voltages (HV) in grid connected modules induce additional stress factors that cause new degradation mechanisms. These new degradation mechanisms are not recognized by qualification stress tests. To study and model the effect of high system voltages, recently, potential induced degradation (PID) test method has been introduced. Using PID studies, it has been reported that high voltage failure rates are essentially due to increased leakage currents from active semiconducting layer to the grounded module frame, through encapsulant and/or glass. This project involved designing and commissioning of a new PID test bed at Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (PRL) of Arizona State University (ASU) to study the mechanisms of HV induced degradation. In this study, PID stress tests have been performed on accelerated stress modules, in addition to fresh modules of crystalline silicon technology. Accelerated stressing includes thermal cycling (TC200 cycles) and damp heat (1000 hours) tests as per IEC 61215. Failure rates in field deployed modules that are exposed to long term weather conditions are better simulated by conducting HV tests on prior accelerated stress tested modules. The PID testing was performed in 3 phases on a set of 5 mono crystalline silicon modules. In Phase-I of PID test, a positive bias of +600 V was applied, between shorted leads and frame of each module, on 3 modules with conducting carbon coating on glass superstrate. The 3 module set was comprised of: 1 fresh control, TC200 and DH1000. The PID test was conducted in an environmental chamber by stressing the modules at 85°C, for 35 hours with an intermittent evaluation for Arrhenius effects. In the Phase-II, a negative bias of -600 V was applied on a set of 3 modules in the chamber as defined above. The 3 module set in phase-II was comprised of: control module from phase-I, TC200 and DH1000. In the Phase-III, the same set of 3 modules which were used in the phase-II again subjected to +600 V bias to observe the recovery of lost power during the Phase-II. Electrical performance, infrared (IR) and electroluminescence (EL) were done prior and post PID testing. It was observed that high voltage positive bias in the first phase resulted in little
o power loss, high voltage negative bias in the second phase caused significant power loss and the high voltage positive bias in the third phase resulted in major recovery of lost power.

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Date Created
  • 2011