Extended thermal cycling of PV modules – Test procedure
|Publication Date:||1 April 2019|
|ICS Code (Solar energy engineering):||27.160|
This document defines a test sequence that extends the thermal cycling test of IEC 61215-2. It is intended to differentiate PV modules with improved durability to thermal cycling and evaluate modules for deployment in locations most susceptible to thermal cycling type stress1. This document is based on the ability for 95 % of the modules represented by the samples submitted for this test to pass an equivalency of 500 thermal cycles, as defined in IEC 61215-2:2016, 4.11.3, with a maximum power degradation of less than 5 %. Provisions are also provided to reduce overall test time by increasing the maximum cycle temperature and/or the number of modules submitted for test.
The test procedure in this document was developed based on analysis of the stress on tin-lead solder bonds on crystalline silicon solar cells in a glass superstrate type package. Changes to lead-free solder have an effect on the acceleration factors but not enough to change the overall results of this test. Monolithic type modules with integral cell interconnection do not suffer from this specific type of stress but there are still electrical connections within the module, for example between the integrated cell circuit and the module bus bars, that may be subject to wear out from thermal cycling. Flexible modules (without glass) are not stressed in the same way as those with glass superstrates or substrates, therefore use of the equivalency factor employed in this document may not be applicable to these modules.
1 Guidance is provided in Annex B to assess if this test is warranted for the targeted deployment location.