A Literature Review and Analysis on
Accelerated Lifetime Testing of PV Modules

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Report cover one-page Potential Impacts of Advanced Metering Infrastructure on Renewable Energy Policy summary.

This report provides a literature review and associated analysis of photovoltaic (PV) field failures, degradation mechanisms and statistics, and available accelerated testing (AT) methodologies. To generate this report, the authors collected and systematically analyzed the major sources of literature on PV module reliability and durability. The report covers:

Why the Report is Important

The anticipated lifetime of PV modules spans several decades, and construction materials and design are constantly changing in an effort to reach the module power price of $0.5 per watt and to reduce the levelized cost of energy to about 6 to 8 cents per kilowatt-hour. More than 94% of installed modules around the world were manufactured within the last five years and may incorporate new construction materials. Stakeholders cannot wait for decades to identify the failure modes and mechanisms of these new modules. The purpose of AT is to assess the reliability and durability of products by inducing failures and degradation in a short period of time using accelerated test conditions much more severe than actual field operating conditions while replicating the actual field failure mechanisms. This report communicates and emphasizes the importance of AT for assessing the reliability (failures) and durability (degradation) issues related to the lifetime of PV modules in the field.

Key Findings
This report includes the following observations about the state of current and future AT for PV modules: