Main Goals

Publication of a comprehensive catalogue of EL images of thin film module failure mechanisms

The catalogue will be compiled from a big data set of seasonally collected imaging, electrical, and system data from a range of different PV plants, coupled with controlled experiments and a thorough statistical analysis. Failure mechanisms will be classified by type, severity, and development over time.

Improved standardized measurements and technology specific preconditioning methods: Development, and comparison to in-field and nameplate data

Central to the economic success of a solar plant is the specification of EPC contracts that ensure the supplied modules perform according to specification during plant lifetime. For thin film, the current manufacturer-specified measurement procedures do not necessarily reproduce the power produced in-field, making the EPC contract specification and any warranty claims very difficult for plant investors and owners. We will improve this.

Development of a cost-effective, imaging-based system for quality rating of installed thin film modules

Systematic inspection can increase overall system power output and decrease O&M costs. A cost effective inspection method is necessary due to high global PV growth rates and rapidly growing plant sizes. Imaging is a non-invasive technique that shows the precise location and relative severity of module defects.