Photovoltaic Technologies: Projects and Publications

Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems

A tour at the CSE's Module Innovation Lab.

Project Overviews



Selected Solar PV Research Projects


The PV Module Durability Initiative

As PV begins to reach scale, lifetime uncertainty remains a hurdle in project financing. IEC and UL tests predict early failure for modules, but do not address durability. Fraunhofer, with its decades-long experience in PV development, testing, and qualification, is partnering with PV module manufacturers, developers, and financiers to address these issues in their Photovoltaic Module Durability Initiative (PVDI): an integrated lifetime assessment initiative to understand and improve PV module durability.

Silicone Lamination of Solar Cells

Currently, the solar industry uses silicone predominantly for PV module encapsulation. EVA has been the lamination material of choice for decades, but newer materials promise better light transmission over time. Could silicone serve as an EVA substitute in lamination? To address this question, a team of Fraunhofer CSE researchers teamed up with Fortune 500 company Dow Corning. 

Non-Destructive Measurements of EVA Cross-Linking in Solar Modules

Lamination quality is a key factor in solar module longevity. Fraunhofer CSE's novel technique for quick, nondestructive measurements of lamination quality allows manufacturers to integrate this crucial quality control measure into solar manufacturing lines. This technology was licensed to metrology tool manufacturer LayTec AG in 2011. 

Light and Heat Management Through Structured Glass

Since 2008, the team has been exploring novel design features to improve energy yields. Among these was an experiment to determine whether structured glass could be used to address optical and temperature losses.


Selected Publications


"Durability and Outdoor Performance Comparison of PV Modules"

G.S. Kinsey, C. Schmid, D.H. Meakin, C. Stark

Proc. 28th EUPVSEC,  DOI 10.4229/28thEUPVSEC2013-4AV.5.33, 2013.

"Angle of Incidence Performance Study of PV Modules with Patterned Polycarbonate Front Sheets"

C. Schmid, E. Fuller, B. MacBride, R. Mickiewicz, G.S. Kinsey, J. Zhou, S. Chakravarti, A. Kodis

Proc. 28th EUPVSEC, DOI: 10.4229/28thEUPVSEC2013-4AV.4.23, 2013.

"The PV Durability Initiative"

C. Schmid, D. Meakin, G. S. Kinsey, C. Ferrara, S. Stecklum 

PV Rollout 2013

Atlanta, GA

February 26th - 27th, 2013

"Impact of High Light Transmission EVA-Based Encapsulant on the Performance of PV Modules" 

C. Schmid, J. Chapon, G. Kinsey, J. Bokria, J. Woods

27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition

Frankfurt, Germany

September 24th -28th, 2012

"Two-Dimensional Mapping of Electrical Properties of PV Modules Using Electroluminescence"

B. Li, A. Stokes, D. Doble


Hamburg, Germany

September 6 - 9th, 2011

More publications