Photovoltaic Technologies: The PV Module Durability Initiative (PVDI)
Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems
Durability Data for Financiers, Developers, and Manufacturers
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. The result is the Photovoltaic Module Durability Initiative (PVDI): an integrated lifetime assessment initiative to understand and improve PV module durability.
Benefits to Industry and Participants
- Quantitative third-party assessment.
- Ranking system provides continuous industry research and development for more durable PV modules.
- Steering committee to expand international testing protocol.
- Ranking system provides performance relative to baseline and competing technologies.
- Anonymity of comparative data.
- Combined effects and determination of acceleration factors.
PV module manufacturers, system developers, and financiers can participate in the PVDI program. For more information, please contact Dr. Christian Hoepfner.
PVDI exceeds existing certification standards. Tests include:
Accelerated combined effects testing: UV, damp heat with positive/negative voltage bias, dynamic mechanical stresses, temperature cycling, humidity-freze, etc.
Ongoing correlation of accelerated testing and outdoor exposure to calibrate lifetime predictions.
- Press Release: "Fraunhofer CSE and Fraunhofer ISE Joint Testing Venture Ranks Performance of PV Modules"
- Press Release: "New PV Module Durability Testing Protocol Initiated by Fraunhofer ISE and CSE"
- Press Release: "Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems to Showcase Solar PV Durability Initiative at Solar Power International"