Solar Energy (Photovolatics)
The Durable Module Materials (DuraMAT) Consortium brings together the national lab and university research infrastructure with the photovoltaic (PV) and supply-chain industries. Our goal is to discover, develop, and de-risk new materials, designs, and accelerated tests for PV modules. DuraMAT is working to establish a central data resource for PV system performance and materials data, a generalized multi-scale and multi-physics/stress model for modules, disruptive accelerated testing protocols, and materials forensics to understand degradation modes in fielded modules. We will provide an overview of the DuraMAT DataHUB, including information on the PV Fleets time series data hub. The DataHUB enables us to access different types of data on PV modules, materials, accelerated testing, and system performance in a single location, along with data analytics tools. The DuraMAT multi-physics model has the ability to model detailed physics, environmental stresses, and material property changes on full-scale modules. Our accelerated testing work focuses on combined accelerated stress testing (C-AST). C-AST enables accelerated testing at the extremes of natural climactic conditions to accelerate field failure modes. We have demonstrated the C-AST approach on mini-modules with different backsheet materials and will present results on two field relevant failures at the conference. C-AST is able to mimic failure modes seen in the field that are not detected in traditional accelerated testing protocols. Finally, the DuraMAT materials forensics effort is our application of traditional national laboratory characterization tools applied to PV modules. These have identified causes for delamination, backsheet degradation, anti-soiling coating functionality and other materials challenges. This kind of foundational knowledge provides guidance for improved module materials.