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Degradation of interfacial adhesion strength within photovoltaic mini-modules during damp-heat exposure

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-02-26, 13:24 authored by Dan Wu, Jiang Zhu, Tom BettsTom Betts, Ralph Gottschalg
The degradation of adhesion strength between the back sheet and encapsulant due to moisture penetration has been investigated for commercial crystalline silicon photovoltaic mini-modules. The damp-heat tests originating from the International Electrotechnical Commission qualification test were carried out at five different temperature and relative humidity (RH) conditions (95 °C/85% RH, 85 °C/85% RH, 65 °C/85% RH, 85 °C/65% RH and 85 °C/45% RH). The adhesion strength was measured by 90° peel tests, carried out at specified time intervals during degradation. Several visible defects were observed, including delamination, moisture ingress and bubble formation. The adhesion strength showed a stretched exponential decay with time, and significant influence of test conditions was demonstrated. A humidity dose model was proposed by assuming micro-climates seen by the modules, that is, surface relative humidity of the back sheet as the driving factor for an Arrhenius-based model using temperature as accelerating factor. The correlation between adhesion strength degradation and humidity dose was investigated through linear and exponential models. Results showed that the conventional linear model failed to represent the relationship while the exponential model fitted to this correlation with extracted activation energy (Ea) of around 63 kJ/mol. This provides a model for the estimation of adhesion strength decay in dependence of the humidity conditions.


This work has been supported by a joint UK–India initiative in solar energy through a joint project ‘Stability and Performance of Photovoltaics (STAPP)’ funded by the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme [contract no: EP/H040331/1] and by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in India.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


WU, D. ... et al, 2014. Degradation of interfacial adhesion strength within photovoltaic mini-modules during damp-heat exposure. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, 22 (7), pp.796-809.


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