Photovoltaic Modules: Reliability and Sustainability, 2nd Edition PDF by Karl-Anders Weiß


Photovoltaic Modules: Reliability and Sustainability, Second Edition

Edited By Karl-Anders Weiß

Photovoltaic Modules Reliability and Sustainability


Preface V

Symbols and units IX

About the editor XIII

List of contributing authors XV

Karl-Anders Weiß

1 Introduction 1

Part I: Crystalline silicon module reliability

Karl-Anders Weiß

2 Market-related topics of reliability 9

Karl-Anders Weiß, Gernot Oreški, Djamel Eddine Mansour, Elisabeth Klimm

3 Characterization of modules and degradation effects 11

Karl-Anders Weiß, Elisabeth Klimm

4 Loads for PV modules 49

Karl-Anders Weiß

5 Accelerated aging tests 75

Karl-Anders Weiß, Elisabeth Klimm

6 Reliability testing of materials 89

Karl-Anders Weiß

7 Reliability testing of modules 103

Bengt Jäckel

8 PV module and component standardization 111

Ismail Kaaya

9 Degradation modeling and service life prediction 121

Part II: Crystalline silicon module sustainability

Sina Herceg, Sebastián Pinto Bautista, Karl-Anders Weiß

10 Market-related topics of sustainability 145

Sina Herceg, Sebastián Pinto Bautista, Karl-Anders Weiß

11 Sustainability assessment methods 149

Sina Herceg, Sebastián Pinto Bautista, Karl-Anders Weiß

12 Life cycle impacts and embodied energy 155

Sina Herceg, Sebastián Pinto Bautista, Karl-Anders Weiß

13 End-of-life treatment 159

Sina Herceg, Sebastián Pinto Bautista, Karl-Anders Weiß

14 Approaches to improve sustainability 163

Sina Herceg, Sebastián Pinto Bautista, Karl-Anders Weiß

15 Sustainability certification and legislation 165

References 171

Index 177


In September 2015, the United Nations adopted its Sustainable Development Goals,1 the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The decision was directly followed by the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris sending a clear signal for a worldwide energy transition towards renewables, a transition to take place long before the total consumption of fossil and nuclear resources and timely before catastrophic climate change.

Photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation is developing into a major global player in our future energy supply scenarios, enabled by a cost-reduction momentum not foreseen 20 years ago even by most optimistic PV supporters. Recent studies find generation costs for PV electricity in the range of 2–6 ct(€)/kWh, depending on the size and location of the power plant. The cost learning curve will keep progressing since many innovations are well underway in all parts of the value chain. PV modules are the key components for every PV power plant from tiny roof-top systems of a few kilowatts to plants in the gigawatt range which may demand millions of modules. Modules are required to efficiently, safely, and sustainably convert solar irradiance into electric power over a service life of decades. For such long operational times, reliability is the dominating property of a product.

The first part of this book addresses crystalline silicon, wafer-based module reliability. It gives an overview on the very important topic of module reliability which is crucial for the long-term operation and also for the investments in PV systems. It describes analytical methods for module and material characterizations, relevant loads for PV modules, and the design of accelerated aging tests adapted to PV module technology. This is followed by a description of how reliability tests for materials and modules can be developed. The relevant international standards for type approval and safety testing of modules and materials are described, as well as their meanings and limitations. In the end, methods for degradation modeling and service life prediction are introduced.

The second part of the book addresses the very important topic of sustainability of PV modules, which is especially crucial for renewable energy products. An overview on sustainability assessment methods is given as well as insights on the influences of the different components of PV systems on the sustainability of PV electricity. Methods to determine the ecological inventory of the different steps of the value creation chain, from basic materials to recycling, are presented. The part ends with a short overview on certification and legislation measures addressing sustainability.

The authors would like to thank their colleagues in different institutions for many valuable discussions and generous contributions to this book from their various R&D projects. Karl-Anders Weiß would like to thank all coauthors and proofreaders for their willingness to support the new edition of the book and the longtime cooperation and friendship this project is built on.

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