Title: PV module with an enhanced lifetime of more than 40 years and reduced environmental impact
Project Management: Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH
Call: Solar Era Net
Funding Agency: FFG
Duration: 10/2020 to 09/2023

Scientific Partners:

Company Partners:

Project Summary:
The overall aim of the project is the improvement of the service life of a PV module from 25 to 40 years. The main objective of the project is the development and validation of a PV module architecture with at least 40 years operational lifetime. Within the project not only crystalline silicon, but also CIGS cell technology will be considered. The main aim shall be achieved using double glass architecture and the use of an advanced polyolefin based encapsulant. The main benefit of polyolefin encapsulants will be the lack of acetic acid formation in operation, thus preventing or slowing down certain degradation modes like yellowing, corrosion or Potential Induced Degradation (PID). However, the most critical factor to be addressed is that the enhanced performance of the encapsulant has to be achieved without a significant cost increase to enable an overall reduction of the system cost taking the improved lifetime into account. A further focus is the development of accelerated reliability test procedures that refer to this enhanced lifetime and utilizing modelling approaches recognizing and predicting failures and degradation modes.

The transnational consortium is formed across the value chain of photovoltaics, ranging from PV module technology, polymer technology, degradation modelling and module testing. The enhancement of the service life of a PV module to 40 years is the key driver to reduce the LCOE for a PV system. Following a simplified metrics, this means that the module related share of LCOE drops by 37% compared to a module with 25 years lifetime. As additional environmental benefit, improving the service life of a PV module from 25 to 40 years saves about 130 GW/year of new modules, which not need to be produced and 7 million tons/year of PV panel waste, which not needs to be recycled.


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