Minimizing potential induced degradation in crystalline silicon based photovoltaic solar modules

The demand for photovoltaic solar modules has increased tremendously in recent years. Unfortunately, photovoltaic solar modules are prone to potential induced degradation, i.e., a decrease in the power delivered from such modules arising as a consequence of them operating continuously under high applied voltages. This project aims to design a protocol for the accelerated testing of solar modules; we want to speed-up or accelerate the aging of these solar modules in order to identify what materials and configurations in a solar module are less prone to potential induced degradation. We will then use this protocol for accelerated testing in order to systematically identify which materials and configurations are best. Finally, if time permits, the mechanisms of recovery from potential induced degradation are going to be identified, and the device implications of this will be explored. This project will equip our industrial partner, Silfab Ontario, with a strategic advantage over its competitors.

Shamsul A. Chowdhury
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Stephen K. O’Leary