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The largest solar energy research institute in Europe is testing how solar panels age under multiple environmental conditions.

The tests being conducted by the Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, in partnership with semiconductor company Du Point Electronics & Imaging, will help improve the development of next generation and resilient crystalline silicon solar panels.

The aim is to improve the life span of solar panels.

Fraunhofer ISE will validate and accelerate solar panel sequential testing methods developed by DuPont. The tests will include several sequences that combine damp heat, UV and thermal cycling to generate accelerated test conditions aligned with realistic stresses experienced in the field.

Karl-Anders Weiss, Ph.D., Project Manager, Fraunhofer ISE said: “The aim of this work is to determine whether the proposed accelerated testing protocols can accurately predict service lifetime of solar panels made with different types of materials. Our intent is to move from the current IEC standards which are limited to predicting early stage failure mechanisms, to a longer-term view of panel aging in the field.”

As part of this collaboration, the testing protocols will be refined by Fraunhofer ISE to enable a simpler and faster recipe that could help to resolve one of the biggest challenges of the photovoltaic industry.

For more information, visit http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de.