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ThinFilmModuleReliability

enablingsolarelectricitygeneration
MarkusBeck,PedroGonzalez,RichardGruber, JimTyler

OurMission
To create enduring value by enabling a world

powered by clean
clean, affordable solar electricity

electricity.

2009FirstSolar,Inc.

SustainableEnvironmentalProfile

CarbonFootprintisaFractionofConventionalSources
1000

900

850
FirstSolar

Carbon
nfootprint
(gCO2eq/kWh)

800
800

600

400

400

200

45

25

24

PVmultiSi
(13.2%)*

Nuclear
(US)

15

11

Coal

Oil

GasCC

Biomass
CHP

PVCdTe
(10.9%)**

Wind

Sources:*deWild
WildScholten,
Scholten M
M.,presentedatCrystalClear FinalEventinMunichonMay26
26,2009
2009.**deWildScholten,
Wild Scholten M
M.,Solar
Solarasan
environmentalproduct:Thinfilmmodules productionprocessesandtheirenvironmentalassessment,presentedattheThinFilmIndustryForum,
Berlin,April,2009.BothPVtechnologiesuseinsolationof1700kWh/m2.AllotherdatafromExternEproject,2003;KimandDale,2005;Fthenakis
andKim,2006:FthenakisandAlsema,2006;FthenakisandKim,inpress.
2009FirstSolar,Inc.

FirstSolarsEnergyPaybackTime(EPBT)<1year

EPBT:
Theamountoftime
asystemmustoperatetorecover
th
heenergyth
hatwasrequired
i dto
fabricatethesystem
EPBT=Einput/(Eoutput/yr)

Objective:MinimizeEPBT
Supports
pp rap
pidscalabilityy
<1yearensuresindustrygrowth

doesnotcreateneartermenergy

deficit

Note: Southern Europe 1700 kWh/m2/year

irradiance.

Source:deWildScholten,M.,Solarasanenvironmentalproduct:Thinfilmmodules productionprocessesandtheirenvironmentalassessment,
presentedattheThinFilmIndustryForum,Berlin,April, 2009

2009FirstSolar,Inc.

ProductionCapacityGrowth(yearendcapacity)

Currentandannouncedcapacitygrowsby1.3GW(92%)to2.7GW
USA
Vietnam
France
Plant
5&6
Malaysia

Plant2
Capacity

Copyright2010,FirstSolar,Inc.

Germany
Ohio,USA

Representationofyearendcapacity.2005&2006basedonQ406runrate;2007basedonQ407runrate;2008basedonQ408runrate;
2009basedonQ409runrate,20102012basedonQ310runrate.

ManufacturingCostperWattTrend

$1.60

$1.59

$
$1.40

$1 40
$1.40

$1.23
$1.20

$1.08
$1.00

$0 87
$0.87
$0.81

$0.80

$0.76

$0.60
FY05
2009FirstSolar,Inc.

FY06

FY07

FY08

FY09

Q110

Q210
6

ReliabilityImpactonModuleValue

EffectofDegradationrateonLCOE
1.20
R
e
l
M
o
d
u
l
e
V
a
l
u
e

1 10
1.10

1.00
100yr
0.90

30yr
25yr

0.80

20yr
15yr

0.70

0.60
0 60
0.0%

0.2%

0.4%

0.6%

0.8%

1.0%

1.2%

1.4%

1.6%

1.8%

2.0%

Degradationrate[%/yr]
2009FirstSolar,Inc.

ModuleFailuresfromQualificationTesting

QualificationtestingisthestartingpackageforPVReliability
Justascreeningtestforkeydesignflaws/infantmortality

NocorrelationtoMTBF,longtermODperformance,degradation

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TamizhMani,etal,IECAndIEEEDesignQualifications:AnAnalysisOfTestResultsAcquiredOverNineYears,2008

TFModuleFailureModes

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SarahKurtz,etal,PhotovoltaicReliabilityR&DtowardaSolarPoweredWorld,Proc.ofSPIE2009

TFModuleFailureModescont.

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NickBosco,ReliabilityConcernsAssociatedwithPVTechnologies,NREL

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TFModuleFailureModescont.

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TMacMahonm,AcceleratedTestingandFailureofThinfilmPVModules,ProgressinPV2004

11

Humidityisanimportantstressfactor

k Ao e

(1)

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Ea

RT

Diffusivityofwaterfollowsan
Arrheniusmodel
Choosematerialsthatlimit
wateringress!

(1)M.Kempe,ControlofMoistureIngressintoPhotovoltaicModulesIEEEPVSC,2005
(2)D.J.Coyle,H.A.Blaydes,J.E.Pickettetal.,DegradationkineticsofCIGSsolarcells,Proceedingsofthe200934thIEEEPhotovoltaic
SpecialistsConference(PVSC2009),pp.0019437,2009.
12

HumidityaffectsTCOsindifferentways

x104worse

(1)
Choosematerialsthatarelesssensitivetowater
(1)F.J.Pern,R.Sundaramoorthy,C.DeHart,etal." StabilityofTCOWindowLayersforThinFilmSolarcells,Proc.ofSPIEVol.741274120J1
(2)Sundaramoorthy,R.,etal.,"ComparisonofAmorphousInZnO andPolycrystallineZnO:Al ConductiveLayersforCIGSSolarCells,"34thIEEEPVSC,(2009).
13
Copyright2010,FirstSolar,Inc.

Temperatureisanimportantstressfactor
Corrosionofconductivecomponents
Thermaldegradationofpolymers
Delamination ofinterfaces

Failureofadhesive/pottants

k Ao e

Ea

RT

Diffusivityofwater
TofindActivationEnergy(Ea)weneedtogobeyondDampHeatand
testatdifferenttemperatures

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14

Temperatureisanimportantstressfactor

fromambienttomoduletemperature

frommoduletocell(semiconductor)temperature

(1)Kingetal,PhotovoltaicArrayperformancemodelSandiaSAND20043535,2004
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15

ActivationEnergy&Tequivalent
Tequivalent istheactivationenergy(Ea)weighted
(Ea) weightedaveragetemperaturefora
system
Tequivalent isafunctionoftheActivationenergy

P Ae

Ea
RT

P Ae

Ea
RTi

ti Ae

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(1)McMahon,AcceleratedTestingandFailureofThinFilmPVModules,Prog inPV,2004

E a
RTEquivalent

16

EquivalentTemperatureforDifferentClimaticZones

Wecannowanswerthequestionhowlongwillmymodulelastforsome
degradationmechanisms
Whatcomesnext?Correlateyourlabmodelwithrealoutdoordata
Copyright2010,FirstSolar,Inc.

KentWhitfield,EvaluationOfHightemperatureExposureOfRackmountedPhotovoltaicModules,PVSCIEEE34th

17

Voltageisanimportantstressfactor

aSiModules(1)

aSi(2)

Bargraphdelamination

Thereareotherstressfactors,someofthemnotinthestarterpackage
(1)PeterHackleCharacterizationofMulticrystalline SiliconModuleswithSystemBiasVoltageAppliedinDampHeat,25thEuropean
PhotovoltaicSolarEnergyConferenceandExhibition.September,2010
(2)TMcMahon,AcceleratedTestingandFailureofThinfilmPVModules,ProgressinPV2004
(3)JPL Mon,Ross(1984):Predictingelectrochemicalbreakdowninterrestrialphotovoltaicmodules
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PVSystemDegradationrates

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DirkJordan(NREL),DegradationRates,Feb2010

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OutdoorsPerformanceMonitoring

energyoutput
finalPVsystemyield
performanceratio
PTCratio

Copyright2010,FirstSolar,Inc.

E
Yf =E/P0
PR =Yf/Yr
PTC

[amountofenergykWAC]
kW AC]
[takesintoaccountsystemsize]
[size+solarradiation]]
[size+solarradiation+temperature/wind]

IEC61724"Photovoltaicsystemperformancemonitoringguidelinesformeasurement,dataexchange,andanalysis"

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CalculationofPVSystemDegradationrates

ThevariabilityonPTC(PVUSA)islowerthanPRbecauseitcompensatesfortemperature
temperature

+3yearsofdataisrecommendedtocalculatedegradation rates

Copyright2010,FirstSolar,Inc.

B.Marion,etal,"PerformanceParametersforGridConnectedPVSystems,30thIEEEPVSC,2005

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PVSystemFailureEvents

Copyright2010,FirstSolar,Inc.

MQuintana,J.Granata,etal.SandiasPV ReliabilityProgram,NRELPVReliabilityConference2010.SandiaPoster

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21MWPHOTOVOLTAIC POWER PLANT:21X 1MWARRAYS

1MW
MW_AC ARRAY

2009FirstSolar,Inc.

23

1MWAC ARRAY (1.2MWDC)

300KWDC

300KWDC

1MW PCS
POWER CONVERSION STATION

DCFEEDERSS

DCCOMBINER BOXES (8X)

300KWDC
2009FirstSolar,Inc.

300KWDC

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1MWPCS(POWER CONVERSION STATION)

1MWTRANSFORMER 34.5KV
HVACUNITS (2X)

PCSSHELTER

500KWINVERTER

HOUSES 2EA.500KWDC:ACPOWER INVERTERS

2009FirstSolar,Inc.

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6MW_AC FEEDEER

21MWPHOTOVOLTAIC POWER PLANT:21X 1MWARRAYS

1MW
MW_AC ARRAY

P V COMBINING SWITCHGEAR
P.V.
(4FEEDERS IN 1FEEDER OUT

2009FirstSolar,Inc.

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21MWPVCS(PHOTO VOLTAIC COMBINING SWITCHGEAR)

PVCS COMBINING SWITCHGEAR


GRID PROTECTION RELAY
21MWAC X 34.5KV

SAFETY AND SECURITY FENCE


2009FirstSolar,Inc.

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METEOROLOGICAL STATION (2EA.)

WIND VELOCITY
RAIN GAUGE (BEHIND)

AMBIENT TEMP

GLOBAL RADIATION SENSOR

&REL HUMIDITY

PLANE OF ARRAY SENSOR

Irradiance,
Irradiance Temperature&WindSpeed neededtocalculatePRs&PTCs
PTC s
Correlateyourlabmodelwithrealoutdoordata
2009FirstSolar,Inc.

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September25th 2009

October2nd2009

October9th2009

October16th2009

October23rd2009

November3rd2009

November13th2009

November20th2009

November27th2009

EnvironmentalandLocalBenefits

Theprojectwillpower

over6,000localhomes

Theprojectwillavoidemissionsof12,000
12 000metric
tonsofCO2 theequivalentoftakingover2,200
carsofftheroad.

2009FirstSolar,Inc.

38

UtilityScaleProjectsinSouthwesternU.S. 2.0GWAC

Stateline
300MW
Topaz
550MW

Sunlight
550MW

Cimarron
30MW

Copper
Mountain
48MW
Blythe
21MW

AVSolarRanch
One
230MW

2009FirstSolar,Inc.

SilverState
North
50MW

PNM
22MW
Agua
Caliente
290MW
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FROM BLYTHE TO TOPAZ

2009FirstSolar,Inc.

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Summary

Modulereliabilityisadriverforcost
Modulereliabilitydoesnotdominatesystemreliability
ModulereliabilityenablesaffordablePVelectricity
Keymodulestressfactors
i.

Humidity

ii.

Temperature

Whatsneeded
fundamentalunderstandingofdegradationmechanisms
correlationtorealoutdoorperformancedata

FirstSolarenablingstatisticsatutilityscale

2009FirstSolar,Inc.

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thankyou

OurMission
To create enduring value by enabling a world

powered by clean
clean, affordable solar electricity

electricity.

2009FirstSolar,Inc.

42