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Energy 107 (2016) 550e561

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Comparison of different technologies for solar PV (Photovoltaic)

outdoor performance using indoor accelerated aging tests for long
term reliability
Rahnuma Siddiqui*, Rajesh Kumar, Gopal Kumar Jha, Ganesh Gowri, Manoj Morampudi,
Pragati Rajput, Sneh Lata, Swati Agariya, Bharat Dubey, Gayatri Nanda,
Sykam Sahan Raghava
National Institute of Solar Energy, 19th Milestone, Gwalpahari, Gurgaon-Faridabad Road, Haryana, 122001, India

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: This paper presents comprehensive study on performance comparison of different photovoltaic tech-
Received 23 October 2015 nologies, when subjected to five distinct proportions of temperature and humidity in a controlled
Received in revised form environment under biasing conditions. The study considers five different PV (Photovoltaic) technologies
18 March 2016
(Mono, Multi, a-Si, CdTe, CIGS) based on their electrical parameters. It is observed that CIGS (Copper
Accepted 12 April 2016
Indium Gallium Selenide) performs with best efficiency at 60  C, 60% RH (relative humidity) while CdTe
Available online 6 May 2016
performs with best efficiency at 85  C, 85% RH.
The descriptive statistics shows that the largest possible Variance in Maximum Power of a-Si out of all
Photovoltaic technologies
available technologies is about 20.85 whereas the lowest noted in Mono C-Si is 0.917. The variability of
Accelerated aging data is further checked using Analysis of Variance tool. Finally the study establishes the performance
Environmental testing dominance of C-Si (Mono) technology over all the thin film technologies based on stress tests and
ANOVA evaluation through the repeated measurement of maximum Power, module efficiency and cell efficiency.
Degradation © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction manufacturers it is important to have profit as well as security

while investing, therefore they require guaranteed, certified quality
Energy security is one of the most discussed topics today among of PV modules. The certification/qualification of Crystalline and thin
the readers. For developed nations, the growth of energy con- film technologies are generally done according to the International
sumption is 1% per year, while for developing nations it is around standard IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 61215 [3]
5% per year [1]. Now in order to maintain the growing energy need and IEC 61646 [4].
there is a need to shift from conventional source of energy to A qualification test indicates that whether a PV module is suit-
renewable energy, which are sustainable and environment friendly. able or not for long term operation when kept under normal
In this text solar energy has become fuel of the future and has environmental condition. In other words the purpose of qualifica-
large potential. But the challenge remains of capturing the available tion testing is to do characterization of the module while exposing
solar energy and converting it efficiently to electrical energy. The it before and after the different types of stress [5].
current problem is very much prevalent while generating power at Qualification test is done for rapid detection of failures of PV
large scale. Studies reveal that power output can be increased from modules in the controlled environment. It also gives the instant
25% to 30% by tracking the sun in both the directions [2]. rating of relative strengths and accepts abilities of design alterna-
Cost effectiveness of PV (Photovoltaic) systems is increasingly tives during product development. The quantitative analysis of PV
gaining importance with the ongoing growth of PV market. 70% of module while keeping it under real time stress is often complicated
capital investment for PV systems is related to the module part. For and challenging. There are specific test regimens desired by the PV
industry to provide a simulated value for the lifetime of a PV
module, which would assure a minimum prescribed lifetime for the
PV module. One of the limitations of qualification test is that it is
* Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses:, (R. Siddiqui). performed on a limited number of modules (less than 10) as
0360-5442/© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
R. Siddiqui et al. / Energy 107 (2016) 550e561 551

List of abbreviations HIT Hetero Intrinsic Thin Layer.

IEC International Electrotechnical Commission.
AAT Accelerated Aging Test. IRT Infrared Thermography.
ANOVA Analysis of Variance. Isc Short Circuit Current of the PV Module.
ARIMA Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average. LOESS Locally Weighted Scatterplot Smoothing.
a-Si Amorphous Silicon. LR Linear regression.
CdTe Cadmium Telluride. Mod.Eff % Module Efficiency in Percentage.
Cell. Eff % Cell Efficiency in Percentage. NISE National Institute of solar Energy.
CIS/CIGS Copper Indium Gallium Selenide. NREL National Renewable Energy Laboratories.
CSD Classical Seasonal Decomposition. Pmax Maximum Power of the PV Module at STC.
C-Si Crystalline Silicon. PV Photovoltaic.
DH Damp Heat Test. RH Relative Humidity in Percentage.
EVA Ethyl Vinyl Acetate. STC Standard Test Condition.
FF Fill Factor. Voc Open Circuit Voltage of the PV Module.

compared to 1000 of PV modules that are produced a year. Also it 85  C, 85% RH (relative humidity)Damp Heat with years of opera-
does not confirm that all production modules will pass. Some tion in a humid climate [24].
specialized accelerated tests are also being used as screening tests The common quality criteria used in the standard qualification
along with the standard tests to investigate failures or potential test are type approval testing of terrestrial PV modules for both
problems unique to particular module designs [6]. crystalline (1) and thin film (2) modules. Many publications have
Wohlgemuth reported that qualification tests are important, discussed the defects and failure rates associated with the testing of
with limitations attached to it. The stress levels are design depen- commercial PV modules [25e27].
dent and the goal is to have all commercially available products According to IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission)
capable of passing the test sequence, In general qualification test 61215, many studies were attempted in the past to find out the
characterizes the PV module with specific standards but does not reliability of PV modules using Damp Heat test to determine the
give certainty for its long term performance [7,8]. effect of long term penetration of humidity on materials. Laronde
In most accelerated indoor testing, PV modules are exposed to et al. [28] reported that modules are degraded because of corrosion
extreme ranges of temperature and humidity whereas in normal while employing DH (Damp Heat) testing [29].
outdoor analysis of PV modules, they are exposed to temperature, Peike et al. [30] reported that the effect of damp heat test on PV
humidity and light simultaneously. So, in order to investigate modules is grid corrosion or reduced conductivity. It also reported
possible effects, it is necessary to perform a combined exposure test that higher temperatures accelerate water vapor permeation into
[8]. the module and the subsequent degradation reactions.
The performance of PV modules is also affected when moisture Analysis of indoor test data with outdoor failure mechanisms
enters the back sheet of PV modules through the EVA (ethyl vinyl pertaining to PV installations has not been attempted till now. This
acetate) sheets [9], as it can weaken the interfacial adhesive bonds will require data from PV installations till now about the failure
when penetrating the polymer and reaching the solar cell. This type and frequency. Several studies have reported that IEC 61215
results in delamination [10], loss of passivation [11], increased no of certified PV module guarantees between 15 and 20 years of lifetime
ingress paths and corrosion of solder joints [12,13]. in a fairly moderate climate [31e33].
To have long term reliability of PV system and valuable data for There is a vast difference in results observed from the indoor
evaluating efficiency, it is important to know the PV module's and outdoor analysis. The defects that appear in these IEC 61215
degradation behavior along with its outdoor field condition and tests are different than those that appear in the field. For e.g. e in
fault diagnostics. The accelerated aging tests done gives a perfor- thermal cycles and damp heat tests commonly observed defect is
mance prediction that the PV module is durable and reliable for up tedlar delamination whereas in real operating conditions
to 25 years, which otherwise is challenging in the actual scenario. commonly observed defect is tedlar detachments [34,35].
So accelerated aging tests give a long term prediction while Module lifetime cannot be extrapolated from the results of C-Si
applying a great amount of stress for a short duration on PV and p-Si PV modules, as for crystalline and polycrystalline silicon
modules. There are other means also for detecting and diagnosing PV modules, there is a yearly power reduction of 2%, while amor-
defects in PV modules including monitoring methods like cur- phous and CIS solar modules exhibit a significantly higher power
rentevoltage measurements and infrared thermography, but there reduction. Degradation and power loss in PV modules is also
is a need for further research to predict long term reliability of observed resulting from the stress exerted by system voltage bias.
modules [14]. The qualification tests and standards do not adequately evaluate
AAT (Accelerated aging test), is used to study the degradation the durability of the modules to the long term effects of high
and failure mechanisms in PV modules, [15e21]. One of the voltage bias experienced in field arrays.
accelerated life tests for PV module is continuous light-soaking Degradation caused by voltage bias is directly connected with
(100% duty cycle) without elevated irradiance [22,23]. the leakage current or coulombs passed from the silicon active layer
Such life test can be directly correlated with actual environment through the encapsulant and glass to the grounded module frame.
using the average daily irradiance profiles from the target site, It has to be considered that competing processes make the effect
depending on the geographical location. As the data for outdoors is nonlinear [36].
available, but literature data for the acceleration factors of crys- Laboratories like NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
talline silicon are quite sparse. As studies done by Osterwald stated performed indoor and outdoor testing to characterize the long-
that attempts have been made to correlate the number of hours at term effects of system voltage applied to the active layers of solar
552 R. Siddiqui et al. / Energy 107 (2016) 550e561

cells. It is found that at low humidity conditions, current flows There are studies on thin film modules which not only include
through the encapsulant/glass interface between the module frame indoor study but a chain of indoor as well as outdoor [38].
and the active layer, whereas at high humidity it is seen that current One of the studies also includes modeling and performance
flows on the surface of the glass and through its bulk. System behavior of a-Si module in real outdoor operating conditions. The
voltage bias can be classified according to its polarity. Different behavior of the module was studied keeping it periodically indoors.
degradation mechanisms are observed under positive and negative The technologies included were six modules of single, double and
system bias voltage. A negative system bias voltage is more crucial triple junction and the period of study was one year. Further, the
than positive ones. This is because when the system bias voltage is effect of temperature and irradiance was studied in the second part
applied to the active layer, it leads to more rapid and catastrophic where light soaking and thermal annealing cycles were performed
module power degradation within 1000 h [37]. while keeping the modules at indoors [39].

Table 1
Technical details of experimental setup.

Equipment/Model no Description Technical details

Sun simulator It is capable of measuring the I-V characteristics  Class A solar simulator according to IEC 904-9.
Quicksun 700A of even the largest size photovoltaic modules (2 m  2 m)  Xenon flash tube with AM 1.5 G filter.
whether they are made of thin film or crystalline material.  ±2% irradiance uniformity with proprietary optics.
It is effective and reliable both in production and  Irradiance and temperature corrections according to IEC 891.
quality control applications.  Proprietary electronic load and data sampling system
 Measurement reliability surpasses IEC 904-1.
 Irradiance level adjustable from 200 to 1200 W/m2
 Testing capacity 60e120* modules per hour *depending
on test area size.
 The accuracy of the I-V characteristic measurement of
this system is by construction greater than 0.5%.
 The total absolute power measurement accuracy is,
however, mainly dominated, by the accuracy and proper
choice of the reference module used for calibration.
Thermal imager An infrared camera measures and images the emitted ⋄ High thermal sensitivity (N.E.T.D): <0.045  C @ 30  C
FLIR e T62101 infrared radiation from an object. The fact that radiation ⋄ Wide temperature range: 4  F to 2192  F (20  C to 1200  C)
is a function of object surface temperature makes it possible with ±2% or 2  C accuracy
for the camera to calculate and display this temperature. ⋄ Focal plane array detector with 320  240 pixels infrared
To measure temperature accurately, it is therefore necessary resolution (76,800 pixels)
to compensate for the effects of a number of different radiation ⋄ Measurement modes: Spot (up to 5), Area (up to 5),
sources. This is done on-line automatically by the camera. Isotherm, Hot/Cold, Delta T
⋄ Interchangeable lens with 1X-8X continuous zoom
⋄ Spectral range 7.5e13 mm
Environmental chamber The chambers simulate climatic conditions artificially. These ch Temperature tests-
CW-60/10 ambers having Test volume of 10 m3, can accommodate Temperature range- - 60  C to 100  C
Test Specimen of PV modules up to 300 Kg, and 200 kg Temperature Fluctuation under stabilized conditions- ±0.5e1 K
module holder. It offers feasibility to perform the temporary. (Under Stabilized conditions the temperature do
desired test condition not fluctuate more than 1 K, it is the tolerance limit).
Average temperature change rate with test specimen
measured in the air supply-
Heating: 2 K/min in the range from 40  C to 85  C.
Cooling: 2 K/min in the range from þ85  C to 40  C.
Climate Tests:

Temperature range e 10  C to þ90  C

Humidity range e 10% to 95% relative humidity
At dew point range- þ5  C to þ89  C
Temperature fluctuation: ±0.1e0.5 K
Humidity fluctuation under stabilized conditions- ±1 to ±3%
relative humidity temporary.
The technical data refer to an ambient temperature of þ25  C,
nominal voltage 400 V, without specimen nor radiation
nor accessories.
Uncertainty of Temperature: 0.15%
Humidity: 0.94%
Insulation tester With this it is possible to check the insulation resistance of the ❖ Insulation resistance: 200 kU to 200GU
1550C PV module in between the cells and outer frame ❖ Leakage Current: 2 mA to1nA.
(current carrying parts), it also provides the leakage ❖ Capacitance: 20.00 mFe0.01 mF.
current, capacitance, Dielectric Absorption Ratio ❖ Dielectric Absorption Ratio of Insulation resistance
(ratio of the resistance of 60 s to the resistance of 30 Seconds) ❖ Polarization Index
functionality is to check the Dielectric of the insulating ❖ Waveform; Step or Ramp
material, and Polarization Index ❖ Timer:0e99 min.
(Ratio of resistance of 10 min to the resistance of 1 min).
Thermocouple The meter can fit two thermocouple Jacks which can ❖ Display: 4 digits LCD
meter (BTH 900) match any standard type K or J sensor. It has provision ❖ Resolution: 0.1  C (below 1000  C), 1  C (above 1000  C).
of measuring the average and difference ❖ Range: K-Type (200 to 1300  C)
of the two temperatures, also displays Maximum and Minimum ❖ Accuracy: (100 to 1300  C) ± (0.1% reading þ0.7  C)
values between them. ❖ Sample rate: 1 time/sec.
DC power supplies D C Power Supplies are used to simulate the irradiance effect ❖ DC Voltage: 0e120 V.
by using external biasing. ❖ DC current: 0e20 A.
❖ Accuracy: ±1%
R. Siddiqui et al. / Energy 107 (2016) 550e561 553

Table 2a
Constructional details with product specifications.

Sr. No Technology Product ID Model number Module area (cm) Cell area (cm) Number of cells in series Pmax Voc Isc

1. Multi C-Si WS11139000887601 WS-100 115  67.5 15.6  12 36 100W 21V 6.35A
2. Mono C-Si 20132215991123101948961438 75W36 86.8  65.5 131.91 36 75W 21.6V 4.7
3. a-Si 1123101948961438 S100E 131.2  111 127.60 109 100W 96V 1.7A
4. CdTe 080901131957 FS-262 120  60 57.6  1 117 62.5W 86V 1.17A
5. CIGS 0100025929 STN-125 165.2  65.6 96.9 100 125W 55V 3.45A

A similar kind of study was carried out considering 44 mono- study proposed an alternative set up for performing more realistic
crystalline PV modules while exposing them in real sunlight in thermal cycles under irradiation cycling. The work was completed
three different sessions and indoor assessment was done prior and without involving environmental chambers. Finally the study
after each exposure using solar simulator. Finally the initial stabi- developed a basis for future analysis on the reliability and failure
lization of a statistical sample was measured [40]. mechanisms of PV modules [46].
Different PV technologies were exposed in the outdoor for 28 Another study includes comparison of polycrystalline module
months and its long term reliability was studied [41]. The test of 250 W (in accelerated ageing test) with similar polycrystalline
procedure includes visual inspection, thermal imaging and I-V silicon module (under real time). Investigations were done for
Characteristic measurements and degradation analysis was carried environmental aging effects using standard environmental
out by STC (Standard Test Condition) Comparisons of various chamber. This chamber was equipped with single-sun irradiance
technologies and rate of decay per year was also mentioned as 0.4%, providing uniformity of illumination of 98%. Simulations were
0.5%, 0.36% for a-Si, multi C-Si and HIT (Hetero Intrinsic Thin Layer) carried out showing good comparison between the chamber
modules respectively. tested system and fielded tested system with 2.5% degradation in
Methods have been developed to overcome the obstacles for efficiency [47].
studying long term experiments of PV module degradation under Previous studies done by several researchers shows that long
real conditions [42]. term performance of modules is not assured by qualification test as
The uncertainty in the prediction of photovoltaic yield is one of they check for specific set of requirements. It is also not easy to
the important aspects to be estimated. Studies have shown that equate the number of years of outdoor exposure test to loss of
statistical simulations have been done with model software to have power induced by damp heat test.
the value of combined uncertainty (standard deviation). To achieve To check the long term experiments of PV module degradation
increase reliability it is necessary to have the provision for reducing under real condition, many statistical simulations have been done
uncertainty in module ratings and simultaneously investigating and the value of combined uncertainty is estimated [43,44]. From
losses [43]. inferences it is observed that different method yields different
Different methods have been developed for measuring degra- results of varying uncertainties depending on the equipments
dation rate of different photovoltaic technologies. Each method being used. From the previous results it may be concluded that
yields different results of varying uncertainties depending on the performance of modules depends on technology, site and
equipment used for measurement. From literature review, four methodology.
major statistical analysis methods were identified for calculating The AAT (accelerated aging test) is used for studying degrada-
degradation rates i) LR (linear regression), ii) classical seasonal tion and failure mechanism on PV modules. This paper emphasizes
decomposition (CSD), iii) ARIMA (Auto Regressive Integrated on use of accelerated damp heat test for different PV technologies
Moving Average) and iv) locally weighted scatterplot smoothing like C-Si, a-Si, CdTe and CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenide)
(LOESS) with LR being the most common. Finally it was seen from when exposed to different ranges of temperature and humidity for
the results that performance of modules is not only technology or a continuous period of time.
site dependent but also methodology dependent [44]. The variation in the performance of modules is assessed
It is difficult to have a full description of indoor illumination before and after each damp heat test using a sun simulator of
conditions. The study includes comparison of performance of class AAA and difference in the performance of different PV
different PV modules using indoor applications for low power de- modules is studied including leakage current. Comparative study
vices [45]. is done experimentally using descriptive statistics. Other infer-
Today AAT (accelerated aging tests) are often used in knowing ential statistics are based on probability theory, while descriptive
the failure and degradation mechanism in solar cells. A novel statistics is the discipline of quantitatively describing the main
approach of accelerated aging tests was developed for high con- features of a collection of information about the central tendency
centration IIIeV multi junction solar cells using thermal cycles. The and variability of data further supported by analysis of variance

Table 2b
Initial data of insulation test; performance at STC.

Sr. No Initial measurements

Insulation test at 1000 V STC

Insulation resistance (GU) Leakage current (nA) Voc (V) Isc (A) F.F Pmax (W) Cell eff.% Mod eff.%

1. 20.6 48.54 22.40 6.36 0.733 104.5 15.5 13.5

2. 583 MU 1.715 mA 22.46 4.79 0.765 82.4 17.4 14.1
3. 3.49 286.5 97.6 1.50 0.681 99.8 7.18 6.85
4. 11.7 85.47 92.1 1.08 0.495 49.6 7.36 6.89
5. 1.70 588.23 58.9 3.14 0.574 106.3 11.0 9.81

#Note: It is required that degradation of maximum output power as per IEC 61215 and IEC 61646 shall not exceed 5% of the value measured before the test.
554 R. Siddiqui et al. / Energy 107 (2016) 550e561

Fig. 1. (a) Diagram for different ranges of temperature and humidity in environmental chamber. (b) Timeline diagram of different temperature and humidity ranges applied during
the experiment. (c) STC measurement setup. (d) Apparatus of insulation resistance testing of PV module.

without replication (when data is classified on two different 2. Description of experimental set up for PV module test
dimensions). facility
The main objective of this paper is to compare different tech-
nologies for solar PV module outdoor performance using indoor In order to study rapid feedback of relative strengths of different
accelerated aging tests for long term reliability. PV modules, following apparatus were used as shown in Table 1
R. Siddiqui et al. / Energy 107 (2016) 550e561 555

Table 3
Details of PV module at each cycle after subjected to 200 h of testing at different ranges of temperature, humidity.

Technology At room temperature Duration in hours STC parameters

Insulation resistance (GU) Leakage current (nA) Temp and humidity range Voc (V) Isc (A) F.F Pmax (W) Cell eff.% Mod. Eff. %

Multi C-Si 20.6 48.54 0hr 22.40 6.36 0.733 104.5 15.5 13.5

24 41.66 200hr (85 C, 85%) 22.00 6.37 0.750 105 15.6 13.5

31.4 31.84 200hr (75 C, 70%) 22.57 6.36 0.737 105.8 15.7 13.6

22.8 43.85 200hr (70 C, 65%) 22.47 6.29 0.727 102.7 15.2 13.2

1.10 909 200hr (65 C, 65%) 22.24 6.28 0.739 103.2 15.3 13.3
361 MU 2.77 mA 200hr (60 
C, 60%) 22.25 6.25 0.738 102.6 15.2 13.2
Mono C-Si 583 MU 1.715 mA 0hr 22.46 4.794 0.765 82.4 17.4 14.1
392 MU 2.551 mA 200hr (85 
C, 85%) 22.51 4.759 0.772 82.7 17.4 14.5
943 MU 1.060 mA 200hr (75 
C, 70%) 22.61 4.778 0.770 83.2 17.5 14.6
616 MU 1.623 mA 200hr (70 
C, 65%) 22.70 4.717 0.769 82.3 17.3 14.5
353 MU 2.832 mA 200hr (65 
C, 65%) 22.45 4.664 0.776 81.3 16.8 14.3
122 MU 8.196 mA 200hr (60 
C, 60%) 22.34 4.729 0.763 80.6 16.7 14.2
CIGS 1.70 588.23 0hr 58.9 3.145 0.574 106.3 11.0 9.81

1.41 709.21 200hr (85 C, 85%) 59.8 3.117 0.590 110.0 11.4 10.2

2.30 434.78 200hr (75 C, 70%) 60.2 3.107 0.603 112.7 11.6 10.4

1.04 961.53 200hr (70 C, 65%) 60.6 3.070 0.614 114.2 11.8 10.5
253 MU 3.95 mA 200hr (65 
C, 65%) 60.6 3.080 0.610 113.9 11.8 10.5
86.6 MU 11.54 mA 200hr (60 
C, 60%) 60.7 3.066 0.615 114.3 11.8 10.5
CdTe 11.7 85.47 0hr 92.1 1.087 0.495 49.6 7.36 6.89

3.93 254.45 200hr (85 C, 85%) 93.6 1.079 0.503 50.9 7.55 7.06

16.8 59.52 200hr (75 C, 70%) 92.8 1.083 0.493 49.6 7.35 6.88

4.02 248.75 200hr (70 C, 65%) 92.0 1.071 0.497 49.0 7.26 6.80
870 MU 1.149 mA 200hr (65 
C, 65%) 91.2 1.075 0.496 48.6 7.21 6.75
330 MU 3.03 mA 200hr (60 
C, 60%) 91.7 1.065 0.478 46.7 6.93 6.49
a-Si 3.49 286.5 0hr 97.6 1.502 0.681 99.8 7.18 6.85

8.26 121.06 200hr (85 C, 85%) 99.4 1.493 0.653 96.9 6.97 6.66

8.42 118.76 200hr (75 C, 70%) 99.3 1.499 0.659 98.2 7.06 6.75

3.85 259.74 200hr (70 C, 65%) 98.3 1.469 0.632 91.3 6.56 6.27
233 MU 4.291 mA 200hr (65 
C, 65%) 99.3 1.466 0.620 90.3 6.49 6.20
142 MU 7.04 mA 200hr (60 
C, 60%) 100.4 1.480 0.599 89.1 6.40 6.11

#Every cycle consists of 200 h of damp-heat soaking of PV modules along with biasing in the chamber except initial.
1st Cycle: 85  C, 85% RH; 2nd Cycle: 75  C, 70% RH; 3rd Cycle: 70  C, 65% RH; 4th Cycle: 65  C, 65% RH; 5th Cycle: 60  C, 60% RH.

a) Endeas Quick sun 700 Class AAA Sun Simulator 3.1. Visual inspection of the modules
b) Thermal Imager
c) Environmental chamber. Test Facility- Bare eye and microscope up to 50 Magnification.
d) Insulation tester. Outcome of the Test- No defects found on all five modules of
Multi C-Si, Mono C-Si, a-Si, CdTe and CIGS.

3. Degradation analysis methodology 3.2. IeV characteristic measurement

Prior to the deployment at the experimental test bed facility in IeV characteristics of each individual module are measured and
environmental chambers at NISE (National Institute of solar En- compared using Endeas Quick Sun 700 Class A, Sun Simulator with
ergy), the constructional data of all the modules of each technology initial measurements.
with product specification were noted (as shown in Table 2a) and The values of characteristic parameters: Short Circuit Current
their I-V characteristics were measured indoors, using a class A sun (Isc), Open Circuit Voltage (Voc), Maximum Power (Pmax) and FF (Fill
simulator at NISE, in order to generate a baseline data for further Factor) has been analyzed.
comparison. IeV characteristics were measured under STC conditions i.e.
The performance analysis of each individual PV technology has 1000 W/m2 irradiance, Air Mass (AM) 1.5 and ambient temperature
been investigated through a comprehensive test campaign as 25  C as per IEC 60904-1 [48].

4. Performance analysis methodology

a. Visual Inspection of the PV modules.
b. Insulation Test (setup as shown in Table 2b) The power output of PV modules in general depends on the
c. Initial I-V Curve measurement of five technologies is noted (as metrological parameters like irradiance, temperature and humidity
shown in Table 2b). applied on each module. The same effects were simulated by using
d. The Temperature and Humidity Ranges are selected according to environmental chamber and power supplies. The light effect was
the chart as shown in Fig. 1a and procedure which is followed for created by external biasing; while the combined effect of temper-
performing this experiment is presented in timeline form as ature and humidity (Damp heat) was generated in an Environ-
shown in Fig. 1b along with accelerated ranges of temperature mental chamber.
and humidity with time in hours. The test program consists of various levels of severities as
e. STC and Insulation test is carried out at an interval of every shown in Fig. 1b. Each cycle represents a definite combination of
200 h after subjecting each range of temperature and humidity, temperature and humidity. The sequence is designed in such a way
their experimental setup is shown in Fig. 1c and d respectively. that the severities keep on descending at definite intervals. The
556 R. Siddiqui et al. / Energy 107 (2016) 550e561

Fig. 2. Thermal images of different technologies showing maximum minimum temperatures and mismatch in modules. # The significance of thermal images are to trace out the
possible defects such as interconnects, broken and shorted cells which generally occurs during the applied severities.

consequence of the Test program was better explained (described) All the modules have shown positive results in case of insulation
by using the statistics. test which means that they are not suffering any degradation
After completion of each cycle modules were brought to normal regarding encapsulation. Thus, in order to understand and quantify
atmospheric temperature and cooled by natural convection, further performance analysis of each PV technology, after each environ-
visually inspected and performed electrical tests. The necessity to mental test, STC as well as wet leakage current test is performed (as
perform the visual inspection and electrical tests is to ensure that shown in Table 3) and their corresponding thermal images related to
the modules are not showing any defects while undergoing these the observations for different technologies showing higher tem-
stress cycles. peratures and mismatches in modules is noted (as shown in Fig. 2).
R. Siddiqui et al. / Energy 107 (2016) 550e561 557

Table 4
Descriptive statistics

Variable Parameter Multi C-Si Mono C-Si CIGS CdTe a-Si

Mean Pmax 103.96 82.083 111.9 49.066 94.26

Module efficiency 13.383 14.366 10.318 6.8116 6.4733
Cell efficiency 15.416 17.1833 11.566 7.2766 6.7766
Standard Error Pmax 0.5407 0.3910 1.2994 0.5701 1.864
Module efficiency 0.0703 0.080270 0.1122 0.0774 0.1292
Cell efficiency 0.0872 0.14004 0.1308 0.084 0.1355
Median Pmax 103.85 82.35 113.3 49.3 94.1
Module efficiency 13.4 14.4 10.45 6.84 6.465
Cell efficiency 15.4 17.35 11.7 7.305 6.765
Standard deviation Pmax 1.3246 0.9579 3.183 1.3966 4.566
Module efficiency 0.1722 0.1966 0.2749 0.1896 0.3166
Cell efficiency 0.2136 0.3430 0.3204 0.2058 0.3320
Sample variance Pmax 1.7546 0.9176 10.132 1.9506 20.8506
Module efficiency 0.0296 0.0386 0.0756 0.0359 0.10026
Cell efficiency 0.04566 0.1176 0.1026 0.0423 0.1102
Kurtosis Pmax 1.946 0.4899 1.0737 1.6381 2.6070
Module efficiency 2.3671 1.8281 2.3539 1.6368 2.63487
Cell efficiency 2.1498 1.6585 1.2396 1.5896 2.6004
Skewness Pmax 0.3073 0.7083 1.3764 0.75896 0.0695
Module efficiency 0.02609 0.2542 1.6516 0.7651 0.0409
Cell Efficiency 0.2322 0.8588 1.3537 0.7071 0.0689
Range Pmax 3.2 2.6 8 4.2 10.7
Module efficiency 0.4 0.5 0.69 0.57 0.74
Cell efficiency 0.5 0.8 0.8 0.62 0.78
Largest Pmax 105.8 83.2 114.3 50.9 99.8
Module efficiency 13.6 14.6 10.5 7.06 6.85
Cell efficiency 15.7 17.5 11.8 7.55 7.18
Smallest Pmax 102.6 80.6 106.3 46.7 89.1
Module efficiency 13.2 14.1 9.81 6.49 6.11
Cell efficiency 15.2 16.7 11 6.93 6.4
Confidence level Pmax 1.3901 1.0053 3.3404 1.4657 4.7919
Module efficiency 0.18075 0.20635 0.2885 0.19905 0.3323
Cell efficiency 0.2242 0.3599 0.3362 0.2160 0.3484

5. Individual analysis of each technology The performance analysis of each technology is then quantified
using Analysis of Variance two factor, without replication data
Descriptive statistics is used to derive information regarding analysis tool (as shown in Table 5).
the central tendency and variability of the data including In this tool, there are two null hypotheses* one for the ranges of
maximum power, module efficiency and cell efficiency (as shown humidity and temperatures (rows) and the other for the charac-
in Table 4). teristic parameters like Voc, Isc, FF, Pmax, Cell Efficiency, Module

Table 5
Reconfirmation of checking the variability of the data including maximum power, module efficiency and cell efficiency.

ANOVA two factor Pmax(W) Module efficiency (%) Cell efficiency (%)
without replication
Multi C-Si Mono C-Si CIGS CdTe a-Si Multi C-Si Mono C-Si CIGS CdTe a-Si Multi C-Si Mono C-Si CIGS CdTe a-Si

0h 104.5 82.4 99.8 106.3 49.6 13.5 14.1 6.85 9.81 6.89 15.5 17.4 7.18 11.0 7.36
1st round 105.0 82.7 96.9 110.0 50.9 13.5 14.5 6.66 10.2 7.06 15.6 17.4 6.97 11.4 7.55
2nd round 105.8 83.2 98.2 112.7 49.6 13.6 14.6 6.75 10.4 6.88 15.7 17.5 7.06 11.6 7.35
3rd round 102.7 82.3 91.3 114.2 49.0 13.2 14.5 6.27 10.5 6.80 15.2 17.3 6.56 11.8 7.26
4th round 103.2 81.3 90.3 113.9 48.6 13.3 14.3 6.20 10.5 6.75 15.3 16.8 6.49 11.8 7.21
5th round 102.6 80.6 89.1 114.3 46.7 13.2 14.2 6.11 10.5 6.49 15.2 16.7 6.40 11.8 6.93
variance 1.754 0.917 10.13 1.95 20.85 0.029 0.03 0.075 0.03 0.10 0.045 0.117 0.102 0.042 0.11
P value* 9.29E-20 1.13E-24 2.31E-25
F value* 503.0 1570.906 1842.868
F critical 2.866081 2.866081 2.866081
Null hypothesis Since p value < 05 and F Value > Since p value < 05 and F Value > Since p value < 05 and F Value >
F Critical, we reject null hypothesis F Critical, we reject null hypothesis F Critical, we reject null hypothesis
and so at 95% level of confidence and so at 95% level of confidence and so at 95% level of confidence
we conclude there is significant we conclude there is significant we conclude there is significant
difference in the maximum power difference in the Module Efficiency difference in the Cell Efficiency
considering all ranges of considering all ranges of temperature considering all ranges of temperature
temperature and humidity. and humidity. and humidity.

Null hypotheses- is a general statement which refers there is no relation between two measured phenomena or there is no difference among groups. When null hypotheses
rejected, it concludes that there is a relation between two measured phenomena or difference among groups.
P value- is a function which is used to testing a statistical hypotheses. In other words it is probability of obtaining a result which can be equal or more extreme when compared
with the actual observed results.
F value- is used to determine the P value (which is probability) and is also variance between the means of two populations significantly different.
P value is probability whereas F value test Statistics.
F Value ¼ (Variance of the group mean)/(the mean within group variance).
Fig. 3. Graphical analysis related to the observations related to different technologies to different ranges of temperature, humidity- STC parameters of different PV technologies
after completion of every cycle. (a) a-Si (b) Mono C-Si (c) CdTe (d) Multi C-Si (e) CIGS.
R. Siddiqui et al. / Energy 107 (2016) 550e561 559

Efficiency (columns). The analysis can be done using data analysis for all the technologies and finally statistical significant difference
tool as well as the same result can be produced using formulas. is studied among the different ranges of temperature and
6. Results and conclusion For technologies like multi, mono, CIGS, CdTe and a-Si there is
statistical significant difference between the initial and final value
A detailed comparison of different PV technologies is presented of Pmax, module efficiency and cell efficiency. Finally the order of
w.r.t parameters like maximum power, module efficiency and cell performance of each technology while applying rigorous stress
efficiency, when modules are exposed to different ranges of tem- tests of different ranges of humidity and temperature for a definite
perature and humidity in environmental chambers applied for a period of time in indoors in decreasing order in terms of variance is
definite period of time. Their graphical analysis depicted related to as mono C-Si (0.9176), multi C-Si(1.7546), CdTe(1.9506), CIGS
the different technologies (as shown in Fig. 3) and further analysis (10.132) and a-Si(20.8506).
is done depicting groups of same numerical data for module effi- The results are only representative of the considered conditions.
ciency, maximum power and cell efficiency through their quartiles The temperature and humidity are the major impacts as far as the
by box and whisker plot (as shown in Fig. 4). PV modules are concerned. Their combined effect could replicate
All technologies depict a variable behavior. While studying the same effect of environmental exposure. The Article deals with
descriptive statistics, it is clear that mono C-Si has shown best the two prominent factors like temperature and humidity which
performance in terms of small variation in maximum power and a- will affect the PV module performance in long-run, as there are
Si technology has shown poorest performance in terms of large present in every part of the globe.
variation in maximum power. While considering module efficiency Considering the construction of a-Si and C-Si, both are
and cell efficiency, a significant difference in the performance for all having front glass and back tedlar. While in technologies like
technologies is not observed. Further to reconfirming the results, CdTe and CIGS, front and back both are made of glass, so there is
another statistical tool ANOVA (analysis of variance without repli- high possibility of moisture ingressing through back sheet in
cation) is used to study the performance. both a-Si and C-Si. As a-Si is having very thin layer of active
Apart from finding the variance, probability value is studied for material, so its degradation is more as compared to other
parameters like max power, module efficiency and cell efficiency technologies.

Fig. 4. Graphical analysis of depicting groups of numerical data for module efficiency, maximum power and cell efficiency through their quartiles by box and whisker plot: (a)
Maximum power (b) Module efficiency (c) Cell efficiency. # The whisker plots enables us to understand the maximum minimum deviation of each technology across the different
severities applied.
560 R. Siddiqui et al. / Energy 107 (2016) 550e561

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