DuPont exposes rapid increase in PVDF backsheet material failures used in solar panels

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email

DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions' annual 'Global Photovoltaic Reliability Report' for 2020 has identified a rapid increase of cracking in PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) backsheets after inspecting more than nine million PV panels. 

Having conducted field inspections at more than 551 existing installations, DuPont said it had observed many examples of widespread backsheet material failures, notably the emerging trend of cracking in PVDF backsheets. 

This was notable in the overall outer layer cracking rate of PVDF backsheets, which had increased four-fold (from 5 to 23%) in module arrays in the field for between four and nine years, according to DuPont. Overall, outer layer cracking rates for PVDF backsheets had increased by more than three times compared to previous studies.

DuPont said it had observed many examples of widespread backsheet material failures, notably the emerging trend of cracking in PVDF backsheets. Image: DuPont

The widespread problem of PVDF backsheet through-cracks was observed along busbar ribbons, which meant that with continued weathering could extend to cell gaps and other regions of the modules. Deeper backsheet cracks had also led to backsheet delamination issues.

Dr. Kaushik Roy Choudhury, senior scientist and global technology leader, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions said, “Delamination and cracking were observed in multiple double glass module installations. Delamination appears to originate near edges of a module or at individual cells, while cracks likely originate at scratches or chips on glass surfaces and edges or at stress risers introduced by the racking system”.

Problems included arcing and shorts, which would often lead to localised burn-through and sometimes full module fires, noted DuPont. This would also be noted in reported inverter tripping and ground faults.

Exacerbating this issue was that DuPont had identified PVDF backsheet cracking in countries such as China, Europe, India, North America and the Mediterranean region, strongly indicating that there was not a clear correlation between cracking and climate conditions as cracking of these backsheets had been observed in hot-arid, cold-arid and temperate weather conditions. 

In general, DuPont has found that inner layer cracking has been found in fluoroethylene vinyl ether (FEVE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) backsheets. In last year’s report, DuPont noted higher backsheet failures when using PET and glass/glass modules.

DuPont has found that inner layer cracking has been found in fluoroethylene vinyl ether (FEVE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) backsheets. Image: DuPont

The number of PV panels surveyed in the 2020 report increased from 6.5 million in 2029, to 9 million panels in the 2020 report. Site inspection also increased from 355 in 2019, to 551 in the latest report. 

15 September 2022
Bifacial PV modules will be the dominant solar PV technology globally within one or two years; in the utility-scale sector, their market share is already above 70%. This webinar will provide a clear view on the successful implementation of bifacial technology, maximizing system performance and minimising LCoE.

Read Next

August 11, 2022
Finlay Colville, Solar Media's head of market research, lays out the UK's path to achieving 40GW+ of solar PV by 2030 after rebounding from recent headwinds in its solar sector
August 10, 2022
OMERS Private Equity has acquired a minority stake in the Arizona-headquartered solar operations & maintenance (O&M) provider NovaSource Power Services.
August 9, 2022
The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (DCPSC) has approved a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with renewables developer Invenergy for 73MW of solar power to meet a 5% renewables target for district’s default electricity supply.
August 8, 2022
India deployed 8,359MW of solar PV in the first half of the year, marking a significant increase of 71% compared to the same period last year
August 8, 2022
Energy technology company AES Corporation is still on track to reach its target of 4.5-5.5GW in long-term renewables and energy storage contracts in 2022, having already signed 1,618MW in the year to date, according the firm’s Q2 financial report.
August 4, 2022
Hanwha Solutions is reportedly considering expanding its investment into US solar production if the newly agreed upon Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is passed.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
September 7, 2022
15:30 AEST (UTC +10)
Solar Media Events
September 14, 2022
London
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event