Nowadays, there is a worldwide production capacity of about 5GW of thin-film module technology. In total, an estimated cumulative installed capacity of 15 to 24GW exists (5-8% of 300GW installed
worldwide in 2016). But how serious is the threat of PID in this thin-film fleet?
In recent years, potential-induced degradation (PID) has been recognized as a serious reliability issue for large PV systems, potentially causing efficiency losses of more than 90%, and even failures [1–4]. Such large decreases in efficiency may require the modules in the system to be replaced after just a few years’ operation. This has motivated a substantial research effort in the PV community, leading to a better understanding of the phenomenon, as well as to a range of mitigation strategies. A recent publication by Luo et al. gives a comprehensive overview of this research .
After experiencing their own problems with potential induced degradation (PID), Belgium-based Edison Energy took matters into its own hands and developed the Pidbull solution in partnership with imec. Now it sells Pidbull to anyone experiencing issues with PID. As managing director Davy Verheyden explains, it is a problem solar asset owners cannot afford to ignore.
PV encapsulant films are crucial in the protection and long-term functionality of solar collection cells in PV modules. Dow's Andrew Yen discusses how choosing an alternative to EVA can lead to greater performance, improved yield and happier asset owners.
Potential-induced degradation can cause significant power loss in modules if the appropriate precautions are not taken. In the first part of a new series in PV Tech Power on module failure, Peter Hacke and Steve Johnston assess the current state-of-the-art in detecting, avoiding and mitigating the worst effects of PID.