Journal article

In-Situ Monitoring of Moisture Ingress in PV Modules Using Digital Humidity Sensors

A new in-situ moisture monitoring technique for photovoltaic (PV) modules is proposed using miniature digital humidity and temperature sensors. The sensors were embedded in three different ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA) stacks and proved to be resistant to lamination conditions. The fact that they are in direct contact to EVA does not affect their performance, since their saturated relative humidity (RH) reading is proportional to the external RH in the air. By exposing the sensors to elevated temperature and RH conditions, water vapor transmission rate of the backsheet and diffusion coefficient of the EVA can be determined. Obtained coefficients agree with reference values within their measurement uncertainties. Besides determining material moisture ingress properties, this monitoring technique is also applicable for long-term outdoor PV module monitoring. It shall provide valuable location and installation specific information of RH and temperature stress conditions, especially as feedback information to manufacturers of materials and PV modules.


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