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Abstract

Long-term photovoltaic (PV) module reliability is highly determined by the durability of the polymeric components (backsheet and encapsulation materials). This paper presents the result of experiments on encapsulant degradation influenced by the backsheet permeation properties. Towards this goal, one type of ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) was aged in glass/EVA/backsheet laminates in accelerated aging tests (up to 4000 h for Damp-Heat (DH) and up to 480 kWh/m2 for UV and UV-DH combined). The samples contained three backsheets with dierent permeation properties to examine their impact on EVA degradation. Thermal and chemical characterization shows that the EVA degradation is stronger with the glass–EVA–polyamide (PA)-based backsheet than with the polyethylene terephthalate (PET)-based backsheets. The higher oxygen transmission rate (OTR) of the PA-based backsheet may increase photo-oxidation and aggravating the degradation of EVA in the laminates. Furthermore, FTIR results were used to demonstrate the eect of damp heat exposure on the EVA interfaces, showing an accelerated degradation at the glass–EVA interface. The comparison of accelerated aging stress factors reveals that EVA suers the strongest chemical and optical degradation when high UV, high temperature and high relative humidity are combined simultaneously.

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