Solder Bond Degradation of Fielded PV Modules: Correlation between Performance, Series Resistance and Electroluminescence Imaging

Archana Sinha, Viswa Sai Pavan Buddha, Eric J. Schneller, Dylan J. Colvin, Kristopher O. Davis, Govindasamy Tamizhmani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


One of the most dominant degradation modes affecting the degradation rate and lifetime of field deployed modules is the degradation of interconnect-metallization system. The effect of solder bond degradation on the performance of three 10-year-old modules installed at a Florida site has been quantified through the cell series resistance (Rs) acquired from dark current-voltage (I-V) curves, which has been correlated with performance loss and electroluminescence (EL) intensity. The regions of poor solder joints are identified in EL image through high luminescence spots at interconnect ribbons because of current crowding. Each individual cell of the tested modules was accessed by cutting off a small segment of backsheet and soldering at cell interconnect. A spatial distribution of Rs in the modules is mapped, which demonstrated a good correlation with fill factor and output power as identified by two parallel trendlines. This implies that the performance loss of these fielded modules is significantly dictated by the solder bond degradation. Further, the ultraviolet fluorescence images showed an identical encapsulant browning pattern over the cells, indicating considerable current loss in all cells of the module.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE 46th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781728104942
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Event46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Jun 16 2019Jun 21 2019

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Conference46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • PV module
  • electroluminescence imaging
  • fill factor
  • series resistance
  • silicon
  • solder bond degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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