Description: Because of the sensitivity of some photovoltaic devices to moisture-induced corrosion, they are packaged using impermeable front- and back-sheets with an edge seal to prevent moisture ingress. Evaluation of edge seal materials can be difficult because of the low permeation rates involved and/or non-Fickian behavior. Here, using a Ca film deposited on a glass substrate, we demonstrate the evaluation of edge seal materials in a manner that effectively duplicates their use in a photovoltaic application and compare the results with standard methods for measuring water vapor transport. We demonstrate how moisture permeation data from polymer films can be used to estimate moisture ingress rates and compare the results of these two methods. Encapsulant materials were also evaluated for comparison and to highlight the need for edge seals. Of the materials studied, dessicant-filled polyisobutene materials demonstrate by far the best potential to keep moisture out for a 20 to 30 year lifetime.
Date: April 1, 2011
Creator: Kempe, M.; Dameron, A. & Reese, M.
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