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Kristopher Davis (PI), Sudipta Seal (Co-PI), Titel Jurca (Co-PI), Joseph Walters (Co-PI)

Total: $2,500,000

Funder: Department of Energy

In this project, the team will apply multiscale characterization methods to field exposed photovoltaic modules to link observed performance degradation to specific loss mechanisms (i.e., optical, recombination, resistive) and, ultimately, to root causes (i.e., changes in chemistry and or microstructure). This research will be carried out on a very large and diverse population of modules to ensure statistical relevance. To characterize defects at scale in a sufficiently rigorous manner, the team will perform multiple iterations of down-selection in a strategic manner. This will begin with large-scale analysis of time-series current-voltage data, followed by the application of both traditional and more novel on-site characterization methods. Analysis of the time-series data and on-site measurements will be used to select modules for further characterization in a controlled laboratory setting. This analysis will then be used to make assessments on the most likely root cause of the observed failure modes and degradation mechanisms. Finally, from those modules, individual regions of interest (e.g., with without observed defect) will be cored out for targeted materials characterization (e.g., electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy) to provide final confirmation of the root cause.

Principal Investigator

Kris Davis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering


Sudipta Seal, Ph.D.
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Titel Jurca, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry