PVEL’s Thermal Cycling (TC) test assesses a PV module’s ability to endure changes in temperature. While ambient temperatures vary daily and seasonally in most solar markets, top-performing TC results are most critical in locations where temperatures are much lower at night than during the day, typically the very places that have high solar resource.
Why Thermal Cycling Testing Matters
Scroll through the key takeaways.
84% of BOMs tested degraded by < 2%.
TC results continue to be impressive with a median degradation of 1.0% following TC600 across the 2023 Scorecard test population; however, this is an increase in degradation from the 0.7% median reported in the 2022 Scorecard.
0.5% median degradation for glass//glass versus 1.8% for glass//backsheet.
Additionally, in all three cases where manufacturers tested glass//glass and glass//backsheet BOMs with identical cells, the glass//glass BOM had less than a third of the degradation of the glass//backsheet BOM.
PERC and TOPCon equally reliable. HJT soldering challenges exist.
The change to TOPCon is often coupled with a switch to 16BB cells which could present soldering difficulties, yet the TOPCon TC600 yielded good results, along with PERC. Meanwhile, the necessary low-temperature soldering for HJT modules remains a challenge for some.
Almost 12% of BOMs experienced one or more failures during TC testing.
Six manufacturers experienced at least one failure during TC testing, including some catastrophic junction box issues such as failed diodes, melted connectors, exposed wires and no output due to open solder bonds in the junction box.