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Keep cool and distribute stress: A recipe for improved performance

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Both higher energy yields and longer lifetimes are needed for PV modules to meet growing customer expectations. Couple this with the fast moving nature of PV technology – larger formats, new cell interconnection techniques and many more can all affect long term performance – and it’s clear that understanding and mitigating the various mechanisms that lead to performance has never been more important. In this pv magazine Webinar we’ll examine the roles of temperature, humidity and mechanical stress in driving some of these mechanisms, and how Coolback’s innovative solution promises to limit the effects of these, ensuring both better day-to-day module performance and a longer operational lifetime.

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Discussion participants

Simon Meijer, Founder & CEO, Coolback
Alex Masolin, R&D Application Specialist, Coolback
Andreas Beinert, Researcher, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Moderators

Mark Hutchins, Editor, pv magazine

Keep cool and distribute stress: A recipe for improved performance

Installed in harsh climates to operate for years at a time while exposed to the elements, there are a number of different degradation mechanisms that can begin to affect a module at any point after it rolls off the production line. And rapid changes to module technology – such as the ongoing move toward larger cell and module dimensions – can also have unexpected consequences for long term reliability and performance loss.

With ever growing expectations for module performance and lifetime, understanding and mitigating these mechanisms is a vital concern all across the PV supply chain. In this pv magazine Webinar, produced in partnership with Coolback, we’ll look at the drivers behind some of these mechanisms – from electrical losses due to raised temperature to heavy wind or snow loads causing bending and cracking of cells. And, crucially, we’ll look at how some of these mechanisms could present an additional challenge for the latest crop of PV module technologies.

Alex Masolin, R&D Application Specialist at Coolback, will take us through some common degradation mechanisms in PV modules, and the failures that can result if these are left unchecked. And backed up with testing data from field installations and the laboratories of Fraunhofer ISE, Masolin will demonstrate how Coolback keeps operating temperatures low, resulting in an energy yield boost, and also keeps moisture and mechanical stress away from the delicate silicon cells to ensure a longer operational lifetime.

Next we will focus on the issue of cell cracking, with Andreas Beinert, Researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE)’s Module Simulation group demonstrating a new approach to determine the probability of cracks occurring in a module, as well as the implications of larger module dimensions on this.

Of course, improving module performance is worth little if the improvement itself costs more than the value of additional energy generated. And we will conclude this webinar with a look at the financial side with Coolback CEO Simon Meijer. Meijer will take us through simulations conducted in PVSyst, and discuss how the longer module lifetimes and higher energy yields promised by Coolback translate into lower levelized cost of energy and better returns on investment at project level.

pv magazine Webinar content:

  • Common mechanisms of module degradation
  • Mitigating performance loss, and the Coolback system
  • Cell cracking and mechanical load
  • Translating improved performance into ROI
  • Q&A

Questions can be submitted beforehand or during the webinar through a chat window. Mark Hutchins, editor at pv magazine, will be the moderator of this webinar.

Registration for this pv magazine Webinar is free of charge.

Speakers

Simon Meijer | Founder & CEO, Coolback

Simon founded COOLBACK Company and has been active in Solar since 2011. Initially working in Low Concentration PV, Simon later shifted towards Thermal Management and Module technology. Following a study in Aeronautical Engineering and Business Administration, a career in Investment Banking and Boardroom Consultancy led to his major thrill: Business Development.

Andreas Beinert | Researcher, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Andreas Beinert works at Fraunhofer ISE in the team “Module Simulation”, which focusses on multiphysical FEM simulations, cell-to-module loss (CTM) simulations as well as cost and life-cycle assessment (LCA). Andreas studied physics at the University of Freiburg and is currently completing his PhD at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). His works include thermomechanical FEM analysis of PV modules and trackers, stress measurement techniques and material characterization.

Alex Masolin | R&D Application Specialist, Coolback

Dr. Alex Masolin received his PhD degree in Electronic Engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium. He joined COOLBACK in 2019 as R&D Application Specialist. He is involved full time in research of experimental development. He is responsible for designing new versions of the product, write test procedure and follow-up testing activities, both indoors and outdoors. He is also supporting customers in their testing and certification activities. Finally, he performs data analysis and reporting for the management team in close collaboration with the other members of the R&D department.

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