Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world’s largest producer of solar panels, today announced that its Wd poly, Wd mono and Ve poly series modules are highly resistant to potential-induced degradation (PID) as confirmed in recent tests performed by the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies (VDE), one of the world’s leading testing and certification institutes.
According to the VDE test report, the tested Suntech modules “show no significant degradation at the end of the test sequence…” with all of the modules exhibiting negligible change in output power within the test lab measurement accuracy, and no changes in visual appearance.
“This near-perfect result meets our quality expectations,” said Stefan Jarnason, Technical Director at Suntech Power Australia and one of the world’s foremost experts in module reliability testing. “Amidst a highly-competitive global market, Suntech continues to focus on helping customers achieve a better levelized cost of energy and long term energy yields instead of just lower sticker prices.”
The stringent PID test sequence, which is based on the protocol established by TUV Rhineland, begins with flash-testing the modules to determine their electrical performance characteristics, as well as an inspection using electroluminescence (EL) imaging. Then, the modules are subjected to high humidity and negative voltages of 1000 volts for one week. Finally, the modules are again tested for electrical performance and for any visual defects using EL imaging.
Solar systems often operate in difficult environmental conditions with the potential to stress the photovoltaic modules and accelerate module degradation. Through careful and diligent material selection, manufacturing processes, and quality control procedures, Suntech significantly reduces performance risks associated with PID.