By Kari Williamson
The endurance test was run by the TEC Institute for Technical Innovations, which hung the solar PV modules in a pigsty for 6 months, and the ANTARIS SOLAR modules came through without visible damage and without measurable deterioration in performance.
The test was conducted as solar PV is often installed on large agricultural buildings, but when housing animals, there is a risk that animals’ vapours – especially from poultry and swine – could corrode solar PV modules and thus adversely affect the material and performance.
The current standard ammonia tests for solar PV modules are restricted to runtimes of less than a month, and all take place under laboratory conditions. Some of these tests even use sulphur dioxide (SO2) instead of ammonia (NH3).
In contrast to these procedures, the TEC Institute chose a test design which emphasise realistic requirements for the modules. As a result, a test period of 6 months was selected, and the solar PV modules to be tested were suspended from the ceiling in a large pigsty with roughly 1000 animals.
The ammonia concentration in the immediate vicinity of the modules was recorded and documented throughout the entire test period.
Neither the aluminium frames nor the rear films, front glass panels, connection sockets, cables, plugs or silicon seals showed signs of corrosion. The performance characteristics of the solar PV modules tested was not affected by their time spent in the company of animals.
"Buildings used for agriculture still offer large roof surfaces ideal for PV use. So we are delighted that our modules are also suitable for use in this area due to their high ammonia resistance," says ANTARIS SOLAR CEO’s Dr. Michael Göde.