PV module failure analysis using electroluminescence

PV module lifetime prediction is a very important topic for industrial companies, developers and especially end-users. The well-known IEC 61215 and 61646 qualification  tests provide design criteria, but do not provide comparative information about the durability of PV modules. No scale exists so far to sort out between modules lasting 20 years or 40 years within specific climates.

The partners in the Sophia RI project have the ambition to set criteria and define aging procedures to be able to predict PV module lifetime for specific climatic regions. These partners work in two areas : 

  • failure analysis : advanced characterisation methods
  • definition and benchmarking of accelerated ageing tests 

Several research infrastructures are working together on this topic (click here to see the collaborative work programme) and are available to perform additional research projects:


Research Infrastructures

Main Characteristics


PV module laboratory

PV module lamination (1,3x1,7m), IV curves, EL characterisation, climatic chambers, failure analysis 


PV module qualification laboratory

Climatic chambers, including DH, UV and salt spray corrosion test

Fraunhofer ISE

Outdoor PV module test facility

5 locations in various extreme climates (temperate, mountain, desert, marine, tropical)

Fraunhofer ISE

Indoor durability test facility

UV & temperature test chambers