What is Potential Induced Degradation (PID) in Solar Panels?

PID is caused due to a high potential difference between the solar cell material which is made of semiconductor and other parts of the module for example, glass & aluminum frame. This potential difference creates a current leakage, which cause the escape of negative and positive ions. Negative ions flow out through the aluminum frame, while positive ions escape to the cell surface. Which results in reducing solar cell photovoltaic effect, leading to power losses. PID effects can be responsible for power losses of up to 20% and the effects are not immediately noticeable it can take several months to a few years to be noticeable to the installer.

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What are the causes of PID in Solar Panels?

  • 1-Humidty: PID takes place faster as humidity increase because the water in the surrounding air concentration increase making it more reactive with the solar panels.
  • 2-Temperture: PID has direct relation with the increase in temperature as the ions have better chance to escape in high temperatures allowing Pid to take place faster.
  • 3-Grounding: negative ions with the grounding system could increase the occurrence of the PID because as more negative the panel gets the more faster PID can take place.
  • 4-Solar Cell Material: materials that solar panels made from like the glass of non-reflective coating may contain sodium ions that will help in the occurrence of PID.

How to Achieve Low PID in Solar Panels?

  • 1-Solar Panel Frame: Making the solar panel frameless will decrease the occurrence effect on the solar panels as the aluminum frame will not be present to react with any ions. That because there will be no ground potential with the solar panel.
  • 2- IEC 62804 solar panels: these types of solar panels go under different tests to determine any PID through accelerated lifetime test the panels that pass this test tend to have a Low PID than other types of solar panels which makes it preferable to be used in most of large-scale commercial applications to avoid any loses in power over time. But till date and with the use of current solar technology still there is no zero PID solar panels yet.