Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NIST/UL Workshop on Photovoltaic Materials Durability

Scope: With intensified pricing pressure, low cost and emerging materials/technologies are increasingly used in photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing. To respond to new challenges of durability and reliability assessment of PV materials and modules, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) are pleased to host a two-day workshop on Photovoltaic Materials Durability for the global photovoltaic community. This workshop is distinguished from other PV conferences by its focus on weathering, measurement, and modeling of durability for materials used in solar PV applications.

The NIST/UL Workshop on Photovoltaic Materials Durability will feature invited technical presentations, a poster session, standards discussion, and a NIST facility tour. This event will provide a forum for the exchange of research, innovation and methodology for participants ranging from material suppliers, module manufacturers, testing and certification companies to universities and national laboratories. Attendees will not only hear about advanced lifetime test methods, but will also have an opportunity to engage in open discussions on how to convert advanced research to consensus standards development.

Areas specifically addressed, but not limited to:

Development in PV materials, module technology and applications

  • Novel cell technology
  • Glass/Glass bifacial PERC modules (modeling, measurement)
  • Transparent backsheet for bifacial PV modules
  •  Floating PV
  • Cables, connectors, junction box

Field performance

  • New trends in observed PV failure modes
  • Field survey in different climates
  • Field backsheet degradation
  • Field performance of bifacial PV modules
  • New technology on non-destructive, fast assessment on PV arrays
  • Desert climates

Accelerated weathering

  • Combined or sequential testing
  • Light source and key environmental factors
  • Thermal cycling, water spray
  • Linking accelerated test to field performance
  • Potential induced degradation (PID)


  • New technology on non-destructive, fast assessment on PV arrays
  • Optical properties (anti-reflective and anti-soiling, etc)
  • Adhesion and interface
  • Corrosion and acetic acid formation
  • Crack monitoring and analysis
  • Depth profiling of component degradation
  • Electrical, voltage breakdown
  • Relative thermal index (RTI) and relative thermal endurance (RTE)

Modeling and lifetime assessment

  • Statistical analysis of field performance
  • Multi-scale and multi-physical modeling for PV reliability
  • Thermo-mechanical stress/strain modeling under different climates
  • Accelerated life testing/extended testing
  • Statistical modeling for service life prediction

Standards and Safety

  • Verification of the elongation and break test
  • UV, temperature and relative humidity
  • High temperature
  • Reproducibility and repeatability for optical measurement
  • Testing beyond qualification

PV module recycling

PV system resilience after natural disasters


Who should attend:

  • R&D staff interested in new materials and systems for PV
  • Technical standards participants engaged in transitioning R&D into PV standards
  • Reliability and QA personnel tasked with maximizing longevity and durability of their products (suppliers and module manufacturers)
  • Financial managers, industry executives, and concerned system owners who are interested in warranty considerations and return on investment calculations in their business models
  • Anyone interested in understanding long-term performance issues in the PV industry


National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Underwriter Laboratory (UL)

If you are not registered, you will not be allowed on site. Registered attendees will receive security and campus instructions prior to the workshop.

NON U.S. CITIZENS PLEASE NOTE: All foreign national visitors who do not have permanent resident status and who wish to register for the above meeting must supply additional information. Failure to provide this information prior to arrival will result, at a minimum, in significant delays in entering the facility. Authority to gather this information is derived from United States Department of Commerce Department Administrative Order (DAO) number 207-12.

*New Visitor Access Requirement: Effective July 21, 2014, under the REAL ID Act of 2005, agencies, including NIST, can only accept a state-issued driver's license or identification card from states that are REAL ID compliant or have an extension. See the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) site for the current compliance list

NIST currently accepts other forms of federally issued identification in lieu of a state-issued driver's license, such as a valid passport, passport card, DOD's Common Access Card (CAC), Veterans ID, Federal Agency HSPD-12 IDs, Military Dependents ID, Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC), and TSA Trusted Traveler ID. 

Created June 21, 2019, Updated September 25, 2019