Photovoltaic modules - Extended-stress testing - Part 1: Modules

IEC TS 63209-1:2021 is intended to provide information to supplement the baseline testing defined in IEC 61215, which is a qualification test with pass-fail criteria. This document provides a standardized method for evaluating longer term reliability of photovoltaic (PV) modules and for different bills of materials (BOMs) that may be used when manufacturing those modules. The included test sequences in this specification are intended to provide information for comparative qualitative analysis using stresses relevant to application exposures to target known failure modes.

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IEC TS 63209-1 ®
Edition 1.0 2021-04
Photovoltaic modules – Extended-stress testing –
Part 1: Modules
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IEC TS 63209-1 ®
Edition 1.0 2021-04
Photovoltaic modules – Extended-stress testing –

Part 1: Modules
ICS 27.160 ISBN 978-2-8322-9728-5

– 2 – IEC TS 63209-1:2021 © IEC 2021
1 Scope . 6
2 Normative references . 6
3 Terms, definitions and abbreviated terms . 7
4 Selection of test samples . 8
5 Characterization and stabilization techniques to be applied . 8
5.1 General . 8
5.2 Physical measurement . 8
5.3 Visual inspection . 8
5.4 Initial stabilization . 8
5.5 Performance . 8
5.6 Insulation test . 8
5.7 Wet leakage current . 9
5.8 Electroluminescent imaging . 9
5.9 Insulation thickness test . 9
5.10 Thermal cycling. 9
5.11 Humidity freeze . 9
5.12 Final stabilization . 9
6 Data collection and stress application . 9
6.1 General . 9
6.2 Initial characterization . 9
6.3 Test sequence 1: Thermal fatigue . 10
6.4 Test sequence 2: Mechanical stress . 10
6.5 Test sequence 3: Sequential testing including UV stress to module back . 11
6.6 Test sequence 4: Damp heat . 12
6.7 Test sequence 5: Potential-Induced Degradation (PID) testing . 12
7 Report . 13
8 Test flow and procedures . 14
Annex A (informative) Appropriate use of IEC TS 63209-1 – Potential weaknesses of
the included test sequences . 15
A.1 General . 15
A.2 False negatives/false positives . 15
A.3 Approximations to service life . 16
A.4 Design to test. 16
Annex B (informative) Background on IEC TS 63209-1 . 17
B.1 General . 17
B.2 Sequence 1: Thermal fatigue – Thermal cycling 600 cycles = 3x IEC 61215
(similar to other extended stress protocols) . 17
B.3 Sequence 2: Mechanical stress (adds static load to sequence similar to
other extended stress protocols) . 17
B.4 Sequence 3: Combines UV, moisture and temperature/mechanical cycling to
stress polymeric components . 17
B.5 Sequence 4: Damp heat moisture exposure – DH 2 000 h = 2x IEC 61215
(similar to other extended stress protocols) . 18
B.6 Sequence 5: Potential-Induced Degradation (PID) testing . 18
Bibliography . 19

Figure 1 – Full test flow – Each box refers to the corresponding MQT in IEC 61215-2 . 14


Part 1: Modules
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IEC TS 63209-1 has been prepared by IEC technical committee 82: Solar photovoltaic energy
systems. It is a Technical Specification.
The text of this Technical Specification is based on the following documents:
DTS Report on voting
82/1820/DTS 82/1873/RVDTS
Full information on the voting for its approval can be found in the report on voting indicated in
the above table.
A list of all parts in the IEC 63209 series, published under the general title Photovoltaic modules
– Extended-stress testing, can be found on the IEC website.
The language used for the development of this Technical Specification is English.

– 4 – IEC TS 63209-1:2021 © IEC 2021
This document was drafted in accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, and developed in
accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1 and ISO/IEC Directives, IEC Supplement, available
at The main document types developed by IEC are
described in greater detail at
The committee has decided that the contents of this document will remain unchanged until the
stability date indicated on the IEC website under "" in the data related to
the specific document. At this date, the document will be
• reconfirmed,
• withdrawn,
• replaced by a revised edition, or
• amended.
Existing qualification test standards such as IEC 61215 standard series have been very useful
for identifying module designs that avoid most early field failures, but are not intended or able
to demonstrate long term performance in all locations within the scope of those documents. In
order to assess the risk of product failure it has become industry practice for the different
stakeholders to require results of test protocols beyond baseline type approval and safety tests
according to the IEC 61215 standard series and IEC 61730 standard series. These extended
stress test protocols primarily contain aforementioned baseline tests in different sequences
and/or increased test duration or number of cycles. They originate from the various experiences
made by third parties such as test institutes/ independent engineering firms/ owners engineers
and aim to cause aging that would be seen after long term use of PV modules, or apply a “test
to failure” approach, aimed to identify weaknesses rather than to replicate field performance.
They do not provide detailed reliability or durability predictions/estimates, but have been usef

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