How to Use Damp Heat to Stress Test Solar Panels
Solar panels can be installed anywhere on the planet that gets consistent sunshine, so it is not surprising to see solar installations in tropical regions where solar exposure is very high.
A major problem faced by the tropical solar installation is the combination of heat and humidity.
Prolonged exposure to heat and humidity can deteriorate a poor quality solar module as condensation enters through gaps and perforated films to ruin the solar cells.
Damp Heat (DH) is defined in IEC 61215 to put a solar panel through a gruelling heat and humidity combination to understand how well the panel can survive in a tropical environment.
What Is Damp Heat (DH)?
Damp Heat is a reliability test that puts solar modules at constant +85°C and 85% relative humidity to simulate the effects of heat and condensation on a solar panel.
As solar cells are laminated between glass and backsheet, a well-executed Damp Heat can identify poor insulation of backsheet and frame through water ingress that causes power degradation.
Unlike most other solar panel brands that use silicone gel, WINAICO only uses double-sided tape to insulate the laminate before framing.
Silicone gel is notoriously unreliable as long term insulation, as the gel would stiffen and lose adhesion with frame and glass after a few years.
Solar panels framed with silicone gel would deteriorate quickly after Damp Heat tests.