College of Engineering


Materials Engineering Department

Degree Name

BS in Materials Engineering




Dr. Trevor Harding


It is important to maintain Photovoltaic (PV) cells and protect them from damage mechanisms like Potential Induced Degradation (PID), which can contribute to shorter lifespans and lower efficiencies. Current leakage through cell encapsulation can cause charge migration in PV cells that reduces the maximum quantum efficiency, which is the cause of PID. An experiment was setup to determine the feasibility of a non-silicon sensor able to produce similar leakage behavior to traditional PV cells under recorded humidity conditions. Thin sheet metals were encapsulated in EVA, a common PV encapsulant polymer, and mounted in aluminum framing. Three sensors, along with a PV reference panel, were placed under a voltage potential to measure any leakage current through the encapsulation material. Temperature, Humidity, and leakage current amount were all recorded and plotted against time to show a correlation between humidity and leakage current amount. This will yield a means to measure general leakage behavior under similar temperature and humidity conditions for PV arrays. By using a non-silicon sensor, PV panels don’t need to be removed from the overall circuit to monitor PID amounts. (180 words)