Temperature Cycling Test
Updated: May 5
A temperature cycling test is a procedure to test a solar module's performance in response to extreme climatic conditions and changes in temperatures that occur throughout the day and across a year, as seasons change.
These conditions are more extreme and severe than most modules will face in their lifetime and are designed to help understand how well they will continue to perform over their 25-year life.
The test is conducted by examining modules for a range of specific physical and electrical parameters. These tests are referred to as module characterization tests.
Environmental Test Chambers or Climatic Test Chambers are specialized equipment for conducting accelerated tests of solar PV modules. The modules are subjected to intense climatic conditions like Dry Heat, Damp Heat (Heat + Moisture), UV Exposure, etc.
In these varied, controlled conditions module manufacturers subject modules to intense testing and then check their physical and electrical characteristics, to confirm that the PV module can indeed withstand these conditions.
Thereafter the module is placed in an environmental chamber.
Inside the module faces a highly controlled sequence of temperature changes, between hot and cold temperatures, typically over a range of -40°C to 85°C, with a dwell time of 15 minutes at each extreme.
To meet the latest IEC parameters (IEC 61215) a minimum of ten cycles must be conducted.
This is followed by another set of module characterization tests under specified electrical load conditions, with a voltage applied that is close to the module's maximum power point.
The module is considered to have passed the temperature cycling test if after re-running module characterization tests, a difference of less than 5% is seen in the results.