Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 257343, 7 pages
Research Article

Migration of Sn and Pb from Solder Ribbon onto Ag Fingers in Field-Aged Silicon Photovoltaic Modules

1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-713, Republic of Korea
2Robust Components and System Research Center, Korea Electronics Technology Institute, No. 25 Saenari-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do 463-816, Republic of Korea
3KU-KIST Green School, Graduate School of Energy and Environment, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-713, Republic of Korea

Received 17 June 2015; Accepted 3 September 2015

Academic Editor: Yanfa Yan

Copyright © 2015 Wonwook Oh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated the migration of Sn and Pb onto the Ag fingers of crystalline Si solar cells in photovoltaic modules aged in field for 6 years. Layers of Sn and Pb were found on the Ag fingers down to the edge of the solar cells. This phenomenon is not observed in a standard acceleration test condition for PV modules. In contrast to the acceleration test conditions, field aging subjects the PV modules to solar irradiation and moisture condensation at the interface between the solar cells and the encapsulant. The solder ribbon releases Sn and Pb via repeated galvanic corrosion and the Sn and Pb precipitate on Ag fingers due to the light-induced plating under solar irradiation.