Pioneering Lifetime and Degradation Science and Technology Development

The Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension (SDLE) Research Center at Case Western Reserve University is a world-class research center dedicated to data science and analytics that are applied to materials and energy sciences. While the center originated as solar-focused, it has since expanded to include a portfolio of efforts relating to materials, modeling and beyond.

Established in 2011 by Professor Roger H. French, the SDLE Research Center focuses on:

  • Lifetime and degradation science of solar photovoltaic (PV) materials, and other environmentally exposed, long-lived (>25 years) technologies;
  • Accelerated laboratory and outdoor real-world exposures and evaluations of outdoor exposed technologies such as solar, LED lighting and building envelope materials;
  • Energy efficiency and virtual energy auditing of buildings, using engineering epidemiology and data analytics;
  • Data-mining, statistical- and machine-learning applied to materials;
  • Petabyte/Petaflop big data analytics applied to time-series, spectral and image datasets; and
  • Non-relational data warehousing and analytics environment for complex systems.

Lifetime and Degradation Science

In its 2010 Science For Energy Technology workshop, the U.S. Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences program identified photovoltaic (PV) module lifetime and degradation science as an energy research priority. 

Researchers at the SDLE Research Center build on years of solar PV industry experience to address this priority, engaging students and industry partners in dynamic research programs that move beyond basic qualification testing of systems to determine actual degradation mechanisms and rates—the scientific underpinning of reliability and qualification standards.

By facilitating this collaborative, applied scientific exploration, the SDLE Research Center pushes the boundaries of lifetime and degradation science to enable the design of better, longer-lasting materials and systems, and to accelerate more accurate testing protocols.

Cross-Cutting Applications

Focusing on solar PV building envelope and energy efficiency technologies, the lifetime and degradation science research at the SDLE Research Center has broader applications to all materials. The advanced exposure techniques, rigorous evaluation processes, and quantitative degradation rate modeling performed at the center connect materials, components, and systems to address cross-cutting research challenges not only for PV but for all environmentally exposed technologies.

Affiliated Centers 

We partner with a number of affiliated centers to advance our efforts, from the Center for Materials Data Science for Stockpile Stewardship to the Center for Advancing Sustainable and Distributed Fertilizer Production. Learn more about our partner centers.

Capabilities and Pricing

Looking for information about equipment and pricing of tools available through the Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension Research Center? Explore our capabilities, and learn more about our pricing.