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Cell cracking: the invisible performance thief

Industry awareness and mitigation of PV cell microcracks have improved in recent years, but there are signs that the problem may still be grossly underestimated by many. Microcracks can grow over time into full-fledged cell cracks and begin to have serious impacts on a PV system’s performance and safety. In this pv magazine Webinar, an expert from Clean Energy Associates (CEA) guides us through the risks posed by undetected microcracks, and what module buyers can do to prevent their development.


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Cell microcracks are undetectable by the naked eye, and can even be difficult to spot in standard electroluminescence imaging. They eventually grow and get worse over time, and can reduce the performance of the entire string of modules. Some cracks may result in the development of hotspots, which can lead to catastrophic failure – even fire risk.

In this pv magazine Webinar, Claire Kearns-McCoy, Engineering Services Manager at CEA, will take us through the risks posed by undetected microcracks in a PV module, including how the problem can develop during the module lifecycle, and the challenges of proving the origin of a performance damaging crack in order for warranty or insurance claims to pay out.

Participants to this webinar will leave with an improved understanding of the business risk posed by cell cracking and how module buyers can work to mitigate this risk throughout the entire solar project lifecycle. Claire will also demonstrate how additional electroluminescence testing of modules and other interventions can effectively reduce the performance and safety risks of cell cracks.

pv magazine Webinar content:

  •  The business impact of undetected microcracks to a PV project
  • Which types of microcracks are most likely to affect project performance?
  • Risk of microcrack development during module lifecycle
  • Techniques to identify and mitigate sources of microcracks and keep cracked modules out of a project
  • Q&A

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit their questions for the speakers and become part of the discussion during the live Q&A. Mark Hutchins, editor at pv magazine, and Anne Fischer, senior editor at pv magazine USA will be the moderators of this webinar.

Registration for this pv magazine Webinar is free of charge.


Claire Kearns-McCoy | Engineering Services Manager, Clean Energy Associates (CEA)

Claire Kearns-McCoy is an Engineering Services Manager at Clean Energy Associates (CEA), specializing in field testing services for PV modules. Claire has extensive experience in conducting field testing and interpreting test results and has participated in projects at CEA that have included electroluminescence imaging and analysis for over 55,000 PV modules.


Mark Hutchins | Magazine Director, pv magazine

Mark Hutchins joined pv magazine as production editor for our monthly global title in September 2016. He also reports on upstream technology and markets, and new and emerging solar regions for both print and online. Mark has experience in copywriting, music journalism and the fast-paced world of startups.

Anne Fischer | Senior editor, pv magazine USA

Anne Fischer is a senior editor at pv magazine USA. Anne is a seasoned writer, editor, and journalist. Her career has included writing for leading technology publications, with a focus on renewable energy and sustainability.

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