Cracking the case: quantifying the impact of cell cracking

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Whether microscopic or visible to the eye, cracked PV cells can impact module power output, and worsen over time. But to what extent do they undermine system-level power output and is it possible to effectively mitigate cell cracking in all cases and conditions?
During this pv magazine webinar, in partnership with First Solar, we will investigate the extent to which cracked cells impact on power output, and what are the predominate causes of such cracking.

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Discussion participants

Tristan Erion-Lorico, Head of PV Module Business, PVEL
Andrew Gabor, CTO and Director of Business Development, BrightSpot Automation LLC
Lou Trippel, VP Product Management, First Solar

Moderators

Jonathan Gifford, Editor in Chief (Global), pv magazine group

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BrightSpot Automation Andrew Gabor Presentation
First Solar Lou Trippel Presentation
PVEL Tristan Erion-Lorico Presentation

Understand the implications of cell cracking for the project financing and insurance industries

Whether microscopic or visible to the eye, cracked PV cells can impact module power output, and worsen over time. But to what extent do they undermine system-level power output and is it possible to effectively mitigate cell cracking in all cases and conditions?

This pv magazine webinar, in partnership with First Solar, will investigate the extent to which cracked cells impact on power output, and what are the predominate causes of such cracking. The results of an independent testing program, in which real-world PV power plant conditions were simulated, will be presented.

The tests were carried out on both mono and multicrystalline PV modules, Series 4, thin film modules from First Solar. The testing was carried out by leading laboratories and testing equipment providers – in partnership with NREL.

During the webinar, Tristan Erion-Lorico, Head of PV Module Business, at PVEL, will discuss going beyond certification standards to determine a module’s susceptibility to cell cracking and subsequent power loss. He will also demonstrate how PVEL’s new Incident Response Field Service allows asset managers and site owners to safeguard against financial losses following extreme weather events.

Andrew Gabor, from test equipment provider BrightSpot Automation, will share test results and imaging related to cell cracking – illustrating both the prevalence of cracking among various technologies, and their impacts on power output.

Also joining us is Lou Trippel, VP Product Management from First Solar, who will share test results and outline industry implications.

Cell cracking can be incurred in production, in transportation, installation and also in the operational life of a PV system. The causes, identification and impacts of cell cracking will be investigated in detail, along with mitigation strategies. As a result, the webinar is suitable for a range of industry participants including project developers, investors, insurers, EPCs, wholesalers and installation teams.

Webinar Content:

  • The causes and performance impacts of cell cracking in crystalline silicon PV modules.
  • An overview of equipment and imaging technologies necessary to visualize and quantify cell cracking.
  • The implications for the project financing and insurance industries
  • Considerations on standards and mitigating the downside risks of cell cracking.

Be part of the conversation!

Questions can be submitted beforehand or during the webinar through a chat window.

Speakers

Tristan Erion-Lorico, Head of PV Module Business, PV Evolution Labs (PVEL)

Tristan Erion-Lorico brings nearly 15 years of solar and electrical industry experience to PV Evolution Labs (PVEL). As Head of PV Module Business, he collaborates with PV module buyers, investors, research institutions and manufacturers to develop innovative performance and reliability test programs for product qualification. Tristan previously served as Product and Quality Manager for Silfab Solar, where he oversaw Silfab’s extended reliability testing and was responsible for new product development and new material qualification. He has also directed equipment procurement and technical site operations for solar project developers and Independent Power Producers at a range of projects across North America, South America and Asia.

Andrew Gabor, Chief Technology Officer, BrightSpot Automation

Andrew Gabor is CTO at BrightSpot Automation where he uses his 28 years of PV experience to develop novel and cost-effective solar panel and solar cell testing equipment. One of his passions is educating the PV industry on the risks of and solutions to cracked solar cells. In previous work at 1366 Technologies and Evergreen Solar he worked on all processing steps for solar cell and solar panel manufacturing and has designed factories in the U.S. and Europe. Andrew did his graduate research in thin film PV at NREL where he invented the 3-Stage process for forming record-efficiency CIGS solar cells. He regularly lectures on the PV industry at Brown University and advises students interested in the renewable energy field.

Lou Trippel, VP Product Management, First Solar

Lou Trippel is currently Vice President of Product Management at First Solar, where he is globally responsible for First Solar’s PV module product life cycle management and product ecosystem. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Dayton, Ohio, and a master’s degree in technology management from Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey. Since joining First Solar in 2007, Lou has held several positions on First Solar’s module product management and technical sales teams, where he has both performed and led application engineering, plant energy prediction, global technical sales and product management functions.

Further information


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