BIPV modules (Building Integrated PhotoVoltaics) are often exposed to mechanical stress during installation. This is a result of transport, handling and installing solar panels in places that are difficult to access. Mechanical load may cause cracking of cells and induce a negative effect on the long term performance. Such stresses should be avoided as much as possible.
As part of the BIPVpod project, SEAC did a mechanical loading experiment to investigate the invisible damage caused by walking on crystalline silicon PV modules. We chose two different module designs: a conventional glass-foil module and a glass-glass based module. EL images of these modules under stress were taken, and a video was created to demonstrate the effects of walking on panels and the differences between the two module designs.
The results show that in these experiments the glass-glass PV modules performed substantially better and didn’t show any signs of micro-cracking, in contrast to the glass-foil based modules.
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