BEDFORD, USA: Spire Corp., a global solar company providing capital equipment and turnkey manufacturing lines to manufacture photovoltaic (PV) modules and cells, has been notified by the Department of Energy (DOE) that it has received a grant to develop a microcrack detection system for solar cells and wafers.
A significant percentage of PV cells contain microcracks that are difficult to detect with currently available technology. These cracks can spread through the cells, resulting in power loss and cell breakage during module assembly and post installation. As part of this program, a non-contact photoluminescent technique will be developed to image microcracks. This technology will be integrated into high speed crack detection cell test equipment for cell and module assembly lines.
"We are pleased that the DOE is supporting our efforts to develop this critical capability," said Roger G. Little, chairman and CEO of Spire. "The early detection of microcracks in wafers and cells will reduce scrap, improve production yield, and increase the lifetime of installed modules, thereby reducing total energy generation cost."