Micro-cracks are a reality for any semi-flexible and portable solar panel. Like a virus in a computer, micro-cracks reduce performance and the lifespan of a solar cell. Flexopower's Mojave solar cells are designed to ensure consistent high output and performance despite micro-cracks.
close up of a Flexopower Mojave solar panel showing two-dimensional grid
What are micro-cracks in solar cells?
Silicon solar cells are made of very thin wafers, usually around 0.20mm thick. They can suffer from pressure/stress induced cracks which are so small they are impossible to see with the naked eye. These are called micro-cracks.
Electroluminescence Crack Detection
When do micro-cracks occur in solar cells?
Occurrences of micro-cracks can be classified into three categories: during production, during transport or in the field. The most common type of micro-cracks occurs in the field, caused by constant operator handling. Over time, micro-cracks grow longer and in number.
Further stress factors are geared to the thermal cycles of the cells involving contracting, expanding and flexing metal contacts, solder and wire interconnects.
Effects of micro-cracks in solar cells?
Affected solar cells behave like partially shaded, significantly losing output. Simply put, electrons of broken cells cannot exit. The result is a lower output. As micro-cracks grow over time in length and number, so the performance continues to drop.
Why are Flexopower's Mojave panels different?
All Flexopower Mojave solar panels are built with high-efficiency mono-crystalline solar cells. The entire active surface of the solar cell is covered with a two-dimensional grid. This grid transports electrons away from the cells. Any micro-crack blocking a direct exit of electrons, will simply be circumvented using the two-dimensional grid. The results are consistent high output and no losses over time.
We proofed this concept by exposing a Mojave solar cell to 2 consecutive mechanical impacts, severely damaging the cell and measuring the output before and after. As you can see, the cell performance remains largely the same. This is thanks to the grid covering the high efficiency cell surface, enabling electrons to bypass micro-cracks.
To recap, micro-cracks are a reality, no matter what your supplier promises. They will reduce the performance of your solar panel. Flexopower's Mojave solar cells have a two-dimensional grid, bypassing micro-cracks, ensuring cosistent high output and performance for years to come. Ask yourself, does yours?