What are Micro Cracks in Solar Panels?

Micro Cracks also known as Micro-fractures are very small cracks that might not be seen with our naked eye but these cracks can cause huge damage to solar panels’ power output. These micro-cracks or micro-fractures can be detected by ELCD that are present at most manufacturers but at the same time it is not possible to detect these cracks while they are installed as the equipment of these tests is not made to work with installed solar panels which makes it a challenge to know how which panel has the most cracks that are causing low power output.

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What are the causes of Micro Cracks in Solar Panels?

  • 1-Thermal cycling: Micro cracks occur due to the variation of temperature between night and day which causes the change of temperatures from high temperatures in sunlight presence to low temperatures at night.
  • 2-Humidity and freezing: Micro cracks can be a result of strong humidity & the freezing of water on top & bottom of the panel making cells contract and then expand which causes them to crack.
  • 3-Cyclic or dynamic loads: caused by forced pressure or wind loads can cause micro cracks to occur as they keep on adding pressure on the cells themselves creating cracks from the amount of load or pressure applied.
  • 4-Heavy snowfall: Heavy Snowfall applies a large amount of load on top of the solar panel making it pressure the glass with the solar cells creating micro cracks.
  • 5-Hail: is frozen rain drops that are thrown directly on the solar panel surface making it also apply a large intermittent force that will also cause micro cracks to take place.

How to Achieve Anti-Cracks in Solar Panels?

  • 1-Manfacturing: Anti-Cracks are achieved by the tests like ELCD test to ensure that the solar panel has no cracks due to the soldering or any other process of manufacturing the solar panel.
  • 2- Transportation: Anti-Cracks can be achieved if the transportation is done with good care & at the same time none of the packaging or the solar panel is damaged through transportation.
  • 3-Installation Location: it is very important to select a location that can avoid any of the above mentioned causes that can cause cracks to achieve a well-anti-crack solar power plant.