Spire welcomed the news that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will be providing a grant to the company for the development of a microcrack detection system for solar cells and wafers. Currently, a large population of PV cells have microcracks that spread through the cells and can cause power loss and cell breakage. The cracks are hard detect with current technology, but Spire aims to develop a non-contact photoluminescent technique to image the cracks, which will be integrated into high speed crack detection cell test equipment in cell and module assembly lines.
“We are pleased that the DOE is supporting our efforts to develop this critical capability,” said Roger 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.”