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COVER I STORY


Left: SolarModule EL-inline: Fully automatic, high resolution EL system


cells or strings and larger areas of broken fingers. Very often have those systems only one or two cameras to take an image from the entire module. This combined with a huge aperture angle results in very limited image quality which will be not good enough to make a clear judgment.


Knowing that especially micro cracks will influence the power of the modules over the years it is necessary to inspect with high resolution systems in the module production lines so the manufacturers can proof their module quality to their customers. Using this technology even small cracks -which can grow over time- become clearly visible.


This will rapidly


improve the module quality, reduce the loss of efficiency, and


ultimately save the module production company a lot of money.


Another important step in the value chain is the transport and installation of solar modules, since transportation and wrong handling can cause invisible damages of the solar modules. More and more companies increase their efforts for onsite testing right before installation to ensure the quality and therefore the payback of the power plant. And the market is changing from a seller to a buyer market. Through the oversupply in the market the buyer is confronted with a wide range of products and beside price quality will play a more important role in the future.


High resolution vs. Low resolution EL imaging systems


A wide range of electroluminescence inspection systems are nowadays commercially available. These include in-line tools as well as off-line tools, fully automatic high-resolution systems with more than 60 MPixel and as well as manual low-resolution systems in the range of 1 to 8 MPixel.


A low resolution system will help already to find some for the production relevant problems like large inactive areas, inactive


Issue III 2012 I www.solar-international.net 15


High resolution systems are already available for fully automatic operation so no operator is necessary to review the electroluminescence images anymore. The higher investment for a fully automatic high resolution system pays back quickly by saving the costs for manual operation of low resolution systems and the better quality of modules. Whenever it comes to a reliable fully automatic inspection a perfect high resolution image is a must.


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