Diagonal Shadows Could Cause Arcs in Thin-Film Modules With P4 Scribes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules are often made using monolithic integration (MLI), regardless of absorber technology. MLI modules sometimes use a fourth pattern of scribe lines, P4, to divide modules into parallel substrings of cells. We simulated diagonal shadows in such modules and show that they cause a voltage difference across P4. This voltage can be enough to cause an arc across P4. An arc inside a PV module can cause burned polymers and broken glass. Such packaging failures create a risk of fire or electric shock in any PV module. These hazards go beyond the permanent loss of efficiency that vertical shadows can cause. We propose several solutions to this potential problem.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-85080


  • photovoltaic cells
  • reliability
  • solar panels


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