Residual Stresses Affect Cell Fragment Movement

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1 Scopus Citations


Predictive modeling tools such as the finite element method can be of tremendous help in assessing the reliability and long-term performance of photovoltaic modules. In order to obtain accurate results, the proper modeling of materials and manufacturing processes are of utmost importance. Module fabrication introduces thermo-mechanical stresses inside the module laminate, which need to be accounted for as residual stresses in finite element simulations. We found that cell fragment movement and crack opening displacements of fractured silicon cells within modules are affected by those residual stresses. Cell cracking remains a challenging topic in assessing the reliability and durability of damaged modules. Hence, accurately quantifying the separation and movement between cell fragments creates the foundation for establishing reliable lifetime and performance assessments of fractured silicon modules. We present a modeling approach that uses upper and lower bounds to accurately account for the residual stresses introduced by the module lamination process. We designed a four-point flexure coupon test of a laminated, fractured silicon strip to validate our numerical results and found good agreement between our modeling methodology and the experimental data. Finally, we discuss the implications of the residual stresses on the normal crack opening and metallization wear-out of fractured silicon cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)547-551
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-85193


  • Cell cracking
  • crack opening distance
  • finite element analysis
  • photovoltaic
  • reliability
  • residual stresses


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