Journal Published Online: 15 August 2013
Volume 2, Issue 1

Mechanical Characterization of Single-Crystal Silicon PV Cells



This paper describes standard and innovative methods for characterizing the mechanical properties of single-crystal silicon cells [orientation (100)] for photovoltaic applications. The knowledge of their mechanical properties is not completely known in the technical literature and this knowledge could enhance the results of modern simulation softwares. The silicon cells were investigated before and after an aging at 100°C for 100 h. In the technical literature, an annealing at temperatures ranging from 70°C up to 180°C is proposed as a possible way to reverse the degradation of such components caused by long-time exposure to daylight (light-induced degradation, LID), and to obtain a recovery of the efficiency. Nevertheless, little information about the influence of such an annealing on the panel mechanical performances is available. Universal instrumented hardness tests were carried out to estimate the Young’s modulus; the fracture toughness was calculated by measuring the lengths of the cracks originated from the imprint corners. Moreover, the threshold load under which no cracks appear was estimated. Finally, bending tests were performed to evaluate the mechanical resistance. Such tests were carried out on a tensile testing machine after the design and the realization of suitable devices assembled on the machine standard fixtures.

Author Information

Gerosa, R.
Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, IT
Mauri, M.
Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, IT
Rivolta, B.
Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, IT
Silva, P.
Dipartimento di Energia, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, IT
Pages: 7
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Stock #: MPC20130003
ISSN: 2165-3992
DOI: 10.1520/MPC20130003