ECN publication
Mechanical strength of multicrystalline silicon solar cells and influencing factors
Popovich, V.A.; Yunus, A.; Janssen, M.; Bennett, I.J.; Richardson, I.M.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 20-6-2010
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--10-032 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Presented at: 35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, Honolulu, USA, 20-25 juni 2010.

Silicon wafer thickness reduction without increasing the wafer strength leads to a high fracture rate during subsequent handling and processing steps. Cracking of solar cells has become one of the major sources of solar module failure and rejection. Hence, it is important to evaluate the mechanical strength of solar cells and factors influencing this. The purpose of this work is to understand the fracture behavior of silicon solar cells and to provide information regarding the bending strength of the cells. The effects on silicon wafer strength of saw damage and of triple junctions, grain size and grain boundaries are investigated. Also the effects of metallization paste type and firing conditions on the strength of solar cells are considered. Significant changes in fracture strength are found as a result of silicon wafer crystallinity and of metallization morphology. It is observed that the aluminum paste type influences the strength of the solar cells.

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