Solar cell power performance is greatly affected by two critical factors ageing and crack. In order to mitigate their negative effects on the solar system, these cells are to be substituted by new cells, thus, replacing the panels. This study presents an active crack detection method that detects the cracked cells within a solar string by using AC parameter characterisation without a need to have a physical inspection. The mathematical module of the solar cell shows that it constitutes of series and parallel resistors in addition to a parallel capacitor and that their values change by ageing and crack. In addition to studying the effects of the crack on the solar cell, it is verified by the experiment that the solar cells behave as a capacitive circuit, and their capacitance increases when the cell gets cracked, getting higher as the crack becomes more serious. The experiment is extended to investigate the effect of series and parallel PV strings, which are affected by cracked and partially shaded cells to evaluate their criticality levels. By monitoring the AC parameter of the solar cell and the change of the capacitance, it is easy to detect the crack when it occurs.
Al-Soeidat, M., Cheng, T., Lu, D. D-C., & Agelidis, V. G. (2019). Experimental study of static and dynamic behaviours of cracked PV panels. IET Renewable Power Generation, 13(16), 3002-8. https://doi.org/10.1049/iet-rpg.2019.0359