Solar Panels made up of crystalline silicon are dominating the global PV market. As the output power of a single solar cell is not enough to meet the actual needs, several silicon solar cells are placed in parallel connection to make up a PV module.

A hot spot describes an over proportional heating of a single solar cell, or a cell part compared to the surrounding cells. In common days, a bird dropping or dry leaf from neighbor’s Eucalyptus can also result in a hot spot. The long-term effects of hot spots include burn marks that degrade entire solar panel and back sheets and may eventually lead to fires if left unchecked. The phenomenon is known as reverse bias. But why do they appear?

Well, the reasons for the appearance of hot spots can be broadly classified in two categories:

  • Functional reasons such as cell mismatch or damaged/poor quality solar cell.
  • Operational reasons:
    1. Seasonal Shadow: An installer company may accept shading conditions in winter to increase electricity production in summer. Resultantly panels will suffer systematic shading.
    2. Roof orientation: Roofs may have areas which were shadowed by other buildings.
  • Partial Shading: Tree leaf, bird droppings, waster particle came along with wind.
  1. Dirt & Sand: Winds with soil and deposit of sand on the corner of the module after rain.

These points lead to cell stress, premature aging, and the increased likelihood of a module’s total failure.

Foreseeing all these situations, a serial inventor, Kent Kernahan, first began to tackle the problem more than a decade ago. His way out was to layout a control technology that detects reverse bias and redirects current away from the affected cell, through the rest of the healthy solar panel.

A solar cell production factory on the technology developed by Kernahan is opened in Claremont, California. The same is came into existence by $2.1 million from the California state budget which may started production later this year. The company is eagerly waiting from some certification from the National Testing Laboratories.

Detection & Prevention

Quick detection is possible with infrared camera which is usually installed with some big solar projects however performing thermography imaging is the other way. A hot spot can also lead to browning in the glass plane of the PV module, if it is present for long time. Thus, the hot spot can become visible for the human eye. And to avoid severe damage from dirt, sand, birds dropping or any unwarranted particles on the solar panels, periodic cleaning is necessary.

Installing solar arrays are just the beginning. Without proper operation and maintenance, system components could also be void of all warranties. A well-maintained solar installation can perform 10 to 30% better. By ensuring proper O&M at appropriate time intervals, one can minimize the losses and increase the energy production from the plant.

Get the right solar setup for your property

Solar installers customize their system designs to meet the specific needs of each individual property, which includes the temperatures a roof might expect to see throughout the year. However, if you are considering installing solar panels on your roof, finding the installer that is the right fit for your home or industrial property may take a little hardship.

Better way is that you can use the services of Staten Solar, a one-point complete solar installer near you. If you have any questions or concerns about fresh solar installation or any Solar O&M, simply write your queries to us or just click the below button.