Rise of fire when using PV modules? Out of the question with Qcells modules
In the past, there have been repeated media reports on the alleged fire hazard of photovoltaic systems. Hanwha Qcells makes clear: Solar systems and modules fitted with genuine Hanwha Qcells reliably exclude any risk of a module catching fire. Our quality and safety procedure “Hot-Spot Protect” ensures that the solar cells and modules we deliver are guaranteed free from hot spots that could heat up the module and in the worst case could cause the module to catch fire.
Fire protection has top priority at Hanwha Qcells when installing solar systems. We provide our installers with precise instructions for the installation and regularly train the installers in our training centre.
Qcells solar technology “Engineered in Germany” offers more benefits besides fire protection: our solar cells and modules are subjected to tougher tests than required by the standards, maintain their full capacity in the long run (Anti PID Technology) and thanks to their laser-based Tra.QTM marking they are seamlessly traceable – just like a fingerprint.
Hot-Spot Protect means: the modules are protected against damages of the rear faces caused by hot-spot effects or partial shading of the modules.
HOW ARE HOT-SPOTS CREATED?
During different production steps, the primary material of solar cells – the silicon wafers – are subject to both chemicals and severe heat of up to 900 ℃. They are also put under mechanical stress during transport. Together these factors can lead to very small material defects – so-called “micro cracks” – that cannot be seen during conventional final inspections. Defective edge insulation can also cause hot-spots.
WHAT CAN HOT-SPOTS CAUSE?
hot-spots really pop-up when modules are in partial shade. When one cell in a module is shaded (e. g. by an antenna, chimney or dirt), it doesn’t generate any current, but the rest of the cells in the module continue to work. This leads to reverse currents that prefer to run over the hot-spot area where they meet less electric resistance. Then, caused by this strong, isolated stress, parts of the hot-spot area can heat up to over 250 ℃. At this point, the cell can burn through. In the “best case” scenario, this only leads to continual yield loss, but in the worst case scenario the module can catch fire.
WHY ARE THERE NO HOT-SPOTS WITH HANWHA QCELLS?
To decrease the risk of hot-spots, many manufacturers simply lower the so-called breakdown voltage of the cells. This does reduce the maximum level to which a cell heats up, but it also reduces the cell’s performance. At Hanwha Qcells, however, a reverse current is put through all cells during the final inspection stages. An infra-red camera then shows any hot-spot as heat spot. Cells with hot-spots are then sorted out and recycled. The result is that our solar cells and modules are hot-spot free. With our Hot-Spot Protect, Hanwha Qcells is the only PV company that is able to sort out all hot-spot affected cells across the board in order to provide solar owners with the ultimate level of protection.