PV Module aesthetics: an introduction to Cell Color Deviations (CCDs)
The purchase of solar panels in China is not only a question of good pricing, workmanship and output performance, but also increasingly of a PV module’s aesthetics. While most end-users still regard the issue of cell color deviations (abbreviated as CCDs) as a minor issue, some place high expectationsÂ regarding the outer appearance of their purchased panels, too, taking into account theÂ necessity of the overall nice looks of their homes. The Shanghai-based solar PV module quality inspection company KISUN has recently been witnessing these particular demands and incorporated additional inspection procedures to identify and counter CCDs. Following report stems from first-hand experiences.
Definition of CCDs
CCD refers to panels suffering from deviating and differing cell colors within a given panel as well as diverging cell colors between two panels. The major reason for CCDs lies in the selection of non-coherently coloured cells during the manufacturing process as well as selection of low grade cells that have even deviating colouring within the cell itself.
These types of CCDs can be seen in the following three examples (click to enlarge):
3. different cell colouring between two sample panels of the same type
How to identify CCDs?
CCDs can optimally be identified under sunlight conditions. Based on a standard reference panel, the solar panels subject to CCD checking must be put under these conditions and compared to the standard reference panel. If no sunlight conditions are available, comprehensive lighting conditions within the factory might as well do the job, too,Â however the availability of “real” sunlight outside the factory is the preferable condition for CCD checking. These conditions given, CCD checking not only requires much time, experience, familiarity with the reference cell color as well as good and trained eyes, but also established evaluation criteria to measure the gravity of CCDs. There is certainly a huge difference between minor, barely visible CCDs and CCDs that can be spotted even from 200m distance. Since many manufacturers in China do litlle care about CCDs or lack trained staff/ ressources to track down CCDs or sort out CCDs-affected panels, an external auditor comes here in handy.
Problems occurring from CCDs
Although not an issue of efficiency or output performance, CCDs-affected solar system do certainly not look sexy. While still many manufacturers, distributors and even end users do not pay much attention to the aesthetic aspect of their purchased solarÂ panels but rather on the main factors operational efficiency and overall performance, the issue of CCDs and their avoidance is increasingly becoming a primary issue manufacturers need to avoid and solar panel quality auditors need to identify. Pictures like these show how a solar system suffering from CCDs looks like on a private home:
With the ongoing price decreases of solar panels and increasing quality requirements by a growing user base in new emerging solar markets particularly in Europe and Oceania, the successful avoidance of CCDs might well be a selling advantage as compared to many otherÂ competitors in the market while end users can rejoice about further increasing quality of their solar products.
Do you have any experience with CCDs or regard CCDs as a major quality issue? Let us know!
Solar panel quality inspection
Are you purchasing solar panels in China? At Kisun Solar Consultancy Services we perform independent quality inspections at any solar panel factories in China including visual inspection, flash test, ELCD test, CCD checking,Â certification verification and packing supervision.
1. Replace defects prior to shipment
2. Independent testing report
3. 100% certainty about product quality
4. Testing crew specialized in PV panels