Microcracks are another type of solar panel problem. They typically occur during solar cell manufacturing and module assembling. Unfortunately for the owners of solar panels, microcracks are hard to detect with the naked eye. That is why we recommend going for top solar manufacturers, like Canadian Solar, Trina, Panasonic etc., as their production process always includes electroluminescence testing. It allows checking every module for microcracks before shipping.
Another way microcracks may appear is careless shipping or installation. Preventing cracks is easy when you pick up panels yourself
from a warehouse, vertically stacked or wrapped in blankets or foam. Try not to drop your panels or step on them during the installation.
Remember, however, that no matter how carefully you handle PV modules, some of them are just more susceptible to cracking than others. The least crack-prone option would be a monocrystalline module with half-cut solar cells and the maximum number of busbars. It is explained by the material properties and smaller cell surface that can be potentially inactive.
Sometimes microcracks have almost no consequences at all. If they don’t cause electrical separation inside a PV module, then the efficiency might drop by only around 2.5%. If electrical separation does occur, it makes a cell or a sector of a solar panel inactive and can even lead to hot spots.