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PLatypus: Simple Field Photoluminescence Imaging with Low Cost and Very High Resolution

DuraMAT is developing an open-source, multi-camera nighttime photoluminescence imaging system called PLatypus.

PLatypus is a non-contact, low-profile, low-cost, very high-resolution alternative to existing field imaging techniques. It can collect a ~100-megapixel image of a photovoltaic (PV) module in a few seconds with no electrical connection to the PV module.

Core Objective

Fielded Module Forensics


National Renewable Energy Laboratory


PLatypus produces images that enable 100% inspection of fielded modules for cracked cells.


PLatypus is an open-source project. The hardware designs and software will be available to everyone for free.


T J Silverman, M G Deceglie, M Owen-Bellini, W B Hobbs, C Libby. Cracked solar cell performance depends on module temperature. Proceedings of the 48th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialist Conference, 2021.

T J Silverman, M Bliss, A Abbas, T Betts, M Walls, I Repins. Movement of cracked silicon solar cells during module temperature changes. Proceedings of the 46th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialist Conference, 2019.

T J Silverman, M G Deceglie, K VanSant, S Johnston, I Repins. Illuminated outdoor luminescence imaging of photovoltaic modules. Proceedings of the 44th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialist Conference, 2017.


To learn more about this project, contact Tim Silverman.

Photoluminscence images

Images from bench testing show that cracks visible in an EL image (left) are also seen in a PL image taken with very simple, low-cost, and scalable hardware (right), with no electrical connection to the PV module.