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Non-Contact Inspection of Photovoltaic System Fasteners

DuraMAT will explore electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) technology for checking and monitoring the forensics of threaded fasteners used in photovoltaic (PV) systems.

EMAT offers potential for nondestructive, close but non-contact measurement of actual fastener clamping load, which is a more direct measurement of fastener performance than rotational torque. Over-torqued fasteners can damage racking and other components, compromising structural integrity, and can contribute to stress in PV modules thereby shortening lifetime.

If successful, this project can lead to the development of new instruments for field inspection and forensics of PV systems.

Core Objective

Central Data Resource


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


  • Algorithms developed for data cleaning can be used in conjunction with many analyses of degradation and will be integrated into existing tools (e.g., pvlib, rdtools, pvanalytics).
  • The PV-Pro method developed can be used to analyze production data and extract single diode parameters that can indicate sources of degradation.
  • The bill of materials analysis can help address whether data analytics can identify issues in materials properties that ultimately lead to reliability failures.


The results of this project will be available and disseminated publicly.


To learn more about this capability, contact Anubhav Jain.

A hand screwing on a fastener with an inset image of two fasteners.

EMAT technology may provide a non-altering means to measure fastener clamping load.