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WhatsCracking: The PV Module Cell Fracture Prediction Application

DuraMAT will integrate an existing numerical method into a user-friendly application—called WhatsCracking--to predict silicon photovoltaic (PV) module cell fractures for any combination of module architecture, materials, and loading.

The created, interactive application will not require finite element modeling software nor expertise.

Core Objective

Multi-Scale, Multi-Physics Modeling


National Renewable Energy Laboratory


The resulting application will provide manufacturers, developers, users, and testing laboratories easy access to an accurate, mechanistic tool to assess how PV module design impacts the propensity for cell fracture.


It will be available to everyone.


Bosco, N., et al. (2021). "Employing Weibull Analysis and Weakest Link Theory to Resolve Crystalline Silicon PV Cell Strength Between Bare Cells and Reduced- and Full-Sized Modules." IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics 11(3): 731-741.


To learn more about this project, contact Nick Bosco.

Example application result showing how the probability of cell fracture under static loading is affected by cell size and orientation. Direction of the module significantly reduces their probability of fracture under uniform module loading.

Whatscracking application screenshot