The multi-scale defect detection for photovoltaic (PV) cell electroluminescence (EL) images is a challenging task, due to the feature vanishing as network deepens. To address this problem, an attention-based top-down and bottom-up architecture is developed to accomplish multi-scale feature fusion. This architecture, called Bidirectional Attention Feature Pyramid Network (BAFPN), can make all layers of the pyramid share similar semantic features. In BAFPN, cosine similarity is employed to measure the importance of each pixel in the fused features. Furthermore, a novel object detector is proposed, called BAF-Detector, which embeds BAFPN into Region Proposal Network (RPN) in Faster RCNN+FPN. BAFPN improves the robustness of the network to scales, thus the proposed detector achieves a good performance in multi-scale defects detection task. Finally, the experimental results on a large-scale EL dataset including 3629 images, 2129 of which are defective, show that the proposed method achieves 98.70% (F-measure), 88.07% (mAP), and 73.29% (IoU) in terms of multi-scale defects classification and detection results in raw PV cell EL images.