Robust glass-free lightweight photovoltaic modules with improved resistance to mechanical loads and impact

In several countries, building-integrated photovoltaics (PV) solutions could contribute to the growth of total installed PV capacity. However, in some circumstances, the relative high weight (10–15 kg/m2) and lack of aesthetics of PV may constitute a barrier to its diffusion. In this work, we propose a glass-free lightweight solution (6 kg/m2) compliant with hail and mechanical load tests as prescribed by the IEC 61215-2:2016. The low weight is achieved by substituting the conventional glass cover with a polymer multi-layer resistant to hail impacts and the conventional polymer/glass backsheet by an innovative composite backsheet. A total of two module design contributions to impact resistance are highlighted: a global energy dissipation, mostly related to the backsheet properties; and a local energy dissipation, mainly related to the frontsheet properties. These results clearly show that a balance between frontsheet design and backsheet stiffness have to be found in order to maximize hail resistance and mechanical rigidity while minimizing the module’s weight.

Published in:
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 9, 1, 245-251
Nov 14 2018

 Record created 2019-01-21, last modified 2019-06-01

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