Development and testing of light-weight PV modules based on glass-fibre reinforcement
imec-Energyville, Thorpark 8320, 3600 Genk, Belgium
2 KULeuven, Oude Markt 13, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
3 ISFH, Am Ohrberg 1, 31860 Emmerthal, Germany
4 EPFL-PV lab, Rue de la Maladière 71b, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
5 Applied Materials Italia, via Postumia Ovest 244, 31048 Olmi di San Biagio di Callalta (TV), Italy
6 UHasselt: Martelarenlaan 42, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium
* e-mail: Jonathan.Govaerts@imec.be
Received in final form: 10 March 2022
Accepted: 15 March 2022
Published online: 26 May 2022
In this paper we report on our approach on integrating c-Si PV into lightweight structures, in particular towards vehicle integration. To this end we want to get rid of the (bulk weight of the) glass but seek a suitable replacement in terms of mechanical stability. First we elaborate on the most basic standards and norms that VIPV products should relate to in terms of (thermo-)mechanical testing. Then, for the experimental part, 2 concepts are investigated. In a first approach, we reinforced the encapsulant with glass fibre material, while in a second one we applied a dedicated glass-fibre-reinforced sheet as a replacement of the backsheet. In both cases we stay as close as possible to using commercially available material. For each approach we elaborate the testing that has been carried out: thermal cycling, vibrations, mechanical shock and hail impact. On a final note, we point out some initial damp heat testing results, that are a particular challenge for light-weight modules without glass.
Key words: VIPV / light-weight materials / fibre reinforcement
© J. Govaerts et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2022
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.