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BIPV module with novel encapsulation design

From pv magazine Spain

A research group at the University of Malaga (UMA) has designed a PV panel for building-integrated applications said to have improved light absorption without losing efficiency and durability.

The panel is based on a novel encapsulation design which changes its color in a way that makes it easier to integrate into buildings. This technique consists of applying an anti-reflective glass on the front side of the panel and a black backsheet on the rear surface. “We tested different materials until we verified that the combination of anti-reflective glass and a backsheet based on black polymer, already present in the industry, were efficient and durable,” research co-author María Cruz López said, adding that the new panel had already passed all standard durability tests.

The Spanish group explained that adding a dark backsheet may reduce the panel efficiency, as this layer absorbs solar radiation that could be used by the solar cells. This loss has been estimated at around 8.66 Ws per module. However, the scientists have built a solar panel that is able to compensate for this loss with anti-reflective glass that improves solar absorption on the front side.

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“Changing the central structure of the photovoltaic module is more expensive, so we have focused our efforts on finding the right materials so that, in addition to improving the appearance of the panel, it maintains its usual good performance and durability,” said López.

The new device, presented in the study Photovoltaic modules designed for architectural integration without negative performance consequences, published in Applied Energy, has a power output of up to 256 W.

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Source: pv magazine