skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Multifunctional integration of thin-film silicon solar cells on carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy composites

Abstract

Multifunction integration of solar cells in load-bearing structures can enhance overall system performance by reducing parasitic components and material redundancy. The article describes a manufacturing strategy, named the co-curing scheme, to integrate thin-film silicon solar cells on carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy composites and eliminate parasitic packaging layers. In this scheme, an assembly of a solar cell and a prepreg is cured to form a multifunctional composite in one processing step. The photovoltaic performance of the manufactured structures is then characterized under controlled cyclic mechanical loading. The study finds that the solar cell performance does not degrade under 0.3%-strain cyclic tension loading up to 100 cycles. Significant degradation, however, is observed when the magnitude of cyclic loading is increased to 1% strain. The present study provides an initial set of data to guide and motivate further studies of multifunctional energy harvesting structures. (author)

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1597 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21305697
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Solar Energy; Journal Volume: 84; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; SILICON SOLAR CELLS; THIN FILMS; EPOXIDES; CARBON FIBERS; DYNAMIC LOADS; PERFORMANCE; STRAINS; MANUFACTURING; CURING; SOLAR ARCHITECTURE; Multifunctional composites; Thin-film solar cells; Energy harvesting

Citation Formats

Jason Maung, K., Hahn, H. Thomas, and Ju, Y.S. Multifunctional integration of thin-film silicon solar cells on carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy composites. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1016/J.SOLENER.2010.01.002.
Jason Maung, K., Hahn, H. Thomas, & Ju, Y.S. Multifunctional integration of thin-film silicon solar cells on carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy composites. United States. doi:10.1016/J.SOLENER.2010.01.002.
Jason Maung, K., Hahn, H. Thomas, and Ju, Y.S. 2010. "Multifunctional integration of thin-film silicon solar cells on carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy composites". United States. doi:10.1016/J.SOLENER.2010.01.002.
@article{osti_21305697,
title = {Multifunctional integration of thin-film silicon solar cells on carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy composites},
author = {Jason Maung, K. and Hahn, H. Thomas and Ju, Y.S.},
abstractNote = {Multifunction integration of solar cells in load-bearing structures can enhance overall system performance by reducing parasitic components and material redundancy. The article describes a manufacturing strategy, named the co-curing scheme, to integrate thin-film silicon solar cells on carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy composites and eliminate parasitic packaging layers. In this scheme, an assembly of a solar cell and a prepreg is cured to form a multifunctional composite in one processing step. The photovoltaic performance of the manufactured structures is then characterized under controlled cyclic mechanical loading. The study finds that the solar cell performance does not degrade under 0.3%-strain cyclic tension loading up to 100 cycles. Significant degradation, however, is observed when the magnitude of cyclic loading is increased to 1% strain. The present study provides an initial set of data to guide and motivate further studies of multifunctional energy harvesting structures. (author)},
doi = {10.1016/J.SOLENER.2010.01.002},
journal = {Solar Energy},
number = 3,
volume = 84,
place = {United States},
year = 2010,
month = 3
}
  • Carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy matrix composites, with a tensile fracture stress of either 3.5 or 5.5GPa (designated as 3.5 and 5.5GPa CF/RE composites, respectively), were studied to determine the effect of fiber strength on the tensile fracture behavior. The smooth and notched tensile specimens were loaded in the direction parallel to the fibers. The 5.5GPa CF/RE composite exhibited a higher smooth tensile fracture stress but a significantly decreased notch strength ratio compared with the 3.5GPa CF/RE composite. For the smooth tensile specimens of the 3.5GPa CF/RE composite, a zigzag fracture approximately perpendicular to the loading direction occurred, and the fracture processmore » involved a brittle fracture, or pull out, of the fibers; whereas, for the 5.5GPa CF/RE composite, the fracture was approximately parallel to the loading direction, and fiber-matrix interfacial fracture was observed. For the notch tensile tests, fracture occurred at the fiber-matrix interfaces independent of the composite type. The results are described and discussed.« less
  • This study is designed to examine and compare the toughening effects of short aramid and carbon fibers in carbon fiber/epoxy composites. The primary objective being to identify the toughening mechanisms associated with the two different short fibers. The detailed information on toughening mechanisms will provide a general guide on the relationship between composite interlaminar design and composite performance. Composite design and processing, delamination testing and SEM study of fracture surfaces are used in conjunction in the current study for a better understanding of the short fiber interlaminar reinforcement technique.
  • The mechanical behavior of quasi-isotropic and unidirectional epoxy-matrix carbon-fiber laminated composites subjected to compressive loading at strain rates of 10{sup {minus}3} and 2000s{sup {minus}1} are described. Failure in the studied composites was dominated by delamination which proceeded by brittle fracture of the epoxy-matrix. The matrix-fiber bonding in these composites is very strong and prevented the occurrence of significant fiber-pullout. The mode I delamination strain energy release rate of the unidirectional composites was determined using the double cantilever beam and hole in plate compression method. The DCB method indicated a significant R curve effect attributed to fiber bridging while the presentlymore » available hole in plate analytical methods show questionable validity for highly anisotropic materials. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}« less
  • Different industrial mixing methods and some of their combinations (1) ultrasound; (2) stirring; (3) (4) by roller machine, (5) by gears machine (6) Ultrasound radiation + high stirring were investigated for incorporating Multi walled Carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) into a resin based on an aeronautical epoxy precursor, cured with 4,4′ diamine-dibenzylsulfone (DDS). The effect of different parameters, ultrasound intensity, number of cycles, type of blade, gears speed on the nanofiller dispersion were analyzed. The inclusion of the nanofiller in the resin causes a drastic increase in the viscosity, preventing the homogenization of the resin and a drastic increase in temperature inmore » the zones closest to the ultrasound probe. To overcome these challenges, the application of high speed agitation simultaneously with the application of ultrasonic radiation was used. This allows on the one hand a homogeneous dispersion, on the other hand an improvement of the dissipation of heat generated by ultrasonic radiation. A comprehensive study with parameters like viscosity and temperature was performed. It is necessary a balance between viscosity and temperature. Viscosity must be low enough to facilitate the dispersion and homogenization of the nanofillers, whereas the temperature cannot be too high because of re-agglomerations.« less
  • Three-dimensional (3D) carbon fiber reinforced SiC and Si{sub 3}N{sub 4} composites have been fabricated using repeated infiltration of an organosilicon slurry under vacuum and pressure. Open porosity of the infiltrated body was reduced from 40% after the first infiltration to approximately 8% after the seventh cycle. Further reduction of open porosity to less than 3% was accomplished by hot-press densification. The maximum values of flexural strength and fracture toughness were, respectively, 260 MPa and 7.3 MPa {center_dot} m{sup 1/2} for C/Si{sub 3}N{sub 4} composites, and 185 MPa and 6 MPa {center_dot} m{sup 1/2} for C/SiC composite.