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Title: Output-increasing, protective cover for a solar cell

A flexible cover (14) for a flexible solar cell (12) protects the cell from the ambient and increases the cell's efficiency. The cell(12)includes silicon spheres (16) held in a flexible aluminum sheet matrix (20,22). The cover (14) is a flexible, protective layer (60) of light-transparent material having a relatively flat upper, free surface (64) and an irregular opposed surface (66). The irregular surface (66) includes first portions (68) which conform to the polar regions (31R) of the spheres (16) and second convex (72) or concave (90) portions (72 or 90) which define spaces (78) in conjunction with the reflective surface (20T) of one aluminum sheet (20). Without the cover (14) light (50) falling on the surface (20T) between the spheres (16) is wasted, that is, it does not fall on a sphere (16). The surfaces of the second portions are non-parallel to the direction of the otherwise wasted light (50), which fact, together with a selected relationship between the refractive indices of the cover and the spaces, result in sufficient diffraction of the otherwise wasted light (50) so that about 25% of it is reflected from the surface (20T) onto a sphere (16).
  1. (Dallas, TX)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Texas Instruments Incorporated (Dallas, TX) OSTI
Patent Number(s):
US 5468304
Application Number:
Contract Number:
Country of Publication:
United States
output-increasing; protective; cover; solar; cell; flexible; 14; 12; protects; ambient; increases; efficiency; silicon; spheres; 16; held; aluminum; sheet; matrix; 20; 22; layer; 60; light-transparent; material; relatively; flat; upper; free; surface; 64; irregular; opposed; 66; portions; 68; conform; polar; regions; 31r; convex; 72; concave; 90; define; spaces; 78; conjunction; reflective; 20t; light; 50; falling; wasted; fall; sphere; surfaces; non-parallel; direction; otherwise; selected; relationship; refractive; indices; result; sufficient; diffraction; 25; reflected; protective layer; solar cell; reflective surface; relatively flat; transparent material; protective cover; opposed surface; free surface; silicon spheres; silicon sphere; flexible cover; parent material; regular surface; aluminum sheet; /136/438/