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Title: Highly Automated Module Production Incorporating Advanced Light Management

The objective was to enable a high volume, cost effective solution for increasing the amount of light captured by PV modules through utilization of an advanced Light Re-directing Film and to follow a phased approach to develop and implement this new technology in order to achieve an expected power gain of up to 12 watts per module. Full size PV modules were manufactured using a new Light Redirecting Film (LRF) material applied to two different areas of PV modules in order to increase the amount of light captured by the modules. One configuration involved applying thin strips of LRF film over the tabbing ribbon on the cells in order to redirect the light that is normally absorbed by the tabbing ribbon to the active areas of the cells. A second configuration involved applying thin strips of LRF film over the white spaces between cells within a module in order to capture some of the light that is normally reflected from the white areas back through the front glass of the modules. Significant power increases of 1.4% (3.9 watts) and 1.0% (3.2 watts), respectively, compared to standard PV modules were measured under standard test conditions. The performance of PV modules withmore » LRF applied to the tabbing ribbon was modeled. The results showed that the power increase provided by LRF depended greatly on the angle of incident light with the optimum performance only occurring when the light was within a narrow range of being perpendicular to the solar module. The modeling showed that most of the performance gain would be lost when the angle of incident light was greater than 28 degrees off axis. This effect made the orientation of modules with LRF applied to tabbing ribbons very important as modules mounted in “portrait” mode were predicted to provide little to no power gain from LRF under real world conditions. Based on these results, modules with LRF on tabbing ribbons would have to be mounted in “landscape” mode to realize a performance advantage. In addition, modeling showed that under diffuse lighting conditions such as when the sky is overcast, there would be no significant performance advantage for modules with LRF. Modules were sent to an outside contractor to measure the power performance under different angles of incident light in order to validate the modeling results. The measured data agreed very well with the modeling predictions and showed that the power gain for modules with LRF applied to tabbing ribbons was completely lost at an angle of 25 degrees off of perpendicular. At even larger angles, the power was lower than standard modules. From 35 degrees to 55 degrees off axis, the power loss was about 1.4% or equal to the power gain at the optimum condition of perfectly on-axis light.« less
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  1. SolarWorld Americas Inc., Hillsboro, OR (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
SolarWorld Americas Inc., Hillsboro, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY Solar Energy