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

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