BIPV module with novel encapsulation design – pv journal Worldwide

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Researchers at the University of Malaga have developed a panel for building-integrated photovoltaics that improves light absorption without sacrificing efficiency and durability.

20th November 2020

The PV panel developed by the UMA researchers.

Image: UMA

From the pv magazine Spain

A research group at the University of Malaga (UMA) has developed a PV module for building-integrated applications that aims to improve light absorption without sacrificing efficiency and durability.

The panel is based on a novel encapsulation design that changes its color so that it can be more easily integrated into buildings. This technique consists of applying anti-reflective glass to the front of the panel and a black back panel to the back. “We tested different materials until we verified that the combination of anti-reflective glass and a black polymer backing that was already in the industry was efficient and durable,” said research co-author María Cruz López, adding, that the new panel had already passed all of the standard durability tests.

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

“Changing the central structure of the photovoltaic module is more expensive. So we focused on finding the right materials so that the panel not only improves its appearance, but also maintains its usual good performance and durability, ”said López.

The new device presented in the study Photovoltaic modules for architectural integration with no negative impact on performance, published in Applied Energy, have an output of up to 256 W.

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