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Transparent Polymers for PV Modules Boost Performance

Enerize Corporation has developed a new design for photovoltaic (PV) modules using a proprietary transparent polymer material to replace conventional glass, resulting in an increase in conversion efficiency of more then 20%.

The polymer increases efficiency due to higher transparency and concentration of incoming light, while providing resistance to degradation by UV and ionizing radiation, lower cost, reduced weight, and improved mechanical strength, according to the company.

Conventional glass has several disadvantages as a protective covering for photovoltaic modules. Glass is relatively heavy, brittle and reflective. Light reflected from the glass surfaces (both exterior and interior) does not reach the solar cell underneath, and glass tends to block ultraviolet light, thus reducing the energy that can be obtained from this part of the spectrum. PV modules that use glass comprise a multi-layered structure that is more expensive and complicated to manufacture as compared to the new polymer coated design.

The new highly transparent polymer material can be applied directly to the PV module surface at low temperatures, eliminating the need for the adhesives required with glass and some other polymers. This eliminates the multi-layer structure including the reflective surfaces present with glass. No glass is used with this polymer coating. The polymer can be formed as a flat smooth surface or as a “crinkle coat”. The “crinkle coat” version further enhances photon collection efficiency due to the light concentrating effect of the polymer material and its surface morphology.

In conventional designs using glass, the efficiency of the PV module can be decreased by 7% or more as compared with a PV module without a glass covering. Use of the Enerize polymer encapsulation and protective coating materials can increase conversion efficiency compared with the same PV module having no covering.

As compared to a PV module laminated with glass having an efficiency of 16.45%, a PV module with the same type of solar cells coated with Enerize polymer material has an efficiency of 21.2%.

Enerize transparent polymer materials and coating technologies can be used to improve conversion efficiencies and overall performance of mono-crystalline, multi-crystalline, amorphous silicon photovoltaic and non-silicon based PV modules such as CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide).

(A hat-tip to David!)

Comments

HarveyD

Good news for solar panels.

This lower cost, more rugged, coating represents a 28.875% efficiency gain (from 16.45% to 21.1%).

It's like getting a lot more for less.

Will polymer coating last as long as glass coating?

BlackSun

Doesn't UV degrade (and yellow) all polymers over time? If Enerize has solved that problem, this is truly amazing news.

David

My first hat tip!!!

GreenPlease

It would be interesting to see a culmination of the many incremental improvements in solar panels:

This enerezie polymer
The anti-reflective coating developed by Renessaler Poly that has a negative refractive index
Reflective back plate
Thinner wires
Others?

herm

what will it do after 10-20 years under the sun?.. can it peeled off the solar cell if it goes bad?

Michael

Not sure on long term stability or test metrics, but here is another paragraph from the release...


"Additional advantages include reduced weight, increased resistance to degradation by UV and ionizing radiation (so-called photon degradation) and high mechanical strength. These polymer coated PV modules are stable under prolonged exposure to high and low temperatures, thermal-cycling, mechanical impact, and high relative humidity. Evaluation of the new Enerize polymer encapsulation materials has been carried out using PV modules that include up to 5 solar cells with a surface area of 72 cm2 each."

Applied Materials is big into new polymers as well. Who knows? If they keep going, they may just recreate green leaves that last thirty years, self-replicate and turn towards the sun ;-)

Herm

I guess solar cells may get so cheap that you could dispose of them after a short while.. 10-15 years. Perhaps the polymer can be chemically removed and sprayed on every so often.

P Schager

Those UV photons are higher energy, and so the benefit of using them will be even more when we get to advanced cells using multiple junctions, multiple electron generation or something like that. If the plastic cover has a short life limit, it should be tacked on using a clear gel for optical coupling, and sealed at the edges so that it is easy to remove and replace. A big benefit of using a plastic is it lets you make the mosaic of solar cells relatively resilient instead of highly rigid and thus heavy, which now adds to costs. Especially if the cells are small and that gel is thick. Instead of a gel, a cooling fluid could be considered, with the benefits of capturing waste heat and facilitating concentration.

james  william

LUTAKOME ENTERPRISES (UG) LIMITED.
(Dealers in gsm mobile phones)
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james william

ndawula  william

SW ENTERPRISES (UG) LIMITED.
(Dealers in gsm mobile phones)
P.O BOX ..........MARKET STREET NAKASERO,
Tel:+256-7562804686 Email:bamndawula@yahoo.com Our Ref EM/BQ/06 Your Ref:………………………………………………..…………………………………………………Dear Sir/Madam,RE: BUSINESS INQUIRYOur company is a reputable company dealing in GSMMOBILE PHONES plus sole panells and Electric Appliances and alsoWathes plus door lockswith motor cars and motor Bikes. It is based inUganda and has numerous branches all over thecountries of EastAfrica and the great lakes region.We are well established with all our customers therefore this good cooperation between us and ourcustomers has driven us to great horizons. As a resultof this we are now striving for the InternationallevelWe are looking for any interested and serious supplierwho is well competent andtrustworthy so that we canestablish cordial and mutual business relationship insupplying us with Electronics and Electronic supplies and others like printers ,cars ,lightweight-energy,computers,Laptops,etc.If you are interested, send us your price quotationand please contact us on the above email address.Waiting for your soon replyYours faithfully
NDAWULA william

Account Deleted

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Assistant Manager - International Business
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Skype:- madhurendu
madhurendu@intextechnologies.com
Intex Technologies (India) Limited
D-18/2, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase - II, New Delhi - 110020, India
www.intextechnologies.com
Telephone:- +91-11-41610224 Ext. 346

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