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PV module performance is, of course, paramount. But if you want to successfully integrate PV into building facades, aesthetic aspects are also fundamental. Liten, which has been following the latest advances and trends in building-integrated photovoltaics, or BIPV, recently tested three techniques that allow PV modules to be manufactured with different colors and patterns. Specifically, Liten looked at the impact on yield and aging.
Over a period spanning 2019 and 2020, three new technologies supplied by Liten partners (printed glass, glass with a thin filtering layer, and screen-printed encapsulating resin films) were evaluated. Heterojunction solar cells were integrated into the modules and, for aesthetic reasons, connected with wires instead of copper ribbons. The researchers looked at the materials' behavior during fabrication and at how well they let light pass through.
The tests, completed in a climatic chamber to accelerate aging, confirmed good relative PV performance for all three technologies. For the modules produced with a printed polymer dot film, improvements were made to the process to reduce deformation. Additional improvements that would combine the advantages of each technology are on the drawing board, and testing in real-world conditions on the INCA platform at INES is slated to begin
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.