PV Module Properties

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‘Sunspec 3′, Singapore Polytechnic, World Solar Challenge 2013
‘Sunspec 3′, Singapore Polytechnic, World Solar Challenge 2013

Ultra lightweight, extra thin PV modules, reinforced encapsulation for cell protection during rough racing environments

We build ultra lightweight PV modules. This is achieved by a frameless design using special components of reinforced plastics rather than the usual glass with a metal bezel. From these components we gain advantageous material properties:

  • the specific weight is only 0.7 – 1.3 kg/m², values depending on cell type (Si or GaAs) and cell layout
  • optionally we use special crystalline thin Si cells resulting in only 0.5 kg/m²
  • regular modules are only 0.6 – 0.7 mm thin
  • for aerial applications we can go down to 0.5 mm or even less
  • for rough environments, i.e. maritime applications, we can manufacture stronger modules using a protective film

We use a reinforced encapsulation method with a special mixture of components for our PV panels, giving them mechanical characteristics comparable to sheet metal. Our ingredients combined with the material properties of the PV cells itself make the encapsulation rigid and strong. No soft materials such as films, nor stabilisers such as metal frames are used. The mixture of components used for the encapsulation ensures the highest optical transparency and offers UV resistance as well as weatherability.

If the panels are handled and mounted correctly the PV cells will never experience failure or cracks. In fact the panels are strong enough for a person to stand on if bonded to a hard and evenly flat surface.