Colored PV module efficiency is undervalued

May 14, 2020 02:38 PM ET
  • In a current discussion with pv magazine Roland Valckenborg, service developer as well as project supervisor at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), has actually explained the outcomes of a multi-year screening program for tinted BIPV components. Simply a couple of years earlier, it was assumed that power return could be approximately 50% less than traditional panels, however examinations have actually revealed a distinction of simply 10%. Valckenborg claims that losses can differ depending upon the shade of a panel.
Colored PV module efficiency is undervalued
Image: SolarBEAT

Considering that 2014, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) has actually been examining various type of cutting-edge photovoltaic panels, consisting of BIPV components with various shades, at its SolarBEAT screening center at Eindhoven University of Technology.

According to Roland Valckenborg, the supervisor of the project, tinted components are still more pricey than standard PV components, however customer passion is raising. "People intend to have an option in between various designs, equally as with autos," he informed pv magazine.

Efficiency criteria

Valckenborg claimed the efficiency of tinted BIPV components has actually been undervalued. "It was such a pleasurable shock to figure out in our research study that the distinctive components have no efficiency loss when contrasted to a typical referral module," he asserted. "So the little losses as a result of the added layer of distinctive glass are balanced out by the gain of catching a little bit much more return throughout reduced angles of occurrence."

When the initial examinations began in 2017, it was still thought that tinted panels would certainly minimize return by 40% to 50%. "We showed in 2018 that it is simply 11% for grey components," Valckenborg mentioned.

The outcomes have actually been verified by research study institutes such as the University of Applied Sciences as well as Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI).

Light representation

When asked just how much shade impacts light representation, Valckenborg claimed a marginal decrease should be taken into consideration. "When we desire a tinted PV panel, we need to approve that not all the noticeable solar range will certainly be transferred to the cell, yet part of it will certainly be shown or taken in," he mentioned. In traditional, unprejudiced PV panels, all layers in addition to the solar cells-- the front glass and also the encapsulant-- need to be enhanced to be as clear as feasible, in order to permit light to be sent as well as get to the solar cells.

There are presently 2 primary techniques to tinting PV panels: a method containing pigment-based pigmentation, and also an architectural pigmentation technique. The initial strategy describes the application of dyes as well as pigments that generally soak up and also partly show certain parts of the range. This holds true, as an example, with tinted dots published on the front PV glass or on tinted encapsulant.

Architectural pigmentation is gotten with the communication of the light itself with nano-structured surface areas or multi-layer thin-film layers. Disturbance filters transferred on glass manipulate the disturbance impact to precisely mirror just a slim part of the visible spectrum.

The method a shade is gotten, and also just how it impacts the efficiency of a PV panel, as a result highly relies on the particular innovation made use of as well as the optical sensations happening.

" Ideally, a tinted PV panel must have the ability to show just a slim band of the visible spectrum as well as send all the remainder," Valckenborg clarified. "In this means we will certainly view the module with the shade representing that details mirrored wavelength, while the remainder of the sunshine range can be successfully made use of for power generation"

To avoid extra losses, the tinted layer (glass or encapsulant or added layer) must be non-absorptive, he kept in mind.

Efficiency losses

The efficiency losses of tinted PV are generally as a result of the reduced quantity of photons that are sent to the solar cells, which subsequently causes reduce lower and also present power manufacturing. Power losses for tinted PV items currently readily available on the marketplace variety from roughly 10% to 40%. Losses likewise highly rely on the details shade, due to the fact that each shade is identified by a certain representation range, according to Valckenborg.

" Pigment-based shades constantly soak up part of the range. In this regard, paints which can be taken into consideration much better than others are those identified by reduced absorption," he asserted.

In regards to greater efficiency, disturbance covering is presently the most effective alternative. Filters can be made with entirely non-absorptive products, as well as their representation height can be tuned to be as slim as feasible.

" Drawbacks of this modern technology are a lot more pertaining to cost and also various other facets, such as the angular reliance of the shade," Valckenborg discussed. "In basic, a concession has to constantly be discovered in between electric efficiency, price as well as visual top quality."

Upright PV

One factor tinted components are still substantially a lot more pricey than standard panels is since the structure sector is really rather traditional, as well as completely factor, according to Valckenborg. As an exterior component, BIPV tinted components have to adhere to rigorous safety and security demands and also be solid sufficient to stay clear of failings of any kind of kind. "Because if something falls short after that the prices of fixing can be big," he discussed.

Colored components are taken into consideration perfect for exterior applications. "First, since exteriors are far more noticeable than roof coverings," Valckenborg claimed. "Secondly, since the euro/m2 for an exterior is currently substantially more than for an angled roof. So the loved one included price of shade is a lot reduced for the exterior application."

Valckenborg kept in mind that BIPV panels on angled roofs are still a specific niche market.

"In the Netherlands we begin to see even more facilities incorporated PV (IIPV), that includes all applications right into sound dikes, roadways, as well as obstacles. Since these applications show up, they may end up being tinted someday," he wrapped up.

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