Colorful solar modules via "Morpho Color"

Jan 11, 2021 02:08 PM ET
  • German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has actually created procedures to create solar panels with a homogeneous and vibrantly tinted surface. The tinted parts could be integrated nearly secretly right into a facade or roof covering.
Colorful solar modules via "Morpho Color"
Image: Fraunhofer ISE

The principle was borrowed from the wing of the Morpho butterfly. "The concept for the growth was not to color the cover glasses of the modules with tinted pigments, however rather to imitate the physical effect of the butterfly's wing," claims Thomas Kroyer, head of the Coating Technologies as well as Systems group. If glass were covered with pigments, it would shed much of its performance because the light would certainly no longer be able to pass the module's surface area unhindered.

On the other hand, the butterflies that stay in the tropical rainforests of Central and also South America develop a color impression not with tinted pigments, however through an optical result. "The butterfly wings have a micrometer-fine surface structure that especially mirrors a slim wavelength array, i.e. a color." The Fraunhofer ISE specialists have actually succeeded in using a similar surface framework to the rear of the cover glass of their solar modules using a vacuum process. Depending on the fine framework, cover glasses in blue, environment-friendly or red can be generated in this way. "Around 93 percent of the light can permeate this layer - just around seven percent is mirrored and also causes the color effect," says Thomas Kroyer. The Freiburg researchers named their technology "Morpho Color" after the blue Morpho butterfly.

The cover glasses, which are evaporated in a vacuum procedure, can be laminated flooring into photovoltaic or pv modules or integrated right into an enthusiast for solar warm generation. In the future, photovoltaics as well as solar thermal power could be offered with the very same shade "and mounted practically undetectably beside each other on the roof or facade." If the color is matched to the rest of the structure, a residence wall surface with a definitely uniform exterior can be recognized.

Additionally, the Fraunhofer scientists have located a brand-new technique for installing solar batteries. To prevent the photovoltaic cells, which are soldered together, from glittering through the tinted cover glass like a checkerboard, they have actually created a technique similar to the concept of roof tiles. Roofing system shingles are laid overlapping on top of each other to allow rainfall to escape. As necessary, the Freiburg solar scientists generate photovoltaic cells in strips, which they glue together overlapping by a few millimeters to develop a larger module. This creates "an uniform whole without any troubling spaces or noticeable get in touch with cables."

The tinted as well as the shingled modules will be presented from January 13 to 15, 2021, at the BAU trade fair, which will certainly be held electronically this year.