IBC back-contact solar roofing system for electric vehicles

Jun 9, 2020 12:44 PM ET
  • Dutch EV startup Lightyear is already generating prototype roofs to prolong the series of its Lightyear One solar car. The roofing systems will certainly include interdigitated back contact solar batteries made by U.S. company SunPower and backsheets from Dutch international DSM.
IBC back-contact solar roofing system for electric vehicles
Image: Lightyear

Dutch business Lightyear and DSM NV are functioning to start commercial production of the former's electric vehicle solar roofing system.

The 5m ² roofing system includes a double-curved, glass-covered solar panel backed with maximum power factor trackers. "The roof coverings are specifically developed for ... application on vehicles, focusing on three points ... style: High solar battery coverage proportion, durability and security that fits the demands for road-going vehicles-- and also seamless integration to fit the vehicle," Lightyear principal method officer Martijn Lammers told pv magazine.

The roof coverings, which will be produced in Helmond, in the Netherlands, feature interdigitated back get in touch with (IBC) solar cells supplied by U.S. firm SunPower as well as conductive backsheets from DSM NV, a Dutch health, nutrition and products international.

" Our backsheets are well fit for the incorporated and also double-curved solar modules that suit the aerodynamic layout of the vehicle," stated Nathan Arbitman, technique director at the DSM Advanced Solar division of business. "With the application of lossless as well as aesthetic, back-contact modern technology to modern solar roof coverings for automotive, we show the viability of this technology for high-end planetary systems, like DSM did currently for high power modules for the residential market."

The electrical contacts are placed at the rear of the solar cells, which aids to decrease cell-to-module losses, delivering 3% enhanced power outcome, according to the maker. "Furthermore, the backsheet enables the solar roof to be made in a visual curved shape," Arbitman included.


The companion companies prepare to increase from the manufacture of prototype products into full business result. Lightyear's Lammers said: "We do not disclose production ability or various other monetary data but we are believing large. The aim is to deliver a service for clients from the automobile and also public transportation field whereby the combination of a solar roofing might stand for a clever investment."

The companion firms are focusing on the European as well as U.S. markets, with Arbitman including: "We are making model components for picked applications to determine the feasibility and worth proposition as well as get market responses."

EV startup Lightyear specified a year ago that it anticipated its sporty-looking Lightyear One version to go into mass production next year.

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