The aim of this project is the development of new designs of PV modules optimised for their use as building elements, with a common characteristic: the light transmitance through the module structure to allow the natural daylighting of inner rooms and offices. Between the possible applications of this kind of modules, three building integration applications have been selected: glazed facades, windows and grazing atria.
Conventional solar cells will be used, considering the three technologies of Silicon cells: mono-, multi-crystalline and amorphous Silicon solar cells. The associated partners will focus their efforts in the optimisation of PV modules for these applications taking into account several inter-related subjects currently not well characterised under the operating conditions of building integration systems: the electro-optical, thermal and luminous (light transmitance) behaviour of modules. These aspects have a relevant impact on the comfort of the indoor environment and the final-user's quality-of-life.
The research on these subjects will conduct to an optimisation process of PV module designs, where parameters such as, e.g., the cell size and separation (for c-Si cells), the device thickness/transmission ratio (for a-Si), the electrical interconnection, the module structure based on a double glass configuration, the passive-cooling methods, the support structures and installation methods or the user safety will be especially considered, without neglecting the building aesthetic and a cost-effective design.
To analyse these important subjects, two European R&D centres (CIEMAT and ECN) and three PV module manufacturers (ISOFOTON, ASE and PST) will join their experience and facilities in this RTD project.
The workprogramme will be developed in four consecutive stages:
- Preliminary measurements on different types of m-Si, p-Si and a-Si modules and cells coming from the current production models of the manufacturers to determine its constraints and the aspects that should be improved for building integration applications.
- Module design and optimisation. Definition of the optimum PV module (for each one of these applications) with reference to its structure (cell size/area, inter-cell separation, front and back covers) and to the PV system (frames and junction boxes, endurance tests, electrical configuration, etc.).
- Manufacturing. Each manufacturer will produced several samples with two different module designs according to the conclusions inferred in the previous studies.
- Characterisation & Evaluation. Complete characterisation of the prototypes. Economic evaluation.
The expected achievements through the execution of the project are as follows:
- Manufacturing of PV module prototypes specially designed for building integration purposes of three different silicon technologies, what will favour the pre-industrialisation of models for the PV module manufacturer.
- Put at the disposal of architects and engineers useful inforrnation not available at the moment about the thermal, electrical and optical behaviour of the PV module designed for building integration.
- Contribution to the definition of criteria for market standardisation and technology development in this field.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts