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Efficient outdoor performance of esthetic bifacial a-Si:H semi-transparent PV modules

Myong, Seung Yeop, Jeon, Sang Won
Applied energy 2016 v.164 pp. 312-320
aesthetics, color, energy, glass, harvesting, irradiation, power generation, prediction, silicon, soaking, solar collectors, traffic
We developed bifacial transparent back contact (TBC) hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) semi-transparent glass-to-glass photovoltaic (PV) modules with emotionally inoffensive and esthetically pleasing colors have been developed by combining the transparent back contact and color of the back glass. Due to the high series resistance of the transparent back contact, the bifacial TBC a-Si:H semi-transparent PV modules had a lower rated power after light soaking than the monofacial opaque (metal) back contact (OBC) a-Si:H semi-transparent PV modules fabricated using the additional laser scribing patterns. However, the TBC a-Si:H semi-transparent PV module produced a higher annual electrical energy output than the OBC a-Si:H semi-transparent PV module thanks to bifacial power generation during the outdoor field test. In particular, the performance ratio of the TBC a-Si:H semi-transparent PV module measured at the optimal tilt angle of 30° surpassed its simulated prediction by a drastically high value of 124.5%. At a higher tilt angle of 85°, bifacial power generation produced a higher deviation between the measured and simulated annual performance of the TBC a-Si:H semi-transparent PV module. Since the reflected albedo has a tendency to increase toward higher tilt angles, bifacial power generation can compensate for the loss of lower direct plane-of-array irradiation at a higher tilt angle. Therefore, the TBC a-Si:H semi-transparent PV module is suitable for the vertically mounted building integrated photovoltaic modules for use in curtain walls, façades, roofs and traffic noise barriers by harvesting reflected and illuminated light.