Solar cell technology from Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems of Germany and industrial partner Bystronic AG of Switzerland reduces the material and production costs of photovoltaic (PV) modules.

In the TPedge assembly approach, solar cells are fixed in a gas-filled space between two glass panes with special adhesive pins, eliminating the need for encapsulants and backsheets as well as aluminum frame and sealing.

TPedge module with 2 mm thick glass undergoing distributed load test.TPedge module with 2 mm thick glass undergoing distributed load test.Economic analysis indicates that specific module costs of the TPedge concept are approximately 2% less than the conventional glass-foil-laminate concept.

Module prototypes were tested based on IEC 61730 and 61215 standards, which verified the reliability and technical maturity of the design. The modules also successfully passed thermal cycle and mechanical durability tests.

The lab prototype has been transferred to an industrial-scale module with 60 solar cells, and researchers will now focus on increasing module power and optimizing the suitability of this technology for building-integrated photovoltaics.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com