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Glass-Free Lightweight Solar Modules for Integrated Photovoltaics: the Use of Velcro as an Alternative Mounting System
F. Lisco, A.C. Oliveira Martins, A. Virtuani, C. Ballif
Mechanical Load, PV Module, Mounting System, Lightweight, Velcro
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: PV Module Design, Manufacture, Performance and Reliability
Event: 37th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4AV.2.14
1108 - 1111
ISBN: 3-936338-73-6
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20202020-4AV.2.14
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


For some PV applications, the weight of c-Si PV modules is a crucial aspect that needs to be addressed. Commercial and industrial buildings sometimes cannot be designed for conventional rooftop solar installations, especially without costly structural improvement. Also particular PV systems, such as, PV elements for foldable parking roofs or greenhouses need lightweight modules to enable cost effective mounting structures. Often, when old buildings undergo renovation, excessive loads are often not well tolerated by roofs or other architectural structures (e.g. facades). The adoption of conventional PV in these contexts could represent a crucial limit. The use of Lightweight modules appear very attractive, especially for the building-integration of photovoltaics (BIPV), Building Applied Photovoltaic systems (BAPV) as for Vehicles integrated PV (VIPV), due to their reduced weight and strong improvements in durability. One of the great advantages of using a lightweight module structure stands in the possibility to develop a cheap and practical mounting system solution. This is currently becoming a relevant topic, as the share of costs for mounting structures has significantly increased in the last years. Considering the option of “frameless lightweight modules” may also have a dramatic effect in lowering the transport costs. With this work, an alternative installation for lightweight (6 kg/m2) photovoltaic module is proposed. Modules with a composite sandwich backsheet and a polymeric frontsheet structure were manufactured with a new mounting system based on the use of Velcro (Hook-and-Loop). We demonstrate how this alternative mounting system allows a fast and easier mounting that comply with the static mechanical load test present in the IEC 61215.