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Lightweight PV Module Approach - Field Test Study and Yield Evaluation
S. Schindler, D. Götz, D. Daßler
BIPV, ViPV, Lightweight, Module Technology
New Materials and Concepts for Photovoltaic Devices
Subtopic: New Materials and Concepts for Cells and Modules
Event: 36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 1BO.9.5
54 - 57
ISBN: 3-936338-60-4
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20192019-1BO.9.5
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


As photovoltaics become in some use cases the cheapest source for electricity, different additional market segments are developing and growing, especially in emerging markets as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) or even vehicle-integrated photovoltaics (VIPV). Such markets define novel module requirements, as for example the transportation / installation weight is a crucial factor. Furthermore, these new markets have different requirements for lifetime, mounting integration, geometrical form and weight, which can differ from the requirements in the standard module design, as probably seen for example for lightweight roof top applications for warehouses. But nowadays, PV modules are almost identical in size, shape and weight worldwide. As a result of these requirements we redesigned the material stack of standard PV modules. The module concept features a rigid multi-layer compound structure, mainly based on polyester foam. This approach leads to a significantly higher power-to-weight ratio and area density, being able to reduce the module weight by more than 50% compared to standard PV module concepts. We can show that even not optimized module mounting settings do not lead to mechanical load defects: no cell breakage, bending or fractured laminate, cracked / scratched front side. The lightweight concept demonstrates same performance behaviour like the standard module reference. Over time, no degradation or deterioration could be recorded. The specific energy yield in moderate climate conditions had been between 15 and 150 Wh/Wp within our measurement period.