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Optical Evaluation of Multi-Wire Modules
K.R. McIntosh, M.D. Abbott, M.B. Edwards, R. Evans, Y. Yao
Encapsulation, Optical Losses, Ray Tracing, Simulation, Ribbons, PV Module
New Materials and Concepts for Solar Cells and Modules
Subtopic: Fundamental Studies
Event: 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 1AO.2.1
15 - 19
ISBN: 3-936338-41-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20162016-1AO.2.1
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


Multi-wire interconnects are currently being commercialized by several large PV companies to replace the traditional flat-tabbed busbars. Advantages of multi-wires include reduced silver usage, lower grid resistance, higher tolerance to cracks, and improved optics. This paper evaluates the optical losses of a multi-wire module and compares them to those of busbar modules. It includes the first application of ray tracing to multi-wire modules and finds that the results agree reasonably well with some published experimental mini-modules with similar wires and cells. The simulations also indicate that the optical advantage of multi-wire modules should increase slightly as the angle of incidence changes from 0 to 80°, whether for cells with random pyramids or isotexturing. We also find that the effective optical width of the wires increases as the number of wires increases, and that it is approximately 60% of the wire diameter for typical multi-wire applications; this effective width is significantly greater than what is calculated from a geometrical assessment of a singe wire.