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Combined anti-soiling and anti-reflection coatings for solar modules

The cover glass on solar modules provides protection for the underlying solar cells but also leads to two forms of power loss: reflection losses and soiling losses. In this work we explore the addition of a thin hydrophobic layer of refractive index n=1.35 to the outer surface of a broadband multilayer anti-reflection (MAR) coating, comparing modelling with the actual performance of the coating. Systems with hydrophobic layers from 5nm to 300nm in thickness deposited on the surface of a broadband AR coating have been modelled, with reflectance curves and weighted average reflection (WAR) calculations showing that the total reflection stays below that of uncoated glass at all thicknesses. However, the optimal coating is determined to be ∼5nm in thickness. Addition of the hydrophobic layer increases the water contact angle of the MAR coating from 7° to 114°, with a significant increase in anti-soiling properties. This provides proof of principle of the benefits of combining a high performance AR coating with a hydrophobic anti-soiling coating on module cover glass.

Funding

The Active Building Centre Research Programme (ABC RP)

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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History

School

  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research Unit

  • Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

Published in

2021 IEEE 48th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC)

Pages

1379 - 1382

Source

2021 IEEE 48th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC)

Publisher

IEEE

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© IEEE

Publisher statement

Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

Publication date

2021-08-26

Copyright date

2021

ISBN

9781665419222

ISSN

0160-8371

Language

en

Location

Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

Event dates

20th June 2021 - 25th June 2021

Depositor

Prof Michael Walls. Deposit date: 14 October 2021