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PVSC-Testing the Abrasion Resistance of Porous SiO2 AR coatings for solar cover glass.pdf (5.66 MB)

Testing the abrasion resistance of porous SiO2 anti-reflection coatings for solar cover glass

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-01-06, 09:24 authored by Adam Law, Farwah BukhariFarwah Bukhari, Luke JonesLuke Jones, Ali AbbasAli Abbas, Michael WallsMichael Walls

The cover glass sheet on solar modules can cause reflection losses as well as soiling build-up. Reflection losses can be addressed with anti-reflection (AR) coatings, whilst soiling is removed by mechanical cleaning processes that are effective but can have adverse effects on surface coatings. In this work, multilayer broadband and commercial porous SiO2 AR coatings have been subject to abrasion testing that simulates the regular cleaning of solar modules in the field, using Felt Pad and CS-10 abradant materials. The Felt Pad abrasion has no impact on the multilayer coating, but caused visible damage to the porous SiO2, increasing WAR from 5.97% to 6.75% after 100 cycles. After 50 and 100 abrasion cycles of CS-10, significant scratches are visible on the porous SiO2 coating, and the weighted average reflectance (WAR) of the coating increases from 5.97% to 7.08% after 100 cycles. The coating is fully removed in some abraded areas. The multilayer AR coating also experiences some damage after CS-10 abrasion, increasing WAR from 5.84% to 6.68%. Optical microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) show the nature of the abrasion damage caused. Overall, the multilayer AR coating shows significantly higher abrasion resistance than the porous SiO2. Significant abrasion damage to porous SiO2 AR coatings is a major problem for solar asset managers resulting in long-term power losses.


A durable and scalable anti-soiling coating for solar modules

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research Unit

  • Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

Published in

2022 IEEE 49th Photovoltaics Specialists Conference (PVSC)


786 - 791


2022 IEEE 49th Photovoltaics Specialists Conference (PVSC)


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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© 2022 IEEE. 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.

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Philadelphia, PA, USA

Event dates

5th June 2022 - 10th June 2022


Prof Michael Walls. Deposit date: 5 January 2023

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