The Green Living Guy

Young scientists from the Fraunhofer centre for silicon photovoltaics, CSP, were awarded with the prize for the best scientific poster at the international workshop covering the theme of module reliability. Their work »Mechanical Issues on Solar Modules and Encapsulated Components« was chosen as the best poster from more than 70 international entries. The team led by Dr. Matthias Ebert convinced the jury through its superb scientific methods and the innovation-level of its results in the area of module mechanisms.

The module reliability team from the Fraunhofer CSP discussed the question of the way in which solar cells behave in a module when they are subjected to severe changes in temperature and mechanical loads such as wind and snow. In this context, the researchers simulated changes in temperature and worked with different load scenarios. During the temperature simulation for the lamination it was ascertained that the copper ribbons change over the long term subsequent to cooling.

During the load tests they also ascertained that the parameters of the solar cells and encapsulating materials had a considerable influence on the structural behaviour. With these results, it is now possible to optimise the mechanical design of solar modules in computer simulations and therefore improve the lifespan of the components over the long term. The research work took place primarily in the context of the Solarvalley »xμ-Module« cluster project.

The project is also being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF project number 03SF0337A).

The Fraunhofer centre for silicon photovoltaics, CSP, is a shared organisation of the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials Mechanics (IWM) and of the Fraunhofer Institute for solar energy systems, ISE. It is divided into the sections »Reliability and Technologies for Grid Parity« and »Laboratory for Crystallisation technology«. It carries out applied research in the area of solar modules and solar wafers and develops new technologies, from wafer production to module manufacturing. Its work also focuses on the development of new materials along the entire value added chain.

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