Photovoltaics (PV) (Amorphous (thin-film))


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Description Thin-film photovoltaic cells are second generation solar modules where thin films of photovoltaic material is deposited on a substrate, this films are 50 to a 100 times thinner than human hair and as efficient as the bulkier thick-film solar cells. Thin-film photovoltaic cells can produce up to 60 kWh of electric energy per square meter per year. In addition, as part of the facade, this state-of-the-art technology can be integrated seamlessly into a new building. Amorphous silicon, the material usually used for producing thin-film photovoltaic cells, is applied as a thin coating onto a glass panel through plasma processing. Weighing 20 to 30 mg/m², these thin-film modules are significantly lighter than the usual wafer-based modules, which can weigh up to 1kg/m². Moreover, thin-film photovol-taic cells have a greater energy efficiency compared to crystalline modules. Accordingly, they continue to produce electricity in indirect sunlight and are only marginally temperature-sensitive. Even at an inclination angle of under ten degrees, they maintain their full potential. (Arnold Zentralverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH: www.glaswerke-arnold.de)
Advantages
  • Significant material and energy savings during production due to direct application of the material onto the backing layer, which is made of glass, metal or plastic.
  • Technical advantage as the cells use diffuse or poor sunlight more efficiently
  • Less susceptible to cloudy weather
  • Higher shape flexibility
  • Translucent and shadow-giving
  • Flexible usage as a ventilated curtain-wall façade or an insulating glass façade / overhead glazing
  • Usage without restrictions
Disadvantages
  • High investment cost
  • Lower degree of efficiency, thus greater module surface than crystalline module
Characteristic features

The efficiency of the technology is dependend on the sun

Application barriers

Insufficient maturity level (profitability)

Information sources http://solopower.com/
http://www.kaneka-solar.com/thin-film/
Image
Trade: Building services
Parameter Minimal Value Maximal Value Unit
Quantity of Modules

PCs

Cell Efficiency

10

13.4

%

Panel Efficiency

7.9

8.1

%

Annual Degradation Rate in Panel Efficiency (Estimated Lineal Degradation)

%

Annual Energy Yield

kWh/m2

Dimensions

1200/600/6.8

1684/1056/8.4

L/W/H in mm

Weight

12

37

kg

Surface Area

0.72

1.43

m2

Maximum Load

2400

Pa

Nominal Power Pmax

63.8

185

Wp

Open Circuit Voltage Voc

54.9

170.0

V

Short Circuit Current Isc

1.020

4.38

A

Maximum Power Point Voltage Vmpp

42.6

134.7

V

Maximum Power Point Current Impp

0.880

3.98

A

Normal Operating Cell Temperature NOCT

40

49

°C

Power Temp. Coeff (W/°C)

-0.49

-0.25

%

Current Temp. Coeff (Isc/°C)

-0.02

0.10

%

Voltage Temp. Coeff (Voc/°C)

-0.40

-0.20

%

Maximum System Voltage

600

1000

V

Maximum Current for Safety Design Purpose Maximum Current

A

Operating Efficiency

10

%

Annual Degradation Rate in Efficiency

%

Annual Produced Energy

kWh

Investment Cost

0.46

0.88

€/W

Operating Cost

1

% of plant price/year

Replacement Cost

1,157

Life Expectancy

15

years

Deterioration Description
Causes
Parameter
Degradation Rate
Measurement


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Renewable Energy Technologies

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