PV modules with depth-structured glass – unique selling point due to glare-free design and increased yield
It is becoming ever more important to stand out with special product features in the highly competitive solar market. The use of special glass for PV modules offers an ideal opportunity to clearly differentiate oneself from the competition; in particular, the use of deep textured prismatic glass offers an excellent opportunity here. The use of depth-structured solar glass not only offers the possibility to stand out visually from the uniformity of standard modules, but also has a variety of technical advantages that suggest its use. A glance at the detail provides information:
What is depth-structured glass?
In contrast to the front glass normally used for solar modules, so-called "deep textured glass" has a distinctly structured surface with a depth of approximately one millimetre, which makes use of principles in physics to increase module efficiency.
In order to convert sunlight efficiently into electricity, the reflection and energy transmission of solar glass play a decisive role. Up to now, glass manufacturers have made efforts to improve the transmission value of glass by reducing the iron content. Now a solar glass with a significantly increased transmittance is achieved through the structured design of the surface. During production, the surface of the glass is structured in such a way that a so-called light trap effect occurs. This reduces the external reflection between the air and the glass surface and directs some of the light back into the glass. This measurably increases the module efficiency.
Why depth-structured glass?
Laboratory tests show that the use of polycrystalline silicon solar cells with special depth-structured solar glasses increases efficiency by around two percent.
Even with roofs or systems that are not optimally oriented, such as those with an east-west orientation, the plant operator can expect up to seven percent more yield compared to modules with standard glass.
Another interesting advantage is the significant reduction of glare due to the structured surface of the glass – whether with or without ARC coating (anti-reflection coating). This opens up new possibilities for locations that are susceptible to glare or even impermissible, such as near airports, and also enables the safe use of PV modules in densely built-up residential areas.
Backlog demand for simulation software
The only downside at the moment is the urgent need to catch up so as to map the special features of this technology in the current simulation software in order to take the increase in efficiency measured in laboratory tests into account in the preparation of profitability calculations. At present, this does not always make it easy to show the extra price for this type of glass in sales talks. The aim must therefore be to name the existing added value in the argumentation. On the one hand the higher performance of the module, on the other hand the visual unique selling point of the surface structure.
With the ECO LINE NON-REFLECT from Luxor Solar, Krannich Solar offers a module that meets the highest requirements for a glare-free solar module. The module is manufactured with special non-reflecting solar glass and is perfectly suited for places where no reflections can be reflected by the modules, such as airports or next to streets and housing estates.