3D - PV Modules with Contour for Integrated Photovoltaics

Duration: 02/2021 - 01/2024
Contracting Authority/ Sponsors:
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)
Project Partners: Robert Bürkle GmbH; Netzsch Gerätebau GmbH; Saint-Gobain Research Germany
Project Focus:
Visualization of a PV car roof with shingled solar cells.
© Fraunhofer ISE
Visualization of a PV car roof with shingled solar cells.

The integration of photovoltaics into existing surfaces, devices and envelopes requires new module concepts and thus module manufacturing processes. Curved PV modules can be used in e-vehicle roofs, for example. The prototype of a curved PV car roof was manufactured at Fraunhofer ISE in 2019.

In order to be able to manufacture curved PV modules industrially, an industrial laminator as well as the required processes and module concepts are being developed in the "3D" project. In addition, methods for mechanical and electrical characterization are being developed and tested. Solar cell strings are examined by Magnetic Field Imaging (MFI) and conductive adhesives by Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA).


Development and construction of a laminator for 3D modules

In the "3D" project, the Robert Bürkle GmbH together with Fraunhofer ISE will develop a laminator for the industrial production of curved PV modules. Accompanying PV module concepts for different applications of curved PV modules will be manufactured As proof of the performance of 3D lamination, various application-oriented 3D PV modules will be manufactured with the new laminator.

Module development and characterization

In envelopes of vehicles and buildings, only a limited module area is available for integrated photovoltaics, so the modules must be as efficient as possible. One highly efficient module technology is shingling solar cells. Due to the curved design, the joints of the cells in the PV module are subjected to high mechanical stress. The cells are therefore interconnected with conductive adhesives that compensate for the strong stress. The output of the manufactured shingle modules should be at least 210 W/m2.

Netzsch-Gerätebau GmbH develops and constructs a special specimen holder for measuring the conductivity of the adhesives used during curing. In addition, a device for the non-destructive characterization of the joint is being further developed. This involves recording and analyzing the electromagnetic fields (Magnetic Field Imaging, MFI) of current flows in PV modules.

Methods for the electrical characterization of the new curved modules are being developed and established in the CalLab PV Modules at Fraunhofer ISE. The long-term stability of the modules is investigated, especially with regard to the new requirements due to the curvature. Finally, a techno-economic comparison of the lamination process for the production of curved PV modules with the autoclave process is carried out in cooperation with Saint-Gobain Research Germany.