Improving the aesthetics of photovoltaics through use of coloured encapsulants

Hardy, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-6028-7555, Kerrouche, A., Roaf, S.C. and Richards, B.S., 2013. Improving the aesthetics of photovoltaics through use of coloured encapsulants. In: PLEA2013 - 29th Conference, Sustainable Architecture for a Renewable Future, Munich, Germany, 10-12 September 2013, Munich, Germany.


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Photovoltaics (solar cells) are important in the creation of sustainable architecture, but are difficult to integrate into a wide variety of architectural styles, which is necessary if this technology is to be extensively used. Adding variety to the colour range in these installations will provide a way of making this solar energy technology more visually exciting, so methods need to be found to add colour at minimal extra cost, without loss of efficiency. Adding colour to photovoltaic encapsulant materials offers a solution. It is shown that fluorescent, organic Lumogen dyes (BASF) can be added to the photovoltaic encapsulant materials Sylgard 184 (Dow Corning) and EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate). The dyes continue to fluoresce within these host materials. Encapsulating a photovoltaic cell with Sylgard containing Lumogen red 300 dye (BASF) demonstrates that light can be transported to a photovoltaic cell by the fluorescent dyes inside the encapsulant material that surrounds the cell. This slightly improves the electricity output from the photovoltaic cell, and is especially promising for use in light-transmissive photovoltaic arrays incorporating widely-spaced photovoltaic cells, such as architectural glass art that incorporates photovoltaics. Further work is needed to test and improve the performance of the dyes over time, to ensure that installations incorporating this technology can last for the minimum twenty years that is the current industry standard for photovoltaics.

Item Type: Conference contribution
Creators: Hardy, D., Kerrouche, A., Roaf, S.C. and Richards, B.S.
Date: 2013
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:57
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:45

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