Systematic Operating Temperature Differences between Al-BSF, PERC, and PERT-With-Optimized-Rear-Reflector Solar Mini-Modules Due to Rear Reflectance

Jonathan Bryan, Timothy Silverman, Michael Deceglie, Mason Mahaffey, Peter Firth, Zachary Holman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Reflecting sub-bandgap light from photovoltaic modules has the potential to improve lifetime energy generation of fielded systems by reducing operating temperature. In this article, the temperature of fielded aluminum back-surface field (Al-BSF) and passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) mini-modules was monitored every 5 minutes for 75 days along with corresponding meteorological data. Additionally, passivated emitter rear totally diffused (PERT) mini-modules with high-performance sub-bandgap rear reflectors were tested and compared to the state-of-the-art industrial modules. These reflectors consisted of a >300-nm-thick silicon dioxide nanoparticle film with a low refractive index. The impact of reflectance on measured operating temperature was isolated with a previously developed thermal model and quantified as the reflectance-induced median temperature difference between each tested module at representative outdoor conditions (1000 W·m-2, 25 °C ambient temperature, and 1.43 m·s-1 wind speed). We found that, because of their reflectance differences, PERC modules ran systematically cooler than Al-BSF modules by 1.0 °C, whereas the PERT-with-optimized-rear-reflector systematically operated 1.4 °C cooler than the Al-BSF module and 0.4 °C than the PERC module. We also found that the rear reflector provided the greatest temperature benefit during periods of highest irradiance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Keywords

  • Optics
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Photovoltaic systems
  • Solar panels
  • Thermal management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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