Reduction of Glass Surface Reflectance by Ion Beam Surface Modification

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This is the final report for DOE contract DE-EE0000590. The purpose of this work was to determine the feasibility of the reduction of the reflection from the front of solar photovoltaic modules. Reflection accounts for a power loss of approximately 4%. A solar module having an area of one square meter with an energy conversion efficiency of 18% generates approximately 180 watts. If reflection loss can be eliminated, the power output can be increased to 187 watts. Since conventional thin-film anti-reflection coatings do not have sufficient environmental stability, we investigated the feasibility of ion beam modification of the glass surface ... continued below

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41 pages

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Spitzer, Mark March 11, 2011.

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Description

This is the final report for DOE contract DE-EE0000590. The purpose of this work was to determine the feasibility of the reduction of the reflection from the front of solar photovoltaic modules. Reflection accounts for a power loss of approximately 4%. A solar module having an area of one square meter with an energy conversion efficiency of 18% generates approximately 180 watts. If reflection loss can be eliminated, the power output can be increased to 187 watts. Since conventional thin-film anti-reflection coatings do not have sufficient environmental stability, we investigated the feasibility of ion beam modification of the glass surface to obtain reduction of reflectance. Our findings are generally applicable to all solar modules that use glass encapsulation, as well as commercial float glass used in windows and other applications. Ion implantation of argon, fluorine, and xenon into commercial low-iron soda lime float glass, standard float glass, and borosilicate glass was studied by implantation, annealing, and measurement of reflectance. The three ions all affected reflectance. The most significant change was obtained by argon implantation into both low-iron and standard soda-lime glass. In this way samples were formed with reflectance lower than can be obtained with a single-layer coatings of magnesium fluoride. Integrated reflectance was reduced from 4% to 1% in low-iron soda lime glass typical of the glass used in solar modules. The reduction of reflectance of borosilicate glass was not as large; however borosilicate glass is not typically used in flat plate solar modules. Unlike conventional semiconductor ion implantation doping, glass reflectance reduction was found to be tolerant to large variations in implant dose, meaning that the process does not require high dopant uniformity. Additionally, glass implantation does not require mass analysis. Simple, high current ion implantation equipment can be developed for this process; however, before the process can be employed on full scale solar modules, equipment must be developed for ion implanting large sheets of glass. A cost analysis shows that the process can be economical. Our finding is that the reduction of reflectance by ion beam surface modification is technically and economically feasible. The public will benefit directly from this work by the improvement of photovoltaic module efficiency, and indirectly by the greater understanding of the modification of glass surfaces by ion beams.

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41 pages

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  • Report No.: DOEEE0000590-FR
  • Grant Number: EE0000590
  • DOI: 10.2172/1008857 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1008857
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc839373

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • March 11, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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Spitzer, Mark. Reduction of Glass Surface Reflectance by Ion Beam Surface Modification, report, March 11, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc839373/: accessed December 9, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.