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A solar module fabrication process for HALE solar electric UAVs

Description: We describe a fabrication process used to manufacture high power-to-weight-ratio flexible solar array modules for use on high-altitude-long-endurance (HALE) solar-electric unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). These modules have achieved power-to-weight ratios of 315 and 396 W/kg for 150{mu}m-thick monofacial and 110{mu}m-thick bifacial silicon solar cells, respectively. These calculations reflect average module efficiencies of 15.3% (150{mu}m) and 14.7% (110{mu}m) obtained from electrical tests performed by Spectrolab, Inc. under AMO global conditions at 25{degrees}C, and include weight contributions from all module components (solar cells, lamination material, bypass diodes, interconnect wires, and adhesive tape used to attach the modules to the wing). The fabrication, testing, and performance of 32 m{sup 2} of these modules will be described.
Date: December 12, 1994
Creator: Carey, P.G.; Aceves, R.C.; Colella, N.J.; Williams, K.A.; Sinton, R.A. & Glenn, G.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterizing (rating) the performance of large photovoltaic arrays for all operating conditions

Description: A new method has been developed for characterizing the electrical performance of photovoltaic arrays. The method provides both a ``rating`` at standard reporting conditions and a rigorous yet straightforward model for predicting array performance at all operating conditions. For the first time, the performance model handles the influences of irradiance, module temperature, solar spectrum, solar angle-of-incidence, and temperature coefficients, in a practical way. Validity of the procedure was confirmed during field testing of a 25-kW array recently installed by Arizona Public Service Co. on Carol Spring Mountain (which powers microwave, ceullular phone, and TV communictions equipment). This paper describes the characterization procedure, measured array performance, and the predictive model.
Date: June 1, 1996
Creator: King, D.L. & Eckert, P.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Blocking diodes and fuses in low-voltage PV systems

Description: Instructions and labels supplied with listed PV modules and the requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC) dictate that a series fuse shall be used to protect the module against backfeed currents. Few of the hundreds of thousands of low-voltage (12, 24, and 48-volt) stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) power systems use series fuses on each module or string of modules. Tests and simulations at the Southwest Technology Development Institute (TDI) and at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) have established that the absence of these fuses can pose significant fire and safety hazards even on 12-volt PV systems. If the system has sufficient backfeed voltage and current, it is possible that a ground fault in the wiring or inside a module can result in the destruction of a PV module.
Date: November 1, 1997
Creator: Wiles, J.C. & King, D.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Large-area Silicon-Film{trademark} panels and solar cells. Phase 2 technical report, January 1996--December 1996

Description: The Silicon-Film{trademark} process is on an accelerated path to large-scale manufacturing. A key element in that development is optimizing the specific geometry of both the Silicon-Film{trademark} sheet and the resulting solar cell. That decision has been influenced by cost factors, engineering concerns, and marketing issues. The geometry investigation has focused first on sheet nominally 15 cm wide. This sheet generated solar cells with areas of 240 cm{sup 2} and 675 cm{sup 2}. Most recently, a new sheet fabrication machine was constructed that produces Silicon-Film{trademark} with a width in excess of 30 cm. Test results have indicated that there is no limit to the width of sheet generated by this process. The new wide material has led to prototype solar cells with areas of 300, 400, and 1,800 cm{sup 2}. Significant advances in solar-cell processing have been developed in support of fabricating large-area devices, including uniform emitter diffusion and anti-reflection coatings.
Date: March 1, 1997
Creator: Rand, J.A.; Barnett, A.M.; Checchi, J.C.; Culik, J.S.; Collins, S.R.; Ford, D.H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development and evaluation of sealing technologies for photovoltaic panels

Description: This report summarizes the results of a study to develop and evaluate low temperature glass sealing technologies for photovoltaic applications. This work was done as part of Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) No. SC95/01408. The sealing technologies evaluated included low melting temperature glass frits and solders. Because the glass frit joining required a material with a melting temperature that exceeded the allowable temperature for the active elements on the photovoltaic panels a localized heating scheme was required for sealing the perimeter of the glass panels. Thermal and stress modeling were conducted to identify the feasibility of this approach and to test strategies designed to minimize heating of the glass panel away from its perimeter. Hardware to locally heat the glass panels during glass frit joining was designed, fabricated, and successfully tested. The same hardware could be used to seal the glass panels using the low temperature solders. Solder adhesion to the glass required metal coating of the glass. The adhesion strength of the solder was dependent on the surface finish of the glass. Strategies for improving the polyisobutylene (PIB) adhesive currently being used to seal the panels and the use of Parylene coatings as a protective sealant deposited on the photovoltaic elements were also investigated. Starting points for further work are included.
Date: July 1, 1998
Creator: Glass, S.J.; Hosking, F.M. & Baca, P.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SolarTile: A rooftop integrated photovoltaic system. Phase 1, final report

Description: AstroPower, Royal Group Technologies, and Solar Design Associates are jointly developing an integrated photovoltaic roofing system for residential and light commercial building applications. This family of products will rely heavily on the technological development of a roofing tile made from recycled plastic and innovative module fabrication and encapsulation processes in conjunction with an advanced Silicon-Film{trademark} solar cell product. This solar power generating roofing product is presently being referred to as the SolarTile. A conceptual drawing of the solar roofing tile is shown. The SolarTile will be integrated with non-solar tiles in a single roof installation permitting ease of assembly and the ability to use conventional roofing techniques at ridges, valleys, and eaves. The Phase 1 effort included tasks aimed at the development of the proposed product concept; product manufacturing or fabrication, and installation cost estimates; business planning; and a market assessment of the proposed product, including target selling prices, target market sectors, size estimates for each market sector, and planned distribution mechanisms for market penetration. Technical goals as stated in the Phase 1 proposal and relevant progress are reported.
Date: March 26, 1998
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ballast-mounted PV arrays: Phase 2 final report

Description: The expansive flat rooftops of industrial and commercial buildings across America offer the largest, most secure, and potentially least-cost real estate opportunity to install massive amounts of solar photovoltaic generation in the building sector. Unfortunately, mechanical penetration of roofing membranes is very expensive and perceived by building owners and operators to increase the likelihood of leaking. In response Ascension Technology has pioneered the development of low-cost ballasted approaches for mounting PV arrays. Recently, however, we have experienced our first two instances in which strong winds have moved our arrays on rooftops and heightened our interest, and the PV industries' need, to develop zero-penetration mounting techniques that are more secure, yet remain low in cost. In this PV BONUS project, Ascension Technology and its partners addressed wind loading on solar panels and the suitability of using frictional forces between ballast trays and roofing materials to resist PV arrays sliding on rooftops. The primary goal of the project is to capture the potential cost savings made possible by ballast-mounting by showing under what conditions it can satisfy wind loading concerns. A secondary goal is to address a more geographically constrained concern regarding withstanding seismic forces.
Date: March 1, 2000
Creator: Kern, Edward C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Temperature coefficients for PV modules and arrays: Measurement methods, difficulties, and results

Description: The term temperature coefficient has been applied to several different photovoltaic performance parameters, including voltage, current, and power. The procedures for measuring the coefficient(s) for modules and arrays are not yet standardized, and systematic influences are common in the test methods used to measure them. There are also misconceptions regarding their application. Yet, temperature coefficients, however obtained, play an important role in PV system design and sizing, where often the worst case operating condition dictates the array size. This paper describes effective methods for determining temperature coefficients for cells, modules, and arrays; identifies sources of systematic errors in measurements; gives typical measured values for modules; and provides guidance for their application in system engineering.
Date: November 1, 1997
Creator: King, D.L.; Kratochvil, J.A. & Boyson, W.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

GaAs series connected photovoltaic converters for high voltage capacitor charging applications

Description: This report describes the design features of series connected photovoltaic arrays which will be required to charge capacitors to relatively high (400V) voltages in time periods on the order of 1 microsecond. The factors which determine the array voltage and the capacitor charge time are given. Individual element junction designs, along with an interconnect scheme, and a semiconductor process to realize them are presented. Finally, the input laser optical required to meet the requirements is determined.
Date: September 1, 1997
Creator: Rose, B.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A comparison of photovoltaic module performance evaluation methodologies for energy ratings

Description: The rating of photovoltaic (PV) modules has always been a controversial topic in the PV community. Currently, there is no industry standard methodology to evaluate PV modules for energy production. This issue must be discussed and resolved for the benefit of system planners, utilities, and other consumers. Several methodologies are available to rate a module`s peak power, but do any accurately predict energy output for flat-plate modules? This paper analyzes the energy performance of PV modules using six different energy calculation techniques and compares the results to the measured amount of energy produced. The results indicate which methods are the most effective for predicting energy output in Golden, Colorado, under prevailing meteorological conditions.
Date: October 1, 1995
Creator: Kroposki, B.; Emery, K.; Myers, D. & Mrig, L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rooftop PV system. PV:BONUS Phase 3B, final technical report

Description: Under the PV:BONUS Program, ECD and United Solar developed, demonstrated and commercialized two new lightweight, flexible BIPV modules specifically designed as replacements for conventional asphalt shingles and standing seam metal roofing. These modules can be economically and aesthetically integrated into new residential and commercial buildings, and can be used to address the even larger roofing-replacement market. An important design feature of these modules, which minimizes the installation and balance-of-system costs, is their ability to be installed by conventional roofing contractors without special training. The modules are fabricated from high-efficiency, triple-junction spectrum-splitting a-Si alloy solar cells developed by ECD and United Solar. These cells are produced on thin, flexible stainless steel substrates and encapsulated with polymer materials. The Phase 3 program began in August 1995. The principal tasks and goals of this program, which have all been successfully completed by ECD and United Solar, are described in the body and appendices of this report.
Date: November 1, 1998
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Manufacturing improvements in the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) Project

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology Project (PVMaT) is a government/industry research and development (R and D) partnership between the US federal government (through the US Department of Energy [DOE]) and members of the US PV industry. The goals of PVMaT are to help the US PV industry improve module manufacturing processes and equipment; accelerate manufacturing cost reductions for PV modules, balance-of-systems components, and integrated systems; increase commercial product performance and reliability; and enhance the investment opportunities for substantial scale-ups of US-based PV manufacturing plant capacities. The approach for PVMaT has been to cost-share risk taking by industry as it explores new manufacturing options and ideas for improved PV modules and other components, advances system and product integration, and develops new system designs, all of which will lead to overall reduced system life-cycle costs for reliable PV end products. The PVMaT Phase 4A module manufacturing R and D projects are just being completed and initial results for the work directed primarily to module manufacture are reported in this paper. Fourteen new Phase 5A subcontracts have also just been awarded and planned R and D areas for the ten focused on module manufacture are described. Finally, government funding, subcontractor cost sharing, and a comparison of the relative efforts by PV technology throughout the PVMaT project are presented.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Witt, C.E.; Mitchell, R.L.; Thomas, H.P.; Symko, M.I.; King, R. & Ruby, D.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A solar array module fabrication process for HALE solar electric UAVs

Description: We describe a fabrication process to manufacture high power to weight ratio flexible solar array modules for use on high altitude long endurance (HALE) solar electric unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). A span-loaded flying wing vehicle, known as the RAPTOR Pathfinder, is being employed as a flying test bed to expand the envelope of solar powered flight to high altitudes. It requires multiple light weight flexible solar array modules able to endure adverse environmental conditions. At high altitudes the solar UV flux is significantly enhanced relative to sea level, and extreme thermal variations occur. Our process involves first electrically interconnecting solar cells into an array followed by laminating them between top and bottom laminated layers into a solar array module. After careful evaluation of candidate polymers, fluoropolymer materials have been selected as the array laminate layers because of their inherent abilities to withstand the hostile conditions imposed by the environment.
Date: December 1, 1993
Creator: Carey, P. G.; Aceves, R. C.; Colella, N. J.; Thompson, J. B. & Williams, K. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fourth-generation photovoltaic concentrator system development

Description: In 1991, under a contract with Sandia for the Concentrator Initiative, the ENTECH team initiated the design and development of a fourth-generation concentrator module. In 1992, Sandia also contracted with ENTECH to develop a new control and drive system for the ENTECH array. This report documents the design and development work performed under both contracts. Manufacturing processes for the new module were developed at the same time under a complementary PVMaT contract with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Two 100-kW power plants were deployed in 1995 in Texas using the newly developed fourth-generation concentrator technology, one at the CSW Solar Park near Ft. Davis and one at TUE Energy Park in Dallas. Technology developed under the Sandia contracts has made a successful transition from the laboratory to the production line to the field.
Date: October 1, 1995
Creator: O`Neill, M. J. & McDanal, A. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Photovoltaic performance and reliability workshop

Description: This proceedings is the compilation of papers presented at the ninth PV Performance and Reliability Workshop held at the Sheraton Denver West Hotel on September 4--6, 1996. This years workshop included presentations from 25 speakers and had over 100 attendees. All of the presentations that were given are included in this proceedings. Topics of the papers included: defining service lifetime and developing models for PV module lifetime; examining and determining failure and degradation mechanisms in PV modules; combining IEEE/IEC/UL testing procedures; AC module performance and reliability testing; inverter reliability/qualification testing; standardization of utility interconnect requirements for PV systems; need activities to separate variables by testing individual components of PV systems (e.g. cells, modules, batteries, inverters,charge controllers) for individual reliability and then test them in actual system configurations; more results reported from field experience on modules, inverters, batteries, and charge controllers from field deployed PV systems; and system certification and standardized testing for stand-alone and grid-tied systems.
Date: October 1, 1996
Creator: Kroposki, B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Photovoltaic Energy Program Overview Fiscal Year 1996

Description: Significant activities in the National Photovoltaic Program are reported for each of the three main program elements. In Research and Development, advances in thin-film materials and crystalline silicon materials are described. The Technology Development report describes activities in photovoltaic manufacturing technology, industrial expansion, module and array development, and testing photovoltaic system components. Systems Engineering and Applications projects described include projects with government agencies, projects with utilities, documentation of performance for international applications, and product certification.
Date: May 1, 1997
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Photovoltaic module and array performance characterization methods for all system operating conditions

Description: This paper provides new test methods and analytical procedures for characterizing the electrical performance of photovoltaic modules and arrays. The methods use outdoor measurements to provide performance parameters both at standard reporting conditions and for all operating conditions encountered by typical photovoltaic systems. Improvements over previously used test methods are identified, and examples of the successful application of the methodology are provided for crystalline- and amorphous-silicon modules and arrays. This work provides an improved understanding of module and array performance characteristics, and perhaps most importantly, a straight- forward yet rigorous model for predicting array performance at all operating conditions. For the first time, the influences of solar irradiance, operating temperature, solar spectrum, solar angle-of- incidence, and temperature coefficients are all addressed in a practical way that will benefit both designers and users of photovoltaics.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: King, D.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measuring solar spectral and angle-of-incidence effects on photovoltaic modules and solar irradiance sensors

Description: Historically, two time-of-day dependent factors have complicated the characterization of photovoltaic module and array performance; namely, changes in the solar spectrum over the day and optical effects in the module that vary with the solar angle-of-incidence. This paper describes straightforward methods for directly measuring the effects of these two factors. Measured results for commercial modules, as well as for typical solar irradiance sensors (pyranometers) are provided. The empirical relationships obtained from the measurements can be used to improve the methods used for system design, verification of performance after installation, and diagnostic monitoring of performance during operation.
Date: November 1, 1997
Creator: King, D.L.; Kratochvil, J.A. & Boyson, W.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

On-grid PV implementation program. Phase I report, August 1994--January 1995

Description: Southern California Edison Company (Edison) is finalizing a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop high value On-Grid applications for electricity from Photovoltaics (PV). Edison`s efforts are the result of Edison`s long-standing commitment to the pursuit of Renewable Energy. Edison has been a world leader in the development and use of PV. As the technology becomes more commercial, Edison has been actively seeking more applications for PV. After strenuous effort, Edison has now received approval to offer off-grid PV packages within its service territory. In addition, Edison has been very interested in finding high-value on-grid PV applications that may have the potential to become cost effective as PV applications increase and prices decline. Such high-value applications at Edison and other utilities will accelerate the price reductions, which in turn will increase the number of cost-effective applications, driving towards a market competitive with traditional sources of energy. Edison`s efforts build upon the work done by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) at their Kerman substation, but goes much further than that effort. Edison submitted its original proposal to the DOE on June 30, 1993. A revised proposal was submitted on February 1, 1994, in response to a letter from the DOE`s Director of Solar Energy, Robert H. Annan. In a letter dated March 30, 1994, from Paul K. Kearns, Head of Contracting Activity for the DOE`s Golden Field Office, the DOE conditionally approved certain pre-award contract costs. The Cooperative Agreement with DOE was executed on August 16, 1994.
Date: November 29, 1994
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solar electric buildings: An overview of today`s applications

Description: This brochure presents a broad look at photovoltaic-powered buildings. It includes residential and commercial systems, both stand-alone and connected to utility power, that are located in urban, near-urban, and rural settings around the world. As photovoltaic (PV) technology continues to improve and costs drop, opportunities for PV will multiply. PV systems for buildings, such as those shown here, represent one of the strongest near-term markets.
Date: February 1, 1997
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Large-area Silicon-Film{trademark} panels and solar cells. Final technical report, July 1995--March 1998

Description: This report will detail substantial improvements in each of the task areas. A number of new products were developed, including a 130 kW array built using a new panel design. Improvements in laboratory-scale solar cell processing resulted in a confirmed efficiency of 16.6%. A new Silicon-Film{trademark} production sheet machine was built which increased throughput by 70%. Three solar cell fabrication processes were converted from low throughout batch processes to high throughput, continuous, belt processes. These new processes are capable of processing sheet over 31 cm in width. Finally, a new Silicon-Film{trademark} sheet machine was built that demonstrated a sheet width of 38 cm. This tool enabled AstroPower to demonstrate a wide range of solar cell sizes, many of which have generated considerable market interest.
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Rand, J.A.; Bai, Y.; Barnett, A.M.; Culik, J.S.; Ford, D.H.; Hall, R.B. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PV cell and module performance measurement capabilities at NREL

Description: The Photovoltaic (PV) Cell and Module Performance Characterization team at NREL supports the entire photovoltaic community by providing: secondary calibrations of photovoltaic cells and modules; efficiency measurements with respect to a given set of standard reporting conditions; verification of contract efficiency milestones; and current versus voltage (I-V) measurements under various conditions of temperature, spectral irradiance, and total irradiance. Support is also provided to in-house programs in device fabrication, module stability, module reliability, PV systems evaluations, and alternative rating methods by performing baseline testing, specialized measurements and other assistance when required. The I-V and spectral responsivity equipment used to accomplish these tasks are described in this paper.
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Rummel, S.; Emery, K.; Field, H.; Moriarty, T.; Anderberg, A.; Dunlavy, D. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Certification of solar products - The Florida experience

Description: Florida legislation enacted in 1976 directed the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) to develop standards for solar energy systems manufactured or sold in the state, establish criteria for testing the performance of solar energy systems, and provide a means to display compliance with approved performance tests for these systems. This mandate has been effectively implemented for both solar domestic water heating and solar pool heating systems. With growing interest and markets for photovoltaic systems, plans are presently being developed to expand the scope of the mandate to include photovoltaic technology. This paper discusses four complementary facets of a photovoltaic (PV) system certification program. They include PV module performance characterization and rating; PV system design review and approval; examination and authorization of photovoltaic system installers; and inspection and acceptance testing of PV system installation. The suggested photovoltaic system process builds on lessons learned from over 20 years of testing, certifying and labeling of solar thermal collectors, and the certification of solar thermal systems.
Date: February 2, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department