The market for solar is driven by improved efficiency and lower costs for solar overall. To date the vast majority of homes harnessing the sun's energy are doing so using rack-mounted modules installed on rooftops. However, as the market for solar continues to grow, the demand for differentiated solar solutions has expanded as well.
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and building-applied photovoltaics (BAPV; retrofit) incorporate solar photovoltaic materials in place of traditional building materials of a home or building such as in the roof, skylights or facades. The intent of both BIPV and BAPV is to generate electricity for on-site use or for export to the grid. While aesthetically minded homeowners and architects want to embrace the benefits of solar and maintain visual appeal, manufacturers have struggled to satisfy both of these desires.
Discerning solar customers and architects can combine the available PV ribbon colors of Sunwire® Deco by Luvata Special Products, with teamtechnik's stringer systems and unique hold-down devices. This means that solar customers no longer have to compromise with the visually intrusive silver lines of solar ribbon running across the PV module. Sunwire Deco in black, the most popular alternative color, blends naturally into the solar panel, making the panel virtually invisible on the rooftop.
PV module manufacturers also benefit from this development. teamtechnik is a worldwide technology leader for stringer systems. Its high output stringer systems separate the handling process from the soldering process, which minimize the thermal stress and therefore also reduce stress cracks in the solar cells. This means that PV modules manufacturers see breakage rates of less than 0.1 – 0.3%.
The advantages of Sunwire Deco also mean that it will exert lower stresses on solar cells, thus leading to reduced cell breakage. A solar ribbon's yield strength influences how much stress the soldered ribbon can cause on a silicon cell – the higher the stress, the higher the risk of fracturing the cell. Sunwire is available with lower yield strength, proven to be the softest and straightest solar PV ribbon on the market today.
"Major solar modules manufacturers around the world rely on the high-speed and high-performance of our stringer systems," indicates Sven Kramer, Vice President Sales of Solar Technology with teamtechnik. "Sunwire Deco runs excellent on our stringer systems, helping us in meeting the growing demand for BIPV."
Luvata Special Products and teamtechnik have partnered with the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) for fabrication, testing, and evaluation of PV modules incorporating Sunwire Deco in black. The institute has dedicated state-of-the-art module fabrication and testing facilities for advanced module development. The black module was fabricated at SERIS and has passed standard reliability tests such as the thermal cycling and damp-heat tests; longer term reliability tests are ongoing.
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