Design and Characterization of a Translucent Solar Module (TSM) for Greenhouse Structures
Remington S. Ketchum, Hao-Chih Yuan, Liliana Ruiz-Diaz, Nicholas P. Lyons, Sifang Cui, Michael Frasier, Sasaan A. Showghi, Kyung-Jo Kim, Aletheia Ida, Wei Pan, Robert A. Norwood

There exist numerous advantages of using building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology, including efficient use of solar energy, control of indoor illumination, and reduced energy use for cooling and heating. Current pioneer BIPV technologies have not been fully deployed due to lack of standardization, low adaptability, and moderate efficiency. Here we present a novel, effective, and reliable translucent solar module (TSM) which uses sparsely populated bifacial silicon (Si) photovoltaic (PV) cells and concentrating spectrum-selective dichroic reflectors to illuminate greenhouses and buildings while capturing near infrared light to enhance output. The TSM can be optimized for different applications by changing the dichroic design, varying the shape of the reflector, and altering the tilt-angle of the framing integration with greenhouse structures. Experimental results from a 410 x 500 mm2 proof-of-concept TSM show excellent agreement with theoretical values, demonstrating a field-of-view (FOV) collection of ±23° and generating up to ~30% more power than a traditional Si PV panel.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jea.v8n2a7