Glass as Encapsulation for Low-Cost Photovoltaic Solar Arrays

[+] Author and Article Information
F. L. Bouquet

Applied Mechanics Technology Section, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. 91109

J. Sol. Energy Eng 103(3), 221-232 (Aug 01, 1981) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3266244 History: Received April 08, 1981; Online November 11, 2009


In photovoltaic systems, the encapsulant material that protects the solar cells should be highly transparent and very durable. Glass satisfies these two criteria and is considered a primary candidate for low-cost, photovoltaic encapsulation systems. In this paper, various aspects of glass encapsulation are treated that are important for the designer of photovoltaic systems. Candidate glasses and available information defining the state of the art of glass encapsulation materials and processes for automated, high volume production of terrestrial photovoltaic devices and related applications are presented. The desired characteristics of glass encapsulation are (a) low degradation rates, (b) high transmittance, (c) high reliability, (d) low-cost and (e) high annual production capacity. The glass design areas treated herein include the types of glass, sources, prices, physical properties and glass modifications, such as antireflection coatings.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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