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Published on November 9th, 2014 | by Mridul Chadha

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White Solar PV Modules Open New Windows Of Possibilities In Building-Integrated Solar Power Market

November 9th, 2014 by  


Building-integrated solar photovoltaic modules are fast catching up in the rapidly evolving construction business where emphasis on energy efficiency and self-reliance are becoming increasingly popular.

White PV Modules

The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) recently announced that it has created white solar PV modules which would be apt for use in buildings and may offer applications in several other consumer-centered sectors. Conventional solar PV modules are blue or black in colour, which may adversely impact the aesthetics of a building. The dark colour of the modules comes from the cells and electrical connections within the module. The dark colour also helps in greater absorption of solar radiation.

The technology developed by CSEM uses a scattering filter to produce white light while allowing the infrared radiation to pass through to the solar cells. This technology can be used to modify any crystalline solar PV module to produce white or coloured modules.

Additionally, the scattering filter can be applied to already installed modules or integrated into the modules during the manufacturing phase. Integration of this technique into the assembly line would help module manufacturers widen their product portfolio.

Coloured solar modules can be used in laptops, mobiles, tablet computers, cars, and several other consumer products. Rumours of an iPhone equipped with solar cells have been prevalent for years now; this technology may finally help mobile manufacturers achieve this goal without compromising on the looks of the device.

Companies with large office spaces are looking at building-integrated PV modules as a promising technology to reduce dependence of grid electricity and reduce their carbon footprint. With companies and even households around the world pushing for integration of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems within their infrastructure, this new technology could help give the BI-PV industry the push it requires.

However, what it often comes down to is cost per kWh of electricity produced. BIPV products such as these are really nothing new. They’ve been around for ages. They still have only a small market because they just aren’t as competitive as conventional PV. Will something change with these new white solar modules? I’m not holding my breath.

Related:

SolarWindows from New Energy Technologies

‘Invisible Wires’ for Transporting Electricity on SolarWindows

One Step Closer to Invisible Solar Cells in Our Windows

Power-Generating Windows Offer New Horizons for Office Energy Efficiency

Solar Power Generation from the Windows — See-Through Solar Cells from Sharp

Solar Cells for Windows Take Another Step Forward

Stained Glass Windows On Cathedral Are Solar Panels

Solar Power Windows Fast Approaching Commercial Production

Solar Glass Buildings Now Possible, Just 10% Increase In Total Building Facade Cost

Solar Windows from UK Company Could Hit Market in 2013

See-Thru Solar: These Transparent Solar Windows Generate Electricity

Solar Harvesting System Works Transparently on Windows

–> More stories on solar windows.

–> More BIPV stories.

Image Credit: CSEM 
 
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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.



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