TPedge: Progress on cost-efficient and durable edge-sealed PV modules
With TPedge we present an advanced frameless, polymer free encapsulation concept for silicon solar cells which addresses disadvantages and cost factors related to conventional solar modules. TPedge is a gas-filled, edge sealed, glass-glass module without polymeric encapsulation foils. The cost calculation indicates 5.7% lower costs of ownership for TPedge compared to the conventional module production due to savings for encapsulation foils and frame. Results from successful and extended module testing (i.e. 4000 hours damp-heat, PMPP = -1.3%) and 4 years of outdoor exposure prove good reliability of the concept. We perform a cell-to-module (CTM) analysis of TPedge and other concepts and calculate gain and loss factors. We find TPedge to have increased reflection losses compared to conventional modules and a lower CTMpower ratio (0.906). We combine CTM-analysis and cost calculation and find the specific costs (e/Wp) for TPedge to be 1.2% lower compared to the conventional module concept. Weight analysis shows a lower weight of TPedge modules compared to conventional modules and glassglass laminates (-0.4 kg). A Carbon footprint analysis performed for different module concepts and important module materials shows a lower CO2-footprint of the materials used in TPedge modules compared to conventional modules.