Rapid Calculation of the Backsheet Coupling Gain Using Ray Groups
Internal reflections within photovoltaic modules are known to contribute to power gains from cell to module. The module rear cover, usually a white backsheet, is one module component reflecting additional light onto the solar cell. A novel approach to model the effect of backsheet reflectance on the achievable coupling gain in solar modules is presented. Using a discrete ray optics approach, results can be calculated rapidly for arbitrary reflectance distributions using a partition of the emerging rays into groups. The model is fully wavelength resolved, using measured data to model optical material properties. It is therefore suitable for arbitrary material stacks in front of and behind the solar cell with a single diffusely scattering layer. We study the impact of layer thicknesses, incidence angle and distribution function on the coupling gain using the presented approach. Comparison to measurements of the coupling gain using single cell modules shows good agreement with the calculated results.