Thermomechanical Evaluation of New PV Module Designs by FEM Simulations
We present an evaluation of the solar cell and PV module size regarding their impact on thermomechanical stress. The evaluation is based on finite element method (FEM) simulations. Within these simulations, we perform parameter variations of (i) the number of solar cells within a PV module from 60 up to 140 cells, (ii) the cell size from 156.0 mm (M1) up to 161.75 mm (M4) and (iii) the cell format from full cells down to quarter cells. The FEM simulations cover the lamination process and mechanical load of 2400 Pa and 5400 Pa for glass-foil as well as glass-glass modules. The presented results reveal correlations between the solar cell and module size with the stress in solar cells. Our investigations show that the increase of the number of solar cells within a PV module has the largest impact on the stress. However, at a mechanical load of 2400 Pa glass-foil modules with less than 96 solar cells have a negligible failure probability. The advantage of placing the solar cells in the neutral axis of the laminate is proven by the negligible tensile stress values for all variations of glass-glass modules even at 5400 Pa.