Integrated Lightweight, Glass-Free PV Module Technology for Box Bodies of Commercial Trucks
We propose a new integrated photovoltaic module technology and manufacturing process for the seamless integration into box body roofs of commercial trucks to unlock a 90.2 GW potential in the EU. Our approach is to laminate c-Si photovoltaic cells with an ETFE-top cover onto conventional GFRP-hard-foam sandwich elements, which can be directly installed with conventional box body profiles. We find that VIPV modules must be lead-free and report results of Hot-Spot, Wet-leakage test and insulation tests to prove the electrical safety of the new concept. We perform UV, DH and accelerated TC testing on minimodules and find a mean PMPP drop of 3.6% for PERC, ribbon soldered half-cell modules after accelerated TC200 due to finger failure and partial ribbon disconnections. We conclude that conventional soldered ribbon based interconnection in combination with polymer based cover materials lead to unfavorable thermomechanical stresses in TC. We propose the usage of interconnection technologies that are less sensitive to thermomechanical stresses like Multiwire or shingling as we find that the mean drop in PMPP of shingle modules to be 1%. PERC Solar cells encapsulated using the proposed module design remain stable after DH1000 and UV 60 kWh/m². We equipped a Mega electronics e-Worker with a photovoltaic active box body featuring the first generation of proposed module technology and reported initial monitoring results after 10 months of outdoor operation.