Photo courtesy of Tecnalia. Composite photovoltaic module.
SECTOR: Renewable energies.
PROJECT: Applied Research on Multifunctional Coatings to Integrate Photovoltaics in Distributed Applications.
ACHIEVEMENT: Development of a multifunctional coating, which will complete and improve the durability performance of the photovoltaic module in several environmental working conditions.
The aim of the competitive Hazitek EKICOAT project (ZE-2022/00261) led by INNOMAT is to obtain a new range of multifunctional coatings for composite photovoltaic (PV) modules capable of improving optical properties and photovoltaic performance, as well as providing additional properties to minimise wear and tear (e.g., in the soiling/cleaning processes) or damage (e.g., due to abrasion). These losses will be minimized by optimising the formulation and controlled thicknesses during application and seeking multifunctionality (e.g., UV blocker, anti-abrasion, anti-dirt, etc.).
This project is led by INNOMAT, which has worked on the research of new processes for the development of multifunctional coatings for photovoltaic modules in composites.
Today’s society demands a more sustainable level of electricity consumption. Photovoltaic energy has the potential to contribute to renewable energy generation within the framework of a distributed energy generation system. To make this new energy consumption scheme a reality, it is necessary to develop technology that allows the integration of photovoltaics into applications. Some examples of innovative solutions which can be solved by the incorporation of photovoltaic elements made of composite include: (1) in buildings to replace traditional building materials; (2) in the envelope of electric vehicles; and (3) in floating structures to replace existing glass structures, whose mooring requires complex anchorages.
The main purpose of this project is to obtain multifunctional coatings for photovoltaic cells that meet the following requirements:
- High optical transmittance, UV-blocking, anti-abrasion, anti-soiling, etc.
- Anti-reflective properties allowing for the minimisation of optical losses that occur at the air-composite interface.
- High durability and resistance to environmental conditions (e.g., UV radiation, humidity, and thermal cycling) to protect the module exposed to these agents.
Therefore, the project focuses on the development of a multifunctional coating, which will complement and enhance the durability performance of the PV module under various environmental working conditions. This coating will combine: (1) optics aimed at maximising photovoltaic generation; and (2) protection from environmental agents and other foreseeable damage generated under normal usage conditions (e.g., soiling, fingerprints, abrasion, etc.). Currently, there are no commercial coatings specifically for composite substrates that provide an appropriate balance of protection and optical performance. The new coating may be different, given that different technological lines are envisioned for its design.
The technology developed is intended to provide the composite with the required multifunctionality, thus making up for the composite’s current shortcomings, as compared to glass photovoltaic modules.
El proyecto está liderado por INNOMAT coatings en colaboración con MUGAPE. Además, cuenta con la colaboración del centro de investigación Tecnalia.