Research Project Summary Information
Continuous Manufacturing Capability of Nanostructured Gradient Reflectives Index Coatings & Diffusers(ST11005)
Fresnel Optics, Inc.
Photovoltaic modules all have a loss in efficiency due to sunlight that is reflected or cancelled at the interface between the surface of the support and the first conductive coating. This loss at the first interface is typically 2%-4% due to the large change in refractive index as the light transitions from support to the transparent conductive layer of photovoltaic. This reflected or cancelled light does not reach the charge generating interface or interfaces in the case of a multi-junction cell and does not contribute to the power generated by the solar cell.
Gradient refractive index coatings made using Moth-eye nanostructures (ME-GRINS) are a potential solution to reduce this loss. Reflexite has developed several types of nanostructures on polymers as alternatives to conventional antireflection coatings. These nanostructures contain periodic or stochastic nanostructures that function as a refractive index gradient. The refractive gradient performance of the lab scale coatings resulted in approximately 99.5% of available light transmitting to the photovoltaic. This project will investigate the use of this technology as an index gradient between the support, and the transparent conductive coating.
This project will design and fabricate and test Moth-eye gradient index nanostructure (ME-GRINS) assemblies at a laboratory scale. First generation production tooling will be fabricated and tested. Based on the results of the first generation production tooling, second generation production tooling that will enable fewer seams of the ME-GRINS films will be fabricated. Solar cells using the ME-GRINS films will be tested and compared to solar cells, using traditional antireflective films.
This project will develop a coating that is expected to increase solar module efficiencies by 1-2 percent. Large customer base in growing industry would support this technology. High deployment of technology could have significant benefits. Successful projects will increase manufacturing in Rochester, and add at least six new positions.
Fresnel Optics, Inc.
1300 Mount Read Blvd
Rochester, NY 14606
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R&D -Transport & Power Systems