Nowadays the photovoltaic research is focused on increasing the performances, the durability and reducing the cost of production of solar cells, such as PV modules. These are the paromount fields to make photovoltaics more attractive for the energetic market. In this dissertation two of these aspects are investigated: the durability and the cost reduction issues. The fracture mechanics of the Silicon, the standard material used for the solar cells, is the main subject of the presented study. In the recent and next years the relevance of the durability studies is expected to increase more and more because of the developing of a new segment of PV, the building integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV). These new products incorporating PV modules in the building materials are curtains, walls, windows, sloped roofs, flat roofs, facades, shading systems and roofing shingles. In the new generation of BIPV systems, PV modules replace parts of the building structure, providing functional considerations and lowering costs. In this market the thin-film PV is the most promising technology because of its superior flexibility, minimal weight, and the ability to perform in variable lighting conditions. The issues of this particular PV market are not only the energy production but also the structural safety and performance in addition to architectural specifics as the shadowing. In this framework the durability, the degradation and new technology to achieve a cost reduction are of fundamental importance. In this thesis, experimental diagnostic techniques and interpretative models based on linear and nonlinear fracture mechanics for studying the phenomena of fracture in Silicon are presented. In particular the development and the use of techniques for the quantitative analysis of electroluminescence signals, for the detection of cracks in Silicon caused by thermo-elastic stresses, have been developed. The experimental results have been obtained during an extensive experimental campaign conducted at Politecnico di Torino. For the interpretation of the experimental evidence it has been proposed an original onedimensional electrical model for predicting the eect of cracks on the distribution of electric current. Subsequently, the electric field has been coupled to the mechanical, introducing an electric resistance located at the level of the crack and dependent on the crack itself. In parallel, a numerical analysis has been carried out, using the finite element codes FRANC2D and FEAP, on the phenomenon of peeling in mono-crystalline Silicon induced by thermoelastic stresses. This study, which can be very important in applications because it may allow the production of ultra-thin solar cells with a significant saving of material, is carried out in collaboration with the Institute for Solar Energy Research (ISFH), Hamelin, Germany. This process exploits the thermo-mechanical stresses due to the contrast between the elastic proviii perties of Silicon and Aluminium in line with earlier studies of the school of Harvard. It has been proposed a broad campaign experimental and numerical in order to optimize the process.

Fracture Mechanics of Silicon: From durability of photovoltaic modules to the production of thin film solar cells / Berardone, Irene. - (2016). [10.6092/polito/porto/2651712]

Fracture Mechanics of Silicon: From durability of photovoltaic modules to the production of thin film solar cells

BERARDONE, IRENE
2016

Abstract

Nowadays the photovoltaic research is focused on increasing the performances, the durability and reducing the cost of production of solar cells, such as PV modules. These are the paromount fields to make photovoltaics more attractive for the energetic market. In this dissertation two of these aspects are investigated: the durability and the cost reduction issues. The fracture mechanics of the Silicon, the standard material used for the solar cells, is the main subject of the presented study. In the recent and next years the relevance of the durability studies is expected to increase more and more because of the developing of a new segment of PV, the building integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV). These new products incorporating PV modules in the building materials are curtains, walls, windows, sloped roofs, flat roofs, facades, shading systems and roofing shingles. In the new generation of BIPV systems, PV modules replace parts of the building structure, providing functional considerations and lowering costs. In this market the thin-film PV is the most promising technology because of its superior flexibility, minimal weight, and the ability to perform in variable lighting conditions. The issues of this particular PV market are not only the energy production but also the structural safety and performance in addition to architectural specifics as the shadowing. In this framework the durability, the degradation and new technology to achieve a cost reduction are of fundamental importance. In this thesis, experimental diagnostic techniques and interpretative models based on linear and nonlinear fracture mechanics for studying the phenomena of fracture in Silicon are presented. In particular the development and the use of techniques for the quantitative analysis of electroluminescence signals, for the detection of cracks in Silicon caused by thermo-elastic stresses, have been developed. The experimental results have been obtained during an extensive experimental campaign conducted at Politecnico di Torino. For the interpretation of the experimental evidence it has been proposed an original onedimensional electrical model for predicting the eect of cracks on the distribution of electric current. Subsequently, the electric field has been coupled to the mechanical, introducing an electric resistance located at the level of the crack and dependent on the crack itself. In parallel, a numerical analysis has been carried out, using the finite element codes FRANC2D and FEAP, on the phenomenon of peeling in mono-crystalline Silicon induced by thermoelastic stresses. This study, which can be very important in applications because it may allow the production of ultra-thin solar cells with a significant saving of material, is carried out in collaboration with the Institute for Solar Energy Research (ISFH), Hamelin, Germany. This process exploits the thermo-mechanical stresses due to the contrast between the elastic proviii perties of Silicon and Aluminium in line with earlier studies of the school of Harvard. It has been proposed a broad campaign experimental and numerical in order to optimize the process.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2651712
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