16 October 2012 Degradation of back surface acrylic mirrors for low concentration and mirror-augmented photovoltaics
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Abstract
Back-surface acrylic mirrors can be used in low concentration and mirror augmented photovoltaics (LCPV, MAPV) to increase the irradiance on a module. Back-surface mirrors can spectrally filter incoming solar radiation reducing the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) load on the module, while useful radiation is coupled into a module or photovoltaic cell. Degradation of these mirrors can occur from UV induced photodegradative processes and metallization corrosion. Environmental stresses such as humidity, thermal cycling and exposure to corrosive substances can cause an increase in scattering, reducing mirror performance. In order to increase the lifetime and durability of back-surface acrylic mirrors a better understanding of the degradation modes is necessary. In a study of acrylic back-surface mirrors for LCPV and MAPV applications, optical properties and bidirectional scattering distribution functions (BSDF) were investigated and correlated to simulated exposure protocols. Formulations of Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) with differing concentration of UV absorbers were used for the aluminum backsurface acrylic mirrors. The formulations of aluminum back-surface acrylic mirrors were exposed in a QUV accelerated weathering tester (QLabs) to ASTM G154 Cycle 4. Total and diffuse reflectance spectra were measured for each mirror under exposure using a diffuse reflectance accessory (DRA) from 180-1800 nm on a Varian Cary 6000i at defined dose intervals. The total reflectance losses in the 250-400 nm region were greater and diffuse-only reflectance increased for formulations of acrylic mirrors that contained the least amount of UV stabilizer after each dose of QUV exposure. Acrylic back-surface mirrors were exposed to salt fog corrosion and QUV and were analyzed using BSDF. There was an increase in scattering from roughening of the mirror surface after exposure to the corrosive environment.
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Myles P. Murray, Laura S. Bruckman, Devin Gordon, Samuel Richardson, Greg Reinbolt, Mark Schuetz, Roger H. French, "Degradation of back surface acrylic mirrors for low concentration and mirror-augmented photovoltaics", Proc. SPIE 8472, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems V, 847205 (16 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.930102; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.930102
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