Flexible Pre-wired PV Array Structure
Renovagen has created the first large-scale flexible and rollable PV array material. Unlike other rollable PV products which are all single modules, this is an entire PV array pre-wired and pre-connected with built-in power cabling which can be created on a multi-kW scale. Indeed, based on initial feasibility testing, 100-200kW rollable arrays will soon be possible, with lengths of 200m or more. The invention is based upon a composite structure consisting of:
- Flexible CIGS PV modules which generate a relatively high output power per unit area
- Woven polymer tensile fabric to provide the necessary tensile strength required to handle deployment, bracing and wind loads
- Embedded power cabling within the structure, with a power-carrying capacity of at least 10kW-20kW per metre width
- Flexible “filler layer” and specific patterning which alleviates any buckling-driven delamination effects and cable strain issues
- Specialised bonding methods to create a high-strength laminate structure
Innovative manufacturing techniques create a well-bonded structure which is capable of handling the strains imposed upon rolling – and can transition between the rolled and flat configurations without transmitting unacceptable strain to the PV modules which would otherwise cause damage. This capability enables large spool-deployed multi-kW PV Arrays to be created which can be stored in small transportable containers or trailers – providing a solution for very powerful transportable power systems.