Bystronic glass and Fraunhofer ISE’s jointly developed TPedge module has successfully passed mechanical load and hail impact testing. Two of the modules were tested in full-format under the IEC 61215 standard. They measured 1636mm x 985mm with a mechanical load test up to a force measuring 2400N/m2 and a hail impact test with ball speeds of 23m/s. Testing was completed at Fraunhofer’s TestLab PV Modules with both organizations advising that there was no loss performance detected on the modules upon test conclusion.

The TPedge wafer-based module is said to be able to be manufactured quicker and for less money than standard wafer modules. Tobias Neff, solar product manager at Bystronic glass explained, "The TPedge technology reduces the costs of the module production by 30 to 40% – at an aspired cycle time of 45 seconds per module line. As a result, the overall costs of a PV module can – depending upon the cost proportion of the solar cells – be reduced by approximately 14%."

Dr. Harry Wirth, head of the PV modules group, systems and reliability at Fraunhofer, further epxplained, "The cell array is locally fixed between two glass plates. The utilisation of foils and the associated laminating are not necessary."

Fraunhofer ISE and Bystronic glass plan to produce around 200 TPedge modules in 2012 for the façade of a new Institute laboratory. The project aims to further develop and validate the TPedge technology with funds from Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry.

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