Thermal and mechanical performances of GFRP sandwich structures with integrated amorphous silicon photovoltaic cells

Yiqing Dai, Yu Bai, Thomas Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Applications of photovoltaic (PV) cells in buildings are often excluded from locations with major mechanical strains because of their brittleness and possible damages at small mechanical strains. Combinations of glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) components and amorphous silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic cells show potentials, while the effects from elevated temperatures and mechanical loads on the electrical performance of the integrated PV cells need to be well understood. In this study, specimens were fabricated by adhesively bonding a-Si PV cells to GFRP sandwich structures. The specimens were then exposed to outdoor natural sunlight. The sunlight intensities and the temperature responses at different locations of the specimens were continuously monitored and their correlation was quantified. An approach was proposed to calculate the sunlight intensities received by the integrated PV cells and their temperature responses based on geographic information (e.g. longitude, latitude and altitude) of such applications. The electrical performance of the integrated PV cells was then investigated under four-point bending until structural failure. Two loading scenarios were considered where non-uniformly distributed tensile or compressive strains were introduced into the integrated PV cells. Reductions in voltage of the integrated PV cells were highlighted due to non-uniform distribution of strains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115524
Number of pages9
JournalComposite Structures
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022


  • Amorphous silicon photovoltaic cells
  • Building-integrated photovoltaics
  • Glass fibre reinforced polymer
  • Mechanical performance
  • Sandwich structure
  • Thermal performance

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