Design of a composite encapsulation for concentrated photovoltaic systems with improved performance

Kabeer Raza*, Syed Sohail Akhtar, Abul Fazal M. Arif, Abbas Saeed Hakeem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Most of the currently used encapsulants are inefficient for cooled concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems. The encapsulant of cells for CPV systems, must have an optimum combination of thermal conductivity, coefficient of thermal expansion and long term shear modulus. In this work an improved backside composite encapsulation is designed and developed that can provide increased power output and longer life by enhancing the effectiveness of cooling and reducing thermal stresses. The best combination of material properties is identified through parametric studies on finite element model of CPV laminate using ethylene vinyl acetate as datum line. It is found that increasing thermal conductivity from 0.311 to 0.75 W/mK can improve the cooling and hence the power production by 2%. While long term shear modulus and coefficient of thermal expansion needs to be reduced for a longer service life. Using in-house built material design codes, optimum combinations of matrix and filler were identified that could provide the set range of properties. In line with material design code, a total of only four samples using thermoplastic polyurethane as matrix and Al2O3 or AlN as fillers were synthesized to validate the design experimentally. The material properties were measured and used in the parent finite element model to evaluate the performance of the experimentally developed material and to validate the parametric studies. A good agreement is found between the experimental and computational results and hence the overall methodology is found effective for application focused design and development of composite materials. It is expected that this material design and development approach will provide a useful guideline to the CPV manufacturing industries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Materials
Subtitle of host publicationDesign, Processing, Characterization, and Applications
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791859490
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 ASME.


  • Concentrated photovoltaic systems
  • Encapsulation
  • Optimized material properties composite material design
  • Performance evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Design of a composite encapsulation for concentrated photovoltaic systems with improved performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this