SBIR Phase II: High-Performance Self-Cleaning, Anti-Reflective Coating for Photovoltaic Glass

Period of Performance: 02/15/2016 - 01/31/2018

$746K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

WattGlass LLC
700 Research Center Blvd.
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is to reduce the cost of solar generated electricity by increasing the efficiency of panels and reducing cleaning and maintenance costs. This improvement is created using a nanoscale glass coating that increases transmittance of single side coated solar PV glass and creates an antifogging and self-cleaning surface. These savings increase with photovoltaic device efficiencies as well, so as the next generation of solar cells will see even greater benefit from the proposed innovation. Reducing the cost per watt of solar generated electricity is one of the grand energy challenges and has immense societal and governmental impacts. The proposed project is one component of addressing that challenge. The technical advances made in this project will also be applicable to additional market opportunities in LED lighting and other cutting-edge markets. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project investigates the deposition of water-based nanoparticle solutions using industrially scalable methods and results in valuable scientific knowledge that is not currently available in the field. Nanoparticle-based antireflective glass coatings have been presented in both the scientific literature and commercial products. However, most coatings suffer from either high deposition costs, or a trade-off between durability and performance. In this project, methods to increase the durability of a low-cost, high-performance nanoparticle that were developed in the Phase I project are scaled to high throughput and low cost fabrication methods. The process/structure/property relationships of this novel coating will be investigated and lead to new scientific knowledge related to the large-scale deployment of nanoparticle based technologies. The coated glass will be subjected to industry standard reliability and durability tests. The expected outcome of this work is the demonstration of this technology at a pilot level with industry collaborators.