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Open AccessArticle

An Image-Based Gamut Analysis of Translucent Digital Ceramic Prints for Coloured Photovoltaic Modules

School of Engineering and Architecture, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Technikumstrasse 21, CH-6048 Horw, Switzerland
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Buildings 2018, 8(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8020030
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
Colouring the frontglass of photovoltaic (PV) modules via digital ceramic printing aids in concealing the PV modules when integrated into existing building façades as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), while admitting sufficient light to produce electricity. This promotes the visual acceptance and adoption of PV modules as a source of renewable energy in urban environments. The effective colour of the PV laminate is a combination of the transparent colour on glass and the colour of the PV cells. This colour should ideally match the architect’s visual expectations in terms of fidelity, but also in terms of relative PV efficiency as a function of print density. In practice, these requirements are often contradictory, particularly for vivid colours, and the visual results may deviate significantly. This paper presents an objective analysis of how colours appear on ceramically printed frontglass when laminated with a PV module, using an image-based colour acquisition process. Given a set of 1044 nominal colours uniformly distributed in the RGB colour space, each printed in 10 opacities, we quantify the range of effective colours observed when printed on glass and combined with a PV module, and their deviation from the nominals. Our results confirm that the effective colour gamuts are significantly constrained and skewed, depending on the ink volume and glass finish used for printing. In particular, blue–magenta hues cannot be reliably rendered with this process. These insights can serve as guidelines for selecting target colours for BIPV that can be well approximated in practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: building integrated photovoltaics; digital ceramic printing; colour difference; colour gamut building integrated photovoltaics; digital ceramic printing; colour difference; colour gamut
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Schregle, R.; Wittkopf, S. An Image-Based Gamut Analysis of Translucent Digital Ceramic Prints for Coloured Photovoltaic Modules. Buildings 2018, 8, 30.

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