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Fabrication of Photovoltaic Textiles

1,2,*,† and 1,2,†
Power Textiles Limited, Upland House, Ettrick Road, Selkirk TD7 5AJ, UK
School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Mahbubul Hassan
Coatings 2017, 7(5), 63;
Received: 13 December 2016 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fabric Coatings)
PDF [3195 KB, uploaded 29 April 2017]


Solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays are providing an increasing fraction of global electrical demand, with an accelerating rate of new installations. Most of these employ conventional glass-fronted panels, but this type of PV array does not satisfy applications that require a light-weight, flexible PV generator. An option discussed in this article is to consider textiles for such solar cell substrates. As explained in this review, combining the choice of PV cell type with the choice of textile offers alternative structures for flexible PV cells. In particular, the relative advantages and disadvantages are contrasted, either forming PV-coated fibres into a fabric, or coating an already formed fabric with the PV materials. It is shown that combining thin-film amorphous silicon PV technology and woven polyester fabric offers one solution to realizing flexible fabric PV cells, using well-understood coating methods from the textile and semiconductor industries. Finally a few applications are presented that are addressed by this approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: photovoltaics; solar cells; textiles; thin-film semiconductors photovoltaics; solar cells; textiles; thin-film semiconductors

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mather, R.R.; Wilson, J.I.B. Fabrication of Photovoltaic Textiles. Coatings 2017, 7, 63.

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