Anti-reflection (AR) coatings on solar panels are similar to those used on other optical equipment such as camera lenses and telescopes. They consist of a thin layer of dielectric material with a specially chosen thickness. The goal is to have the wave reflected from the anti-reflection coating top surface out of phase with the wave reflected from the semiconductor surfaces. Anti-reflective coatings on solar panels are crucial because the more light to the solar cell, the higher the efficiency.
Yet measuring the efficiency is the tricky part. In the fall of 2009, a prominent solar panel manufacturer was testing different formulations and application methods for AR coating on glass. They wanted to measure the distortion after the liquid coating had dried on the glass they were going to use for their solar panels. After searching for a system to standardize a calculation method that quantifies an amount of distortion, they found Cyth's Bench-top Distortion Measurement System (B-DMS600).
The B-DMS600 has been used in a variety of applications such as window tint film and clear laminate film for cars. The purpose of the B-DMS600 is to measure the total distortion across some area, or across areas of sudden change. The solar panel manufacturer knew the B-DMS600 would be a perfect fit, but some modifications needed to be made for their specific application.
Not only did they want a quantized amount of distortion of each formulation and application technique, they also wanted to measure the Variable Light Transmission (VLT) of their glass as well. This function isn't inherently a part of the B-DMS600 but can be easily included in an upgraded kit. After modifying the sample holder for glass instead of film, their custom B-DMS600 was ready to go.
It's been over 7 years and their B-DMS600 continues to work flawlessly. As the company has expanded so has their need for a standardized quantifiable calculation for distortion and light transmission. And to that need, Cyth's B-DMS600 has answered the call every time.