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A novel method of integrating microstrip patch antennas and polycrystalline silicon solar cells for application in autonomous communication systems is presented. The DC and RF functions are intimately linked, by using the silver DC bus bars of the solar cell as the ground plane of the microstrip patch. The performance of the solar antenna is compared with standard microstrip patch. Detailed studies of the effect of the solar cell on the microstrip antenna are then carried out. The effects of solar cell integration, DC loading and variation in incident photon intensity of the silicon layer on the performance of the solar antenna are discussed. The optimum orientation of the silver DC bus bars on the solar cell in order to achieve better antenna gain and radiation performance is also studied in detail.
Shynu, S., Ons, M., Ammann, M., Gallagher, S., Norton, B.: Inset-fed mircrostrip patch antenna with integrated polycrystalline photovoltaic solar cell. EuCAP 2007. The Second European Conference on Antennas and Propagation, Edinburgh, 11-16 November, 2007.