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An optically transparent microstrip patch mounted on the surface of a commercially available solar module is proposed. The patch comprises a thin sheet of clear polyester with a conductive coating. The amorphous silicon solar cells in the module are used as both photovoltaic generator and antenna ground plane. The proposed structure provides a peak gain of 3.96 dBi in the 3.4-3.8 GHz range without significantly compromising the light transmission in the module. A comparison between copper and transparent conductors is made in terms of antenna and solar performance. The proposed technique is considerably simpler that previous integration approaches.
Roo Ons, M. et al. (2011) Transparent Patch Antenna on a-Si Thin Film Glass Solar Module, Electronics Letters, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 85-86, 01/2011. doi:10.1049/el.2010.7397