Transparent patch antenna on a-Si thin-film glass solar module

Transparent patch antenna on a-Si thin-film glass solar module

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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 a photovoltaic generator and the 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 than previous integration approaches.


    1. 1)
      • Zawadzki, M., Huang, J.: `Integrated RF antenna and solar array for spacecraft application', Proc. IEEE Phased Array Systems and Technology Conf., May 2000, Dana Point, CA, USA, p. 239–242.
    2. 2)
    3. 3)
      • Guillery, F.G.: `Transparent, colorless, electrically conductive coating', US Patent 4194022, 1980.
    4. 4)
      • Simons, R.N., Lee, R.Q.: `Feasibility study of optically transparent microstrip patch antenna', Proc. 1997 Int. Symp. and Radio Science Meeting, July 1997, Montreal, Canada.
    5. 5)
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