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Annegret Reithe was born on May 8th 1983 in Leipzig.
After finishing school she studied physics at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena.
As a graduate student she was involved in the board for cultural issues of the student council. Additionally she worked for the student initiative Sunfried e.V., which built a solar plant on the roof of the University in Jena. Alongside of that the public education in the field of renewable energies is one important goal of the initiative, for which it won the "Energien für Ideen" (energy for ideas)-contest.
During her studies she focused on the subject of material science and gathered detailed knowledge in solid state physics. Her diploma thesis in the field of astrophysics was concentrated on the spectroscopy and photometry of young Herbig Ae/Be stars.
In October 2009 she obtained her degree in physics. She has been working at Solarion AG since June 2010 where she performed various studies on the issue of interconnection materials, their characterization and long-term stability.
„Degradation mechanisms of encapsulation and interconnection materials in flexible CIGS solar modules"
During operation solar modules are exposed to many different conditions like humidity, seasonal and daily fluctuations of temperature, freeze, UV light, and mechanical loads by wind or snow. While the effect of these influences on conventional, stiff modules is fairly well known, some questions arise on the issue of flexible modules. This applies specifically to the interconnection of single cells to a matrix and the connections to the ribbons which are conducting the current from the solar cells to the junction boxes.
The flexible thin film solar cells should be protected from harmful influences by different materials. These are front and backside sheets as well as encapsulating materials. Only by considering the complex interaction of these materials the long-term behaviour of the solar module can be fully understood.
First the relatively unknown chemical and physical properties like elasticity, transparency, adhesion, rheology and electric conductivity will be determined. Additionally the influence of these properties on module efficiency will be measured and discussed.
Then the multi-dimensional problem of material interactions and the effect of the additional impact of environmental factors will be investigated. Long-term damage of the encapsulating materials, the interconnection and the damage of the semiconductor material should be minimized.
Based on these analyses favourable combinations of materials for the construction of flexible solar modules should be found and experimentally reviewed. The mechanisms and the course of degradation of the encapsulating materials, of the solar cells and modules will be examined, characterized and described. With the results of this work a better understanding of degradation/aging processes in flexible solar modules should be achieved and corresponding tests and methods of examination will be improved.