Planar Antenna With Integrated Solar Cells for Autonomous Communication Systems

TitlePlanar Antenna With Integrated Solar Cells for Autonomous Communication Systems
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsRoo Ons, MJ, Shynu, SV, Ammann, MJ, Gallagher, SJ, Norton, B
Conference NameEuropean Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Conference Start Date03/09/2007
PublisherEuropean Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Conference LocationMilan, Italy

Autonomous communication systems often involve the use of separate solar cells and antennas, which demand a compromise in the utilization of the limited surface area available. Integrating these elements into one will save the available space and enhance the cost reduction of these stand alone communication systems. A planar microstrip antenna technique is best suited for this integration of polycrystalline silicon solar cells with antennas.
A novel planar antenna design with photo-voltaic solar cells for use in wireless communication systems is proposed. The electrically conductive back contact of the solar cell is used simultaneously as antenna for radiation and to the production of DC current. Planar microstrip patch antenna technology with electromagnetic coupling is used in designing a fully integrated solar antenna. Both the antenna ground plane and radiating patch are replaced by polycrystalline silicon solar cells in order to realize full integration of antennas and solar cells in a single device. The feasibility of the proposed design is compared with conventional planar microstrip patch antenna and the experimental observations are presented. The measured antenna parameters like resonant frequency, bandwidth and radiation pattern reveals the good operational characteristics of the proposed design.

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