Today's module manufacturers are in a high-stakes race to create the ideal assembly of materials for economically installed and operated solar power systems
Wilmington, DE (Vocus) October 20, 2009 -
DuPont™ Elvax® EVA resins for photovoltaic (PV) module encapsulation are now joined by two additional PV encapsulants recognized by Underwriters Laboratory (UL): DuPont™ PV5200 Series PVB-based sheets and DuPont™ PV5300 sheets, based on ionomer technology.
Using UL-recognized encapsulants help module makers accelerate their research and development programs by eliminating the need for separate UL testing of these important assembly materials. UL recognition assures that encapsulants have been manufactured using well-documented control practices resulting in predictable performance and consistency.
"Today's module manufacturers are in a high-stakes race to create the ideal assembly of materials for economically installed and operated solar power systems," said Penny Perry, DuPont marketing manager for photovoltaic encapsulants. "Our goal is to remain the industry's most relied-upon source of ready-to-use, UL-recognized raw materials that help get the most from new designs."
In newer PV designs, such as flexible modules and building-integrated systems, manufacturers are testing new module materials from top to bottom, aiming for ideal combinations of durability, sustained clarity, problem-free adhesion and assembly, and nonreaction with other module components.
"DuPont offers the widest range of encapsulants for module makers to work with and backs them with well-equipped labs around the world to help speed materials testing and customer successes," said Perry.
DuPont™ Elvax® EVA resins have long been established as PV encapsulants, typically compounded with cross-linking agents and supplied to module makers as converted sheet materials. In traditionally manufactured rigid modules, these sheets often create an ideal combination of clarity and mechanical cushioning of the sensitive silicon components inside the module.
Newer encapsulants such as DuPont™ PV5300 series ionomer-based sheets are helping manufacturers consider alternative manufacturing systems and technologies, freed from the need for chemical crosslinking of the polymer in order to assure robust sheet properties. Advantages with the ionomer-based sheet include stronger resistance to moisture intrusion at module edges and extra stiffness for lower module deflections when faced with wind loads. The formable thermoplastic sheet is also useful for building-integrated designs where polymer components can be combined for efficiency or structural integration.
DuPont™ PV5200 Series PVB-based encapsulants, announced earlier this year, are creating new ways to design and assemble thin-film modules, a potential game-changing PV technology that helps put active power generation into multifunctional roofing and fenestration products. Recent thin-film technology investments by DuPont have included lab expansions in Europe and China, and a joint technology research project with the United States Department of Energy for discovery of next-generation thin film technology.
The DuPont UL-recognized PVB-based and ionomer-based encapsulants are available worldwide, and draw from extensive DuPont experience supplying similar sheet materials for the production of laminated safety glass.
DuPont™ PV Series encapsulants are part of a broad and growing portfolio of products represented by DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, which connects science and technology from across the company on a global scale to help support the dramatic growth in the photovoltaic industry. To learn more, please visit http://photovoltaics.dupont.com.
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