Next generation polyolefin encapsulant films unveiled

31-Aug-12
The Dow Chemical Company is introducing new polyolefin-based technologies and bringing next generation solutions to the market to help harness the power of the sun and turn it into cost-effective energy to help address the world's growing needs. ENLIGHTTM Polyolefin Back Encapsulant Composite Films use patent-pending technology to create a single structure that provides "2-in-1" functionality, serving as both the back encapsulant and backsheet for solar panels. They offer excellent electrical insulation properties, increased resistance to the effects of Potential Induced Degradation (PID) and extended module efficiency levels. Developed for rigid crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic modules, these sophisticated composite films serve as both the back encapsulant and backsheet. The use of these "2-in-1" structures can provide significant processing and performance advantages. "By combining two separate components, ENLIGHT Polyolefin Back Encapsulant Composite Films offer excellent module protection," said Friedrich von Rechteren, Global Business Development Manager, Photovoltaic Business. "Our solution eliminates delamination, improves electrical insulation and offers higher levels of moisture resistance. This means that Dow can help customers improve performance, increase production efficiency and reduce working capital. ENLIGHT Back Encapsulant Composite Films can help reduce total lifetime system costs for PV modules." Currently, the backsheets of most rigid c-Si modules are constructed with multi-layered films, laminated together with adhesives. Over time, these layers can come apart. Innovative coextrusion technology for ENLIGHT Polyolefin Back Encapsulant Composite Films produces a smooth composite film with three seamlessly integrated layers: outer, bonding and encapsulant. The simplified structure helps overcome delamination that can occur between separate encapsulant and backsheet layers and eliminates potential incompatibility between these components, helping to assure improved module performance. The coextrusion process also creates excellent lamellar entanglement at the molecular level of the components, thus eliminating the possibility of interlayer adhesion problems that can come with the more traditional lamination process of a separate back encapsulant and backsheet layers. In addition to providing "2-in-1" back encapsulant and backsheet functionality, Dow's coextrusion process provides ENLIGHT? BEC Films with these additional advantages: Improved Electrical Performance: coextrusion provides these composites with partial discharge levels that can help meet very high voltage requirements. Excellent Moisture Barrier: all components of this composite film contain proven moisture-barrier performance for excellent protection, as well as very high resistance to UV and weathering. Temperature Resistance: High adhesion to the front encapsulant made with either polyolefin or EVA can be maintained even after severe thermal treatment.
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