New materials protect solar cells, enable increased efficiency and reduce cost-per-watt

In an effort to help development of reliable and cost-effective solar power, DuPont announced the commercialization of two new families of photovoltaic encapsulant sheets -- DuPont™ PV5300 Series and DuPont™ PV5200 Series. According to the company, the new sheets deliver long-term protection for the most sensitive part of photovoltaic modules -- the solar cells -- while providing reduced cost-per-watt for system manufacturers. DuPont™ PV5300 Series sheets are said to be five times tougher and 100 times stiffer than materials typically used as encapsulants for PV modules. Their structural properties make possible new module designs such as building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) tiles that can be installed on building roofs. DuPont™ PV5200 Series sheets are based on polyvinyl butyral polymer technology and are designed to meet the needs of thin-film solar power generation, a fast-growing segment of the industry. These sheets are claimed to offer high performance in physical processing, faster, more efficient module production and longer service life. On a global basis, DuPont expects to nearly triple annual sales from its portfolio of photovoltaic materials to more than $1 billion by 2012. The company is a leading material and technology supplier to the photovoltaic industry for increasing the efficiency and lifetime for both crystalline silicon and thin film modules. Besides photovoltaic encapsulant sheets, other products include EVA copolymer resins, fluoropolymer films for front sheets and flexible panels, polyvinyl fluoride films for UV and weather-resistant back sheets, PET films for backsheet laminates, polyimide film for thin film substrates and the like.
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