Santa Clarita, California [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Looking to produce bioplastic materials from renewable plant sources and thereby reduce the cost of solar cells, BioSolar Incorporated announced that it has successfully completed a prototype of its low-cost bioplastic backsheet.
The BioSolar technology team has undertaken an intensive R&D effort to produce a bioplastic film to replace current solar module backsheets. A backsheet is the bottom layer of a solar cell or solar module that supports the cell array and its various layers. It needs to be durable and meet the stringent processing and installation requirements of solar cell applications.
In the past, conventional bio-based plastics have not been successfully used in solar cell applications, primarily due to their low melting temperature and fragile molecular structure.
BioSolar says it has developed a manufacturing process that will deliver a product that costs less than petroleum-based backsheets; however, the company did not indicate how much their backsheet will cost or when it will be available to solar module manufacturers.
“Our vision is to replace all petroleum plastics in solar cell applications with our bioplastics. With solar cell demand expected to exceed supply for the next 5 to 10 years, we believe there is tremendous opportunity for growth,” said Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar.