Thinnest crystalline silicon solar panel built using DuPont encapsulant and NSG thin glass

DuPont Kabushiki Kaisha and Fujipream Corporation have successfully developed a new thin crystalline silicon (c-Si) glass-glass photovoltaic module that is reportedly 25% lighter in weight (excluding the frame) compared with traditional c-Si modules using standard solar-grade front glass.

(October 18, 2010) — DuPont Kabushiki Kaisha and Fujipream Corporation have successfully developed a new thin crystalline silicon (c-Si) glass-glass photovoltaic module that is reportedly 25% lighter in weight (excluding the frame) compared with traditional c-Si modules using standard solar-grade front glass.

The new Fujipream module incorporates new innovative material technology from DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions and NSG Group to provide the strength, rigidity, resistance to impact, and weatherability required to meet international module standards. The companies report they’ve built the world’s thinnest commercially available glass-glass c-Si photovoltaic module. Also read: Full-surface lamination for large-scale solar module encapsulation by Han-Wen Chen, Jeff Ye, Ofer Amir, Applied Materials 

A key innovation is the use of DuPont PV5300 Series ionomer-based encapsulant sheets that replace traditional EVA-based encapsulants. The resulting laminate strength enables the thinner module to pass required load and hail tests, and thin glass replaces standard solar grade front glass and backsheet to provide a new lighter-weight glass-glass laminate structure. Two sheets of the DuPont encapsulant surround and protect the module’s sensitive silicon cells and circuitry, which is sandwiched between two 1.1mm sheets of thin glass.

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“Fujipream is taking advantage of DuPont PV5300 Series encapsulant to enhance overall module strength and rigidity,” explains Jun Koishikawa, development manager – DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers. “The ionomer sheet’s adhesion to glass is well-established from years of related experience in laminated structural glass. The high shear coupling of the glass layers via use of the ionomer encapsulant creates a composite-like module structure with strength comparable to a single piece of thicker glass.

The vacuum-laminated photovoltaic module’s extra strength lets Fujipream meet required module impact resistance and structural loading requirements using 31 percent less glass than traditional designs, which relied on a 3.2mm glass topsheet and polymeric backsheet.

“DuPont is strategically focused on a thriving photovoltaic industry. We are applying our market-driven science to offer products and technologies that can transform the sun’s potential into clean energy, and delivering growth through our market-leading position in materials. We expect to achieve $1 billion in revenue from sales into the photovoltaic market in 2010 and $2 billion by 2014,” said Minoru Amoh, president – DuPont Kabushiki Kaisha in Japan.

Fujipream Corporation is a Japan-based manufacturing company, with research and development focused on precision laminating technology.

NSG Group manufactures glass and glazing systems in three major business areas; Building Products, Automotive and Specialty Glass. The Specialty Glass business covers a number of niche markets, including displays and optical products. To learn more, visit http://www.nsggroup.net/.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Learn more at http://photovoltaics.dupont.com.

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