Product Briefing Outline: Honeywell Electronic Materials has launched a new material called Honeywell SOLARC that improves the efficiency and power output of PV module. The new product is a transparent coating material that improves the light transmittance through the glass that covers the solar cells.
Problem: Most commercially available PV panels today lose approximately 4 percent of their potential power output due to light reflection from the front surface of the cover glass. Also, solar panels lose on average 7 percent of their power output due to particulate contamination, according to the California Energy Commission.
Solution: SOLARC coating reduces reflection significantly, resulting in more light reaching the solar cell, which translates into higher electricity output. Demonstrating a 4 percent increase in transmission at 550 nanometers, Honeywell's SOLARC has demonstrated a very good response across a broad solar spectrum that is relevant for PV cell operation, from 350 nanometers through 1,100 nanometers. SOLARC coating has also demonstrated superior durability in a broad variety of accelerated tests designed to imitate harsh environmental conditions to which a PV panel is likely to be exposed during its lifetime. Honeywell clams that environmental testing of the coating has shown that it provides additional protection to the glass, especially under hot and humid conditions that may lead to gradual glass deterioration. The coating has been further optimized to enable anti-soiling and self-cleaning functionality that prevents dust accumulation.
Applications: Honeywell's SOLARC is a liquid-based coating, can be used by all common types of PV modules an can easily be adapted to a broad range of coating techniques including dip, roller, slot die, spray and spin-on.
Platform: Unlike other commercially available ARC's, it does not require mixing of two components prior to deposition, and has at least a six month shelf life.
Availability: October 2009 onwards.