Product Briefing Outline: Mitsubishi Plastics has launched the high gas barrier photovoltaic (PV) backsheet ‘Back-Barrier’ to the global market. The new backsheet material is Mitsubishi Plastics' latest development in high gas barrier films with the world’s highest level of water vapor barrier, according to the company and customer evaluation tests.
Problem: The continued strategy of moving to thinner solar wafer thicknesses to reduce cell and module production costs has a knock-on effect of making module frames thinner and less bulky. However, there is a growing need to enable correct long-life protection of the cells with backsheet materials designed specifically for thinner modules as traditional materials and thicknesses can cause issues with the longevity of the modules.
Solution: The new Back-Barrier material is based on four key concepts: 1) high humidity barrier to ensure both consistent generating efficiency and mechanical strength; 2) halogen-free; 3) metal-free; and 4) easy bonding to encapsulation material like EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate). As a result, the product avoids the lowering of electric generation efficiency and strength of the backsheet, thereby contributing to improved durability of solar cells with consideration to the environment.
Applications: MPI offers two types of backsheets: one for crystalline silicon solar modules, requiring 0.2g/m2/day humidity barrier, and one for thin PV cells, requiring 0.02g/m2/day. “Back-Barrier” is being developing for use in dye-sensitized and organic thin film solar cells with a much higher humidity barrier.
Platform: Since July 2008, Mitsubishi Plastics has achieved the world’s highest level of water vapor barrier properties, with 10-4 g/m2/day and has marketed ‘X-Barrier’ around the world, based on the specific needs of customers. In April 2009, ‘View-Barrier’ was placed on the market. ‘View-Barrier’ is specifically designed for use in front panels of electronic devices, including dye-sensitized solar cells and organic electroluminescence display panels that require antireflection, UV-cut, anti-glare, low shrinkage and process suitability, in addition to superior gas barrier performance as a substitute for glass plate.
Availability: January 2010 onwards.