New Product: United Initiators organic peroxide initiators improve EVA performance

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Product Briefing Outline:  specializes in manufacturing and supplying cross-linking agents to compounders and manufacturers of PVM encapsulates. Cross-linking with organic peroxide initiators adds many product and performance advantages, chief of which is the improvement in stability of the encapsulate films produced for PV manufacturing. PV manufacturers rely on special formulation of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) that includes peroxides to achieve dimensional and UV stability through crosslinking.

Problem: Some PV manufacturing companies are vertically integrated, making the components and assembling the PVMs. They rely on EVA encapsulants tailored to their applications' needs. Others in photovoltaic manufacturing buy their materials from outside compounders, and then assemble the materials into PVMs. While compounders are knowledgeable about peroxide initiators, United Initiators often is able to assist them in gaining performance with the crosslinking agents. A key problem is discoloration, a yellowing or hazing that causes a reduction in the sunlight that penetrates to the silicon wafer, and the goal obviously is to continue to reduce discoloration. This extends the period of time during which the photovoltaic encapsulants are at their maximum clarity.

Solution: Stabilizing PVM encapsulates improves their performance, and stabilizes their color and cure characteristics. Solar encapsulates are typically made with ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), which in sheet form is used to surround and protect silicon wafers and the PVMs' circuitry. Other benefits of the increased stability of the current generation of EVA encapsulates include better adhesion, reduced cell breakage and tailored flexibility. Cross-linking in PV manufacturing may extend performance of encapsulate sheet material to 20 or 30 years — a period as long as the product's lifespan. Cross-linking by peroxides has a positive effect on the properties of materials. Cross-linking results in a low compression set, improved thermal aging and elimination of discoloration.

Applications: PV module lamination.

Platform: Organic peroxides.

Availability: Currently available.

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