Evaluation of encapsulant materials for PV applications


By Michael Kempe, Scientist, PV Module Reliability Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Encapsulant materials used in PV modules serve multiple purposes. They physically hold components in place, provide electrical insulation, optically couple superstrate materials (e.g., glass) to PV cells, protect components from mechanical stress by mechanically de-coupling components via strain relief, and protect materials from corrosion. To do this, encapsulants must adhere well to all surfaces, remain compliant, and transmit light after exposure to temperature, humidity, and UV radiation histories. Encapsulant materials by themselves do not completely prevent water vapour ingress [1-3], but if they are well adhered, they will prevent the accumulation of liquid water providing protection against corrosion as well as electrical shock. Here, a brief review of some of the polymeric materials under consideration for PV applications is provided, with an explanation of some of their advantages and disadvantages.

Published In

The ninth edition of Photovoltaics International was published in August 2010. It features Fraunhofer IISB looking at advanced process control techniques in Cell Processing, NREL gives an atmospheric thin-film deposition technique overview, and in Power Generation REC looks at reducing BOS costs with new technology and economies of scale.

Read Next

Subscribe to Newsletter

Most Read

Upcoming Events