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New DuPont Encapsulant Improves W and K Solar Modules
by Staff Writers
Wilmington DE (SPX) Aug 31, 2011

Ionomer-based PV5400 Series encapsulant is supplied by DuPont in roll form as ready-to-use sheeting up to 160 cm wide, in thicknesses from 0.40 to 0.50 mm. The encapsulant is processed using the same equipment used for traditional modules.

Willard and Kelsey (W and K) Solar Group announces commercialization of their new "WK1-75" photovoltaic (PV) module using DuPont PV5400 Series encapsulant. Designed for utility-scale clean energy projects, the new module incorporates a cost-effective cadmium-telluride (CdTe) thin-film power-generating layer, which is given extra protection by the new, highly moisture-resistant DuPont PV5400 ionomer-based PV encapsulant.

"Builders and investors in solar farms look at total lifetime energy return per dollar spent," explains Keith Guenther, director of product development for W and K Solar.

"CdTe-based thin-film photovoltaic modules convert photons into electricity as much as 20 percent more efficiently than typical amorphous silicon modules. But with any module, the key to long-term output efficiency is resistance to extreme weathering, and especially resistance to moisture intrusion at the module edges."

"When used in our durable new WK1-75 frameless modules, DuPont PV5400 Series encapsulant blocks moisture ingress better than any other encapsulant tested," said Guenther. "The protection is so much better, it eliminates the need for edge seals."

To block moisture ingress at the edges of conventional modules, manufacturers often need to add an edge seal, increasing material and labor costs to help mitigate the inherent moisture susceptibility of traditional encapsulants.

Using more moisture-resistant DuPont PV5400 Series encapsulant, with no edge seal, W and K Solar modules are able to achieve durability well beyond what's required by current standards. For example, in "damp heat" testing conducted in accordance with IEC 61646 Section 10.13, the new W and K module survived more than 4,000 hours versus the required 1,000 hours required for acceptance.

DuPont worked closely with W and K Solar to advise on ionomer sheet processing techniques and testing protocols for the new module. "DuPont basically became part of our development team," said Guenther.

Because it is up to 100 times stiffer and 5 times stronger than traditional thin film laminating materials, DuPont PV5400 encapsulant also improves module deflection resistance and mechanical strength. Laminating speeds with the new encapsulant are increased by as much as 30 percent versus using traditional PVB- and EVA-based encapsulants.

Ionomer-based PV5400 Series encapsulant is supplied by DuPont in roll form as ready-to-use sheeting up to 160 cm wide, in thicknesses from 0.40 to 0.50 mm. The encapsulant is processed using the same equipment used for traditional modules.

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Willard and Kelsey (W and K) Solar Group
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El Segundo CA (SPX) Aug 31, 2011
U.S. photovoltaic (PV) installations in 2011 will rise a spectacular 166 percent to a total of 2.4 gigawatts (GW), with California leading the country in the amount of power derived from renewable solar energy, according to a new IHS iSuppli Photovoltaic Market Tracker report, from information and analysis provider IHS. The number of U.S. PV installations this year is projected to climb to ... read more

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