Momentive Performance Materials intros new manufacturing technology for solar modules

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Momentive Performance Materials intros new manufacturing technology for solar modules

By Greentech Lead
Europe
: Momentive Performance Materials, a provider of silicones and
advanced materials, has introduced its SilTRUST transparent silicone
encapsulant material at the Polymers in Photovoltaics 2012 forum in Cologne,
Germany.

The company claims that the new transparent silicone
encapsulant technology ensures the long-lasting performance of solar energy
photovoltaic modules in harsh outdoor environments, while improving the
light-to-electricity conversion yield.

“SilTRUST silicone encapsulation of solar cells has
been shown to improve the efficiency and durability of solar panels while
lowering manufacturing costs,” said Alex Scholten, global program leader,
EcoEnergy at Momentive Performance Materials.

The SilTRUST provides greater stress resistance,
weatherability, corrosion protection and a longer life span with higher
efficiency for crystalline silicon PV modules.  

SilTRUST encapsulant can be used to surround the fragile
solar cells of the PV module with a very flexible, stress dissipating silicone
matrix that adheres well, yet does not pass on much of the mechanical stress
the cell may suffer due to harsh environmental conditions. SilTRUST silicone
encapsulant materials offer module
manufacturers a commercially viable way to produce crystalline silicon
PV modules with a longer use life and better energy conversion efficiency.

The refractive index of SilTRUST encapsulant closely matches
the refractive index of glass, reducing energy-dissipating reflection of
sunlight away from the solar cell.

SilTRUST encapsulant is used at much lower module
manufacturing temperatures to avoid stress due to differences in thermal
expansion coefficients of a module’s components. SilTRUST encapsulant material
enables cost effective manufacturing of crystalline silicon solar modules for
terrestrial purposes.

“In tests, this encapsulant material outperformed
traditional encapsulant materials in PV applications. With our project
collaborators, we have also developed a lower temperature, cost-effective
module manufacturing process to offer flexibility in equipment and raw
materials use as well as ease and speed in processing,” Scholten
added.  

The process operates at much lower temperatures and faster
curing speeds than typically found in the manufacture of cells encapsulated
using other materials.

Momentive Performance Materials recently celebrated five
decades of technological achievement in the global polyurethane foam industry
as its venerable Niax brand passes the 50-year mark.

[email protected]

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