DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions (DPVS) has commercialized a new modified ionomer encapsulant sheet for use in photovoltaic module manufacturing. The new encapsulant material, branded as Himilan ES sheet in Japan and as DuPont PV8600 Series encapsulant for the rest of the world, was developed for amorphous silicon and other thin-film module technologies.
Unlike traditional ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) encapsulants, this new offering needs no cure step, resulting in shorter lamination cycles and increased productivity, thus helping reduce module cost, DuPont says. It also offers increased moisture resistance for improved long-term module reliability.
‘Ionomer-based sheets are fundamentally more resistant to moisture intrusion, current leakage and discoloring,’ says Steve Cluff, global business director of DuPont Encapsulants. ‘Their use in glass-glass module designs is well-established, but adhesion to polymer-based backsheets, such as DuPont Tedlar and PET, required modifications that we've introduced in the new DuPont PV8600 Series sheets.’
The sheets require no refrigeration or interleafing to prevent blocking, and their stiffer modulus is well-suited to high-speed automated manufacturing, according to DuPont. Melt flow and excellent sealing characteristics of the ionomer help protect sensitive electronic components, busbars and interconnects during lamination, the company adds.