Backsheet manufacturer Tomark-Worthen LLC has developed a new polyamide backsheet under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot initiative. The product is based on a novel polyamide-ionomer alloy created by U.S. chemicals producer Dow. The alloy, as well as the other materials in the backsheet, are stabilized with a UV/anti-oxidant package that slows down the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. The manufacturer claims that the backsheet is 25-30% more affordable than high-efficiency fluoropolymer products.
Five testing laboratories led by Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE have begun a ‘round robin’ project to test the effects of ultraviolet light on polymer backsheet materials. Initial results indicate a route to accurate accelerated testing of backsheet UV stability over module lifetimes of 20 years-plus.
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