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Can you design sustainable PV backsheets without compromising performance?

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While the quality of materials and components has thus far been a particular focus for manufacturers looking to offer premium products that stand the test of time, sustainability is increasingly on the agenda as end-of-life waste mounts, and customer and policy demands change. A growing number of manufacturers recognize the benefits of integrating sustainable design and production principles, like lower long-term costs, due to material reuse, for example, without compromising on other aspects.

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Discussion participants

Steven Davies, EMEA Market Manager, DuPont Teijin Films
Bertrand Lempkowicz, Communications Manager, PV Cycle

Moderators

Becky Beetz, Head of Content, pv magazine

Can you design sustainable PV backsheets without compromising performance?

With a required lifespan of at least 20 to 30 years in the field, it is essential to consider performance and durability when designing PV products, like backsheets. While the quality of materials and components has thus far been a particular focus for manufacturers looking to offer premium products that stand the test of time, sustainability is increasingly on the agenda as end-of-life waste mounts, and customer and policy demands change.

Some argue that by focusing on sustainability, other critical factors like quality and low cost may be compromised. However, a growing number of manufacturers recognize the benefits of integrating sustainable design and production principles, like lower long-term costs, due to material reuse, for example, without compromising on other aspects. pv magazine Webinar initiative partner DuPont Teijin Films is one such manufacturer.

Unlike many of its industry rivals, it produces halogen-free materials for PV backsheet production, which contain fewer hazardous chemicals than its fluorinated counterparts. Steven Davies, EMEA market manager, will discuss how sustainable backsheet design and manufacture can still deliver positive operational performance and improve end-of-life processes by recycling materials for reuse in new backsheets.

Currently, a primary barrier to products like PV backsheets is how they are handled at end-of-life. Indeed, separating backsheets from modules is one of the most challenging issues for recyclers because of the glues involved. Given the difficulties in pulling apart the layers, typically made of virgin plastic, they are usually burned.

To address this issue alongside Davies is PV Cycle’s communications manager Bertrand Lempkowicz who will talk about the current PV backsheet recycling landscape, including the issues recyclers are experiencing, such as design, prohibitive costs, and inadequate recycling infrastructure.

pv magazine Webinar content

  • Assessing backsheet sustainability from a production, performance and end-of-life perspective, including test data comparing halogen-free and fluorinated backsheets
  • How upcycled post-consumer waste can be incorporated into new backsheets
  • An overview of ongoing trials to prove the feasibility of closed loop recycling for PV backsheets
  • The importance of cross-industry partnerships to overcome global challenges
  • PV recycling issues and future prospects

Questions can be submitted beforehand or during the webinar through a chat window. Becky Beetz from pv magazine will be the moderator of this webinar.

Registration for this pv magazine Webinar is free of charge.

Speakers

Steven Davies, EMEA Market Manager, DuPont Teijin Films

Steven Davies is the Market manager for DuPont Teijin Films’ Mylar® range of products sold into the solar industry, and has 25 years of experience in the PET films industry in a variety of sales and marketing roles. He has developed DuPont Teijin Films’ sustainability strategy and has extensive experience in leading industry wide initiatives to promote the use of recycled material and develop closed loop recycling processes.

Bertrand Lempkowicz, Communications Manager, PV Cycle

Former multi-entrepreneur, Bertrand Lempkowicz led various companies in the communication sector based in various countries as Belgium, Turkey and Unites States (MA), in 2017, he joined the PV CYCLE adventure and took over the direction of the communication of association PV CYCLE aisbl, today active globally, but also other local units of the group based in Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, UK and the Netherlands with the objective of making end-of-life issues understandable by both photovoltaic professional and by the general public.

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