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Dow launches new range of polyolefin-based products

The technology sees the use of encapsulant films, which Dow says will increase solar panel efficiency.

According to Dow, three Enlight Polyolefin Encapsulant Composite films have been launched in total. One provides a ‘2-in-1’ functionality - serving as both the back encapsulant and the backsheet for solar panels. Another provides electrical insulation properties alongside increased resistance to Potential Induced Degradation (PID), which Dow says will extend module efficiency levels. And the third film has been developed for rigid crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV modules, again serving as both the backsheet and the back encapsulant.

“We are committed to finding new and innovative ways to leverage the capabilities of polyolefin technology for the most demanding needs of this industry” said Brij Sinha, the Director of Global Strategic Marketing for Dow’s Photovoltaic business. “We are using what we learn from working closely with leading module manufacturers around the world to design new products that help enable them to make panels with improved processing, enhanced performance and lower total lifetime systems costs.”

By combining two separate components, Dow says it has provided a product that "will eliminate delamination, improve electrical insulation and offer increased levels of moisture resistance".

At present the backsheets of most rigid c-Si modules are made of multi-layered films which are laminated with adhesives; these can over time fall apart. Dow has instead integrated three layers into a single film which additionally, the company claims, creates lamellar entanglement at the molecular level thus helping to eliminate the possibility of interlayer adhesion problems.

According to Eric Peeters: the vp of Dow Corning's solar business, the company is one of the few able to provide advanced silicon-based solutions throughout the entire solar photovoltaic (PV) value chain. This includes cell manufacturing, module assembly, and installation. “From silicon feedstock to high-performance encapsulants, sealants, potting agents and coatings, Dow Corning develops, manufactures and markets a diverse portfolio of silicon-based material solutions,” Peeters explains.

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