"By combining the high efficiency of crystalline silicon with the new, stronger encapsulant from DuPont, our module offers a new level of physical strength, durability and improvements in design," says Gary Shaver, Director of Sales for Silicon Energy.
Manufactured by Silicon Energy, LLC, in Washington State, the solar PV module made with DuPont PV5300 Series encapsulants is said to be able to withstand wind and snow.
"Compared with EVA and other available encapsulants, the new DuPont PV5300 sheet is based on ionomer, which is up to 100 times stiffer, five times stronger and much more resistant to moisture intrusion," explains Steve Cluff, Global Encapsulants Business Director for DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions. "DuPont's ionomer sheet technology comes from our advanced interlayer business for safety glass, where the original challenge was to find a clear material that could help laminated glass meet hurricane codes."
DuPont PV5300 Series encapsulant sheets are said to deliver glass-like clarity plus impact resistance, high strength and adhesion to glass, allowing Silicon Energy to build modules suited to not only high wind loads, but also heavy snows typical during the winter season.
To manufacture its module, Silicon Energy uses two 60-mil layers of the DuPont PV5300 encapsulant to surround the silicon solar wafers, and adds high-transmittance tempered glass to complete the structure. The resulting combination of glass and ionomer sheet material delivers significantly increased flexural strength over traditional modules, DuPont says.
"Because the new DuPont encapsulant is more resistant to moisture intrusion, we're also able to innovate with an open-edged framing design," says Shaver. "This allows snow, water and dirt to just slide right off, which increases module performance."