Here’s the “skinny” on PV Backsheet design!
The backsheet exterior layer’s composition correlates far better to weatherability performance than film thickness ever will!
The outer layer of the backsheet construction is the weatherable barrier for the Solar Module. The backsheet thickness and PET layer do little to protect the panel from weather exposure. Madico has focused its technology effort on the outer layer to differentiate our backsheet performance from the competitive landscape.
Backsheet designs usually feature a multi-layered laminate construction. The thick multi-layer design performed well and was accepted as the standard. However, this design has its limitations; one specifically is its thickness. A thicker backsheet does not necessarily provide the module with enhanced weatherability performance. It only increases cost and manufacturing complexity.
While the rest of the industry was content to utilize an exterior laminated film layer to reach weatherability minimum targets, we were not. While the rest of the industry settled for an additional adhesive layer to secure the exterior film layer to the interior film layer, and incidentally increased backsheet thickness, we were not. Madico quickly reached two inescapable technical conclusions:
- The adhesion layer was a primary source of multilayered laminate failure, and
- Multi-laminated backsheet design construction utilizing PVF, PVDF, ECTF and others is simply not the “ideal” design for the target application.
Madico’s research group advanced the backsheet design with our coating technology and fluoropolymer chemistry. The result is Protekt®: a thinner backsheet with excellent performance characteristics that maintains its mechanical properties.
While many in the industry have tried to replicate Madico’s design innovations, Protekt® using a fluoropolymer coating remains the thinnest backsheet design providing the module manufacturer with several, immediate advantages:
- Higher performance reliability
- Increased ease of module production with a thinner, lighter weight backsheet
- Faster, more efficient heat transfer through the vacuum lamination step
Protekt® HD backsheet is 0.25mm thick with a dielectric strength of 18KW. It is one of the thinnest, lightest backsheets on the market. Yet Protekt® HD sets the industry’s performance bar with regard to weatherability performance!
How is it that a lighter, leaner & greener ™ backsheet can outperform the competition? Simple, it was designed better.