Description: Encapsulation-material system requirements, material-selection criteria, and the status and properties of encapsulation materials and processes available to the module manufacturer are presented in detail. Technical and economic goals established for photovoltaic modules and encapsulation systems and their status are described for material suppliers to assist them in assessing the suitability of materials in their product lines and the potential of new-material products. A comprehensive discussion of available encapsulation technology and data is presented to facilitate design and material selection for silicon flat-plate photovoltaic modules, using the best materials available and processes optimized for specific power applications and geographic sites. A basis is provided for specifying the operational and environmental loads that encapsulation material systems must resist. Potential deployment sites for which cost effectiveness may be achieved at a module price much greater than $0.70/W/sub p/, are also considered; data on higher-cost encapsulant materials and processes that may be in use and other material candidates that may be justified for special application are discussed. Described are encapsulation-system functional requirements and candidate design concepts and materials that have been identified and analyzed as having the best potential to meet the cost and performance goals for the Flat-Plate Solar Array Project. The available data on encapsulant material properties, fabrication processing, and module life and durability characteristics are presented.
Date: June 1, 1982
Creator: Cuddihy, E.; Carroll, W.; Coulbert, C.; Gupta, A. & Liang, R.
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