Description: Purpose of this subcontract was to produce lower module and systems costs through the innovative use of polymeric materials. The Innovative Mounting System (IMS) was developed and testing begun during the first year of this contract. IMS reduces the cost of installed PV systems by reducing labor and materials costs both in the factory and in field installation. It incorporates several advances in polymers, processing methods and product design. An advanced backskin material permits elimination of the conventional Al perimeter frame by protecting and sealing the edge and by direct bonding of multifunctional mounting bars. Electrical interconnection is easier and more reliable with a new junction box. Feasibility of a non-vacuum, high-throughput lamination method was also demonstrated, involving a novel transparent encapsulant with UV stabilization package that can be laminated in air and which should lead to longer field life than conventional designs. The first-year program culminated in the fielding of prototype products with the new encapsulant, backskin, junction box, frameless edge seal, and IMS. Feedback and marketing information from potential customers were solicited. Result promises a $0.50/watt manufacturing and system cost reductions as well as increased system lifetime. The second year will complete refinement and test of the encapsulant and backskin, complete the new lamination method, and refine product designs.
Date: June 1, 1997
Creator: Hanoka, J.; Chleboski, R.; Farber, M.; Fava, J.; Kane, P. & Martz, J.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department