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Proceedings Paper

Flexible packaging for PV modules
Author(s): Neelkanth G. Dhere
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Paper Abstract

Economic, flexible packages that provide needed level of protection to organic and some other PV cells over >25-years have not yet been developed. However, flexible packaging is essential in niche large-scale applications. Typical configuration used in flexible photovoltaic (PV) module packaging is transparent frontsheet/encapsulant/PV cells/flexible substrate. Besides flexibility of various components, the solder bonds should also be flexible and resistant to fatigue due to cyclic loading. Flexible front sheets should provide optical transparency, mechanical protection, scratch resistance, dielectric isolation, water resistance, UV stability and adhesion to encapsulant. Examples are Tefzel, Tedlar and Silicone. Dirt can get embedded in soft layers such as silicone and obscure light. Water vapor transmittance rate (WVTR) of polymer films used in the food packaging industry as moisture barriers are ~0.05 g/(m2.day) under ambient conditions. In comparison, light emitting diodes employ packaging components that have WVTR of ~10-6 g/(m2.day). WVTR of polymer sheets can be improved by coating them with dense inorganic/organic multilayers. Ethylene vinyl acetate, an amorphous copolymer used predominantly by the PV industry has very high O2 and H2O diffusivity. Quaternary carbon chains (such as acetate) in a polymer lead to cleavage and loss of adhesional strength at relatively low exposures. Reactivity of PV module components increases in presence of O2 and H2O. Adhesional strength degrades due to the breakdown of structure of polymer by reactive, free radicals formed by high-energy radiation. Free radical formation in polymers is reduced when the aromatic rings are attached at regular intervals. This paper will review flexible packaging for PV modules.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 September 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7048, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems, 70480R (11 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.795718
Show Author Affiliations
Neelkanth G. Dhere, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7048:
Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems
Neelkanth G. Dhere, Editor(s)

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