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Proceedings Paper

Consideration Of Encapsulants For Photovoltaic Arrays In Terrestrial Applications
Author(s): Edward F. Cuddihy; William F. Carroll
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Paper Abstract

Long-term survivability of photovoltaic arrays and components in terrestrial environments will require development of adequate protective systems. Highly considered are polymeric encapsulants, a method which was successfully employed in space and aerospace applications to protect critical electrical circuitry. To be employable, however, the polymer encapsulants must themselves be chemically and mechanically resistant to failure in terrestrial service. Chemical resistance includes stability to the degrading actions of ultraviolet light, oxygen, moisture and elevated temperatures in sun rich areas. Programs are underway to identify and develop chemically stable encapsulant candidates. Chemical considerations aside, mechanical failures of the encapsulants must also be avoided in array designs. This paper discusses design considerations for avoiding mechanical failures of polymeric encapsulants, with emphasis on biaxial properties, thermal fatigue, and anisotropy and nonhomogeneity of material properties. The general principles to be presented evolved from actual failures of polymeric materials in engineering applications. Also included are brief remarks on the permeability of polymer materials to atmospheric gases.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 February 1977
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0085, Solar Energy Utilization II, (15 February 1977); doi: 10.1117/12.954935
Show Author Affiliations
Edward F. Cuddihy, California Institute of Technology (United States)
William F. Carroll, California Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0085:
Solar Energy Utilization II

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