Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced today that it has expanded its line of PowerShield® backing systems, which protect photovoltaic (PV) modules even under the most severe conditions.
Honeywell's PowerShield line of backsheets now includes PowerShield PV270, which is 30 percent lighter than traditional backing systems, while providing the same level of protection and insulation as traditional backing materials.
Honeywell made the announcement at the 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, the world's largest photovoltaic solar conference, which attracts solar industry leaders from around the world to discuss scientific and technological issues facing the industry.
"As demand for alternative energy grows, so does demand for technologically-advanced materials such as Honeywell's PowerShield line of backing systems for solar panels," said Sanjay Sharma, global business director for Honeywell's PowerShield business. "This is another example of how Honeywell is innovating to help manufacturers build more cost-effective, durable solar panels."
The structure of PV270 has been optimized to decrease the number of times manufacturers need to change the rolls of backsheet, allowing for longer periods of manufacturing up-time.
Honeywell PowerShield backing systems help seal and protect the electrical components of solar panels to prevent shorting and power loss under even the most severe temperature and humidity conditions. The backing systems protect panels from UV rays and the effects of freeze/thaw cycles. The systems are primarily designed for rigid crystalline silicon cell PV modules, which typically have a 25-year lifespan.
Demand for solar energy is growing in the U.S., Europe and Asia, where subsidies are helping make solar energy more competitive with traditional energy sources. The global photovoltaic industry generated about $38.5 billion in revenues in 2009, according to Solarbuzz®, an international solar energy research and consulting company.
PowerShield PV270 comprises two outer layers, one a fluoropolymer film and the other a proprietary special polyolefin thermoplastic. Sandwiched between the outer films is a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) layer. This inner layer is bonded to the outer layers by a proprietary adhesive system.
PowerShield PV270 is certified by TUV Rheinland to meet IEC 1000 volt standards and is also a recognized component by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for modules produced for installations in North America. Modules built with PowerShield PV270 have exceeded more than twice the required performance criteria under the IEC 61215 EU standards for PV modules.
Honeywell's PowerShield line of films also includes PowerShield PV325, which is designed for use in the harshest environments and has two outer layers of fluoropolymer film for added protection. Both PowerShield PV270 and PowerShield PV325 are reflective white, durable and UV-, moisture- and weather-resistant.
Honeywell has an active and global research and development program for photovoltaic backing systems with laboratories in Morristown, New Jersey, and Shanghai, China.
The company also has a history of innovation in high-performance transparent barrier films. In addition to PowerShield, Honeywell manufactures Aclar® fluoropolymer film for pharmaceutical blister packaging; Capran® biaxially oriented nylon film, also known as biaxially oriented polyamide (BOPA) film; Capran® heat stabilized nylon film; Aclon™ fluoropolymer resins, which provide the highest moisture barrier of any clear thermoplastic resins; and Honeywell PCTFE and PMP barrier films for industrial applications.
Honeywell also offers printable dopants and chemicals for the manufacture of solar cells, the SOLARC™ anti-reflective coating for solar panels, and solar panel installation sales and services. Honeywell sponsors the Solar Decathlon, an international competition organized by the U.S. Department of Energy.