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Arkema’s polymers boost the performance of photovoltaic panels

Polymers have become key components of photovoltaic panels: their role is to help maintain high performances over time, a challenge taken up by Arkema thanks to three of its polymers: Kynar® PVDF used to protect electrical components in the panel’s backsheet, as well as EVA Evatane® and Apolhya®Solar used to encapsulate the cells. Arkema will be presenting this product range for panel manufacturers at the INTERSOLAR trade show in Munich from June 19 to 21 2013.

Solar panels have a lifetime of 20 to 30 years. With its polymers, Arkema protects the PV panels’ components and helps optimize their performance and durability.

Kynar® polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) represents the key component for the design of the panel’s backsheet. In partnership with German company Krempel, Arkema has developed a three-layer film comprising a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) core layer enclosed within two Kynar® outer layers. The excellent temperature and moisture stability of Kynar® and its UV resistance, combined with its stable white colour to help reflect light towards the silicon, make it a key component of the panel’s durability.

Evatane®, an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), is used for the encapsulation of silicon cells, an expensive and fragile material. This resin boasts key benefits such as perfect transparency, the absence of contact defects during application, no yellowing with time, and excellent adhesion onto the surface glass. It adds to the yield and durability of the panel.

Last, Apolhya® Solar is a thermoplastic recently developed by Arkema designed to encapsulate new generation photovoltaic modules (in thin layers, concentrated, or on a crystalline silicon base). It aptly combines high thermomechanical properties despite the absence of crosslinking, excellent adhesiveness on many supports, perfect transparency, and good resistance to moisture and UVs.

A global chemical company and France’s leading chemicals producer, Arkema is building the future of the chemical industry every day. Deploying a responsible, innovation-based approach, we produce state-of-the-art specialty chemicals that provide customers with practical solutions to such challenges as climate change, access to drinking water, the future of energy, fossil fuel preservation and the need for lighter materials. With operations in more than 40 countries, some 14,000 employees and 10 research centers, Arkema generates annual revenue of €6.4 billion, and holds leadership positions in all its markets with a portfolio of internationally recognized brands.

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