Following a successful year in 2010, Saint-Gobain Solar, a leading manufacturer of sustainable materials and engineered renewable energy solutions, is on track for an even brighter 2011. The group is bringing new levels of production efficiency and cost savings to photovoltaic module manufacturing processes with its innovative SolarBond™ products.
As the solar market continues to grow, module manufacturers are increasingly aware of the importance of innovative production components to enhance their production processes. Saint-Gobain Solar’s SolarBond™ products – including the new SolarBond™ Frame Sealant and SolarBond™ Frame Tapes – are enabling manufacturers to innovate their production processes and achieve great efficiencies and cost-savings.
Specifically, module framing is one such process that has benefited from the cutting-edge SolarBond™ technologies. The traditional silicone methods used to seal photovoltaic modules lead to significant material waste as well as extensive cleaning time as excess product flows onto the module’s surface after the insertion of the photovoltaic laminate into the frame.
With SolarBond™ Frame Sealant, a new-generation pumpable sealant, Saint-Gobain Solar allows solar module manufacturers to significantly improve performance, while reducing overall production costs. The sealant consists of a foamable, single component reactive thermosetting compound that allows an optimum cavity fill to be achieved without any overflow, reducing cleaning time and eliminating material waste.
In addition, because the sealant is warm when applied, it takes significantly less time to set, and achieves high bonding strength immediately after contact with the glass, backsheet and frame. Instant adhesion in the framing process ensures a consistent level of quality and leads to increased productivity and shortened production cycles. A long-term, weather-resistant bond also assures durability of the final product.
The technology also uses a unique, automated dispensing solution for the framing process, leading to enhanced operational safety and increased capacity to meet growing market demand.
To further enhance the productivity of their framing processes and the performance of solar modules, manufacturers utilize SolarBond™ Frame Tapes. Offering cost-effectiveness, easy application and durability in the solar module framing process compared to alternative products, the tapes are used for perimeter sealing of the PV laminate to the aluminium frame. With instant bonding, manufacturers can handle the module immediately after framing, resulting in increased production efficiency.The SolarBond™ Frame Tapes are UL listed and offer performance to IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) conditions for adhesion strength, weatherability and durability as confirmed by TÜV Rheinland, a respected independent testing and assessment service.
Yulia Tribrat | ABI, Inc.
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