Module Encapsulation Question

Hello all. I'm a student from Ghent University in Belgium, doing a summer internship assignment on the encapsulation technologies for PV cells. My focus lies with the use of Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) and the prospects/opportunities in that market.

With thin-film technologies taking a large share of the PV market and EVA apparently not being the most popular encapsulant for those technologies, I still can't get a clear answer on what the reason for that is.. Is it because thin film techs require different properties from the encapsulant (higher moisture & electrical resistance?) or just because there is more expertise on using PVB and the other alternatives in the glass-to-glass laminating business?

I would be extremely grateful if anyone could give some clarity on this issue. Any further comments/links on how the use of EVA compares with other encapsulants for the specific technologies of CdTe, CIGS, CIS, a-Si,... is also very welcome!

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,988 admin
    Re: Module Encapsulation Question

    From what I understand, most (all?) thin film technologies require a much better seal against water and air (oxygen) than normal silicon cell technologies for long life.

    Whether that is the reason for different encapsulation materials or simply the need to reduce costs even further, I do not know.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Module Encapsulation Question

    That was my impression also, but then I noticed how often Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) is used and that seems to have even worse moisture resistance while even being more expensive...

    Do you think it has anything to do with the long curing of EVA or is that no longer a bottleneck these days?
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