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Increased reliability of modified polyolefin backsheet over commonly used polyester backsheets for crystalline PV modules

Comparison of mechanical properties of PET?based and modified polyolefin backsheetThe weathering stability of polymeric backsheets is very important for the reliability of photovoltaic (PV) modules. In addition to reliability, cost reduction and sustainability are upcoming challenges the PV backsheet industry is facing with. The most commonly used material for PV backsheets is poly(ethylene?terephthalate)?PET. However, PET is in general very sensitive to hydrolysis, which leads to chain scission and causes embrittlement, cracking, delamination, and dimensional instability of the backsheet. Compared to that newly developed modified polyolefin backsheets have favorable selective permeation properties and high mechanical flexibility, which could be key properties for backsheets in terms of higher PV module reliability. In this work, the weathering stability of PET/fluoropolymer backsheet and an alternative coextruded polyolefin?backsheet was investigated in terms of thermal and mechanical stability. Both materials were artificially aged and the changes caused by aging were investigated. The polyester?based backsheet showed embrittlement and reduced elongation at break for 70%. The polyolefin?based backsheet retained its mechanical flexibility even after 2000?h of aging under damp?heat conditions, with no significant physical or chemical aging processes occurring. The comparison of the results of both backsheets suggests that the polyolefin backsheet is a promising candidate for the reduction of cracks and delamination in the field. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2020, 137, 48899.

Publication date: 06/01/2020

Author: Antonia Omazic, Gernot Oreski, Michael Edler, Gabriele Christine Eder, Christina Hirschl, Gerald Pinter, Matko Erceg

Reference: doi:10.1002/app.48899

Journal of Applied Polymer Science


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 1914.