CHAINEUX, BELGIUM: To enhance the efficiency of the PV module lamination process and help module makers reduce long-term manufacturing costs, Saint-Gobain Solar launches its SolarBond Membrane at the 26th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Hamburg, Germany (Booth # B7/B42).
Available in two models, SolarBond Membrane Standard and SolarBond Membrane Premier, this technology platform ensures the protection of the module and the lamination equipment in extreme temperatures and challenging manufacturing environments.
During the PV module lamination process, module makers seal all components with ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) adhesive film to ensure that module layers remain secure. High heat levels are needed to melt the EVA (typically 145-155°C). These temperatures call for a flexible, durable membrane for use in the vacuum laminator to provide compression on the module in repeated cycles.
SolarBond membranes were developed specifically for the PV vacuum lamination process and are constructed from high-performance silicone. This silicone enables the membrane to retain its inherent flexibility and tear-resistance through multiple lamination cycles, resulting in increased service life and lower costs.
Each version of SolarBond membrane offers unique benefits to module makers. The premier version incorporates unique additives in its formulation to resist the EVA outgassing and can last for up to 6,000 cycles, depending on EVA type, laminator model and process parameters. The standard version provides an economic solution and is ideal for smaller module manufacturing plants.
Manufactured in continuous lengths of 2.8 meter widths with no seams, both versions of SolarBond Membrane eliminate the risk of ghosting (leaving an impression) on the module, often caused by seams in joined membranes. The membranes are available in a 3 millimeter thickness and widths up to 2.85 meters. Additional testing to evaluate Volatile Organic Content (VOC) showed that both membrane types performed significantly better than product alternatives.
“As the solar industry continues to grow in several regions, it will be crucial for module manufacturers to further reduce costs and streamline production efficiency in order to remain competitive,” said Geoffrey King, market manager, Renewable Energy, Saint-Gobain Solar. “SolarBond Membrane provides a valuable tool for manufacturers to improve their productivity and thrive in an evolving marketplace.”