Saflex(R) Introduces Embossed Solar Encapsulant For Photovoltaic Market

Date: 24 February 2010
Source: Solutia,Inc.
ST. LOUIS, Feb 23, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Saflex, a business unit of Solutia Inc. (NYSE: SOA), announces the launch of a new encapsulant designed specifically to improve solar panel throughput and processing costs for solar module manufacturers that use the vacuum encapsulation process.

The product, Saflex(R) PG41, is a new thin gauge encapsulant that utilizes embossing technology and marks the latest addition to a fast growing PV encapsulant portfolio for Saflex.
 
Embossing is a mechanical technology that creates 'micro channels' on the surface of the encapsulant. These channels provide a quick and efficient manner to remove air during the vacuum encapsulation process. "It follows the same logic as having treads on a tire," comments Christopher Reed, Business Director for Saflex Photovoltaics. "By embossing the surface, we're providing a means to speed up the vacuum encapsulation process which then increases throughput and ultimately lowers processing costs."
 
Saflex pioneered embossing technology during the 1990's to improve the vacuum lamination process for manufacturers of automotive windscreens. "Our company has been innovating products for decades for use in automotive and architectural applications. We're now bringing this scale and expertise to the photovoltaic market; embossed technology is yet another example of what can bring to module manufacturers," continues Reed.
 
Embossing also pulls more air out of the module which improves yields by reducing visual defects due to air bubbles trapped in the encapsulant. This may be especially important for aesthetic applications, including Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), where optical quality and appearance is a critical product attribute.

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