Solar systems supplier Armageddon Energy, in partnership with technology company EconCore and Dupont Performance Materials have joined forces to create a new lightweight polymer solar panel.
The high-performance solar panel, announced the companies on 15 June, is one-third the weight of a standard glass solar panel and is “significantly” more rugged and resistant to damage than standard panels.
Some of the key advantages of the new solar panels are their light weight, minimal need for cleaning, improved resistance to damage and adaptiveness to challenging applications.
The new panels are based on the proprietary thermoplastic honeycomb sandwich panel technology developed by Belgian EconCore using DuPont’s lightweight materials.
DuPont Performance Materials provides a strong and durable version of its Vizilon thermoplastic composite to reinforce the substrates, as well as a tough Zytel polyamide resin for the honeycomb core.
“The potential of a lightweight, durable solar panel is simply huge and this development opens up new markets and application perspectives, including those beyond photovoltaics,” said Tomasz Czarnecki, COO of EconCore.
Also commenting on the development of the panels, Jan Sawgle, programme manager, DuPont Performance Polymers said his company had a big footprint in solar with products like DuPont Tedlar backsheet films and Solamet metallisation pastes.
“We’re delighted to add this unique application of Vizilon thermoplastic composites to that portfolio,” said Sawgle.
Additionally, Armageddon Energy, developer of high-performance solar panels and systems, announced on 15 June that, together with EconCore and DuPont Performance Polymers, it was awarded a JEC Innovation Award for the PV honeycomb sandwich panel development.
The award recognises companies that are involved in leading innovation using composite materials.