Polymer Specifications for Photovoltaic (PV) Packaging and Balance of System (BOS) Components
Commercial formulations are a combination of polymer chains and small molecular additives tailored to the consumer’s requirements. Flame retardants, ultraviolet stabilizers, antioxidants, metal deactivators, and antimicrobial agents are the most relevant stabilizers for Photovoltaic (PV) packaging. Metal impurities can be intentionally or unintentionally embedded in polymer formulations. Intentional sources may be formulation additives, like catalysts used in the polymerization or inorganics used as flame retardants. Stabilizers and modifiers can be further classified as additive or reactive. Additives are small organic molecules subject to diffusion through the polymer. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched its first satellite in 1958; however, by 1965 it launched more than 100 satellites per year. Each of these satellites was dependent on PV power with an intended module life span of 8 to 10 years. PV manufacturers should look for this product designation when choosing chemistries for electronic pottants.