Honeywell has announced it has introduced a new black laminate film designed to help make black solar panels cooler and more efficient.
All-black solar panels are increasingly being used on homes because they blend with rooftops more easily. PowerShield Cool Black is a backsheet that helps reduce solar panel operating temperature by using an innovative and proprietary technology that reflects solar radiation. When panels operate at lower temperatures, their electrical components are able to operate more effectively and generate more power.
“Heat reduction is a key factor in improving solar panel efficiency, and black panels are especially susceptible to increased temperatures,” said Jerry Buchanan, global business manager for Honeywell’s photovoltaic (PV) backing systems business.
“Honeywell’s innovative new product, PowerShield Cool Black, can help keep black panels cool while making them more efficient, durable and able to blend in with their surroundings.”
Independent industry and university laboratory tests have shown that, during periods of peak power demand, solar panels using PowerShield Cool Black are as much as 7 degrees Celsius (12.6 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler, which can increase their power output by 2 to 3%. In turn, this increased power output can reduce a panel’s cost-per-watt generated by 2 to 3%.
PowerShield Cool Black’s efficiency benefits can help panel manufacturers achieve industry standards for power output at a lower cost. Panels using the backsheet can meet a building-integrated PV (BIPV) or building-applied PV (BAPV) module output rating with lower-cost cells, or reach a higher module output rating using existing cells.
PowerShield Cool Black includes Honeywell’s proprietary adhesive, which helps make panels more durable and able to withstand harsh environments. The backsheet has been shown to withstand more than 3,000 hours of exposure at an 85°C (185°F) temperature and 85% relative humidity while maintaining its structural integrity.
As with all PowerShield backsheets, PowerShield Cool Black offers excellent resistance to environmental degradation from sunlight, heat, cold and humidity; strong resistance to acids, bases, solvents, salts and other chemicals; and resistance to excessive moisture infiltration within a module.
PowerShield Cool Black is the second new backsheet introduced by Honeywell in 2012. PowerShield 3W, a cost-effective, durable white laminate, was introduced earlier this year.
The technology behind PowerShield Cool Black is based on more than three decades of Honeywell innovation in high-barrier films for food packaging, industrial and healthcare applications. A world-class supply chain, which provides module makers with a single point of contact for their backsheet needs, helps to ensure consistent quality and supply.
Honeywell maintains an active and global research and development program for photovoltaic backsheets, with laboratories in Morris Township, New Jersey, and Shanghai, China.
Honeywell also offers printable dopants and chemicals for the manufacture of solar cells, the SOLARC anti-reflective coating for solar panels, and solar panel installation sales and services.