Armageddon Energy, EconCore and DuPont have created a lightweight polymer solar panel which is said to be one-third the weight of a standard glass solar panel as well as being significantly more rugged and resistant to damage.
According to EconCore, the key advantages of the Armageddon solar panel design include 70-80% lower weight, minimal need for cleaning, greatly improved resistance to the kinds of damage typically suffered by solar panels, and adaptiveness to challenging applications. The solar panel features a thermoplastic honeycomb sandwich panel technology developed by EconCore in Belgium. The EconCore substrate is a strong, lightweight polyamide (DuPont Zytel) honeycomb material that is produced continuously and can be in-line laminated with skin layers (DuPont Vizilon) to deliver a cost-effective sandwich product suited to high volume production.
“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,” says Tomasz Czarnecki, COO of EconCore. “We are committed to helping Armageddon bring their solar panel to market with high performance, competitive pricing and scalable manufacturing.”
DuPont Performance Materials provides an exceptionally 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.
“DuPont has a big footprint in solar with products like DuPont Tedlar backsheet films and Solamet metallisation pastes, and we’re delighted to add this unique application of Vizilon thermoplastic composites to that portfolio,” states Jan Sawgle, Programme Manager, DuPont Performance Polymers. “DuPont is uniquely positioned to understand just how large the growth potential is for solar and what hurdles need to be removed for that growth to happen.”
Armageddon Energy, EconCore and DuPont Performance Polymers have been awarded a JEC Innovation Award for this honeycomb sandwich panel development.
“We are honoured to receive this recognition from JEC and the awards committee,” comments Mark Goldman, CEO of Armageddon Energy. “We’ve been investing through multiple product generations in new materials and novel designs to help expand the market for solar and those who have access to it, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be supported by the industry that’s critical to helping us realise that vision.”
Goldman notes that almost 2 billion people worldwide have limited access to electricity, and solar is ideally suited to meeting their needs economically.
The Innovation Award will be presented during the JEC Future of Composites in Construction trade show to be held in Chicago, on 20-22 June 2017.
Image provided by EconCore
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