EVM Rubber Levamelt
Capturing Solar Energy More Economically
Centrosolar Group AG and Lanxess AG, Leverkusen, Germany, have developed a new production method for photovoltaic modules. The new development is based on the EVM rubber, Levamelt, which encases the solar modules. During production of the solar modules, the individual silicon wafers are aligned and fixed on the carrier. Until now, the usual procedure has been to embed the silicon wafers in rubber films and then carry out a laborious crosslinking step at high temperature. Now it is sufficient to fix the wafers between two 0.5mm self-adhesive Levamelt films, without any subsequent crosslinking. In practice, this makes fitting much faster and speeds up the lamination process as compared with the ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) previously used. In addition, the new rubber is light-permeable, allowing the UV radiation important for generating power to pass through into the wafers unhindered. As a saturated polymer, it is particularly weathering-resistant and, since it contains no components that are susceptible to yellowing, retains its color. Since mid-2007, the two companies have been testing modules based on the new EVM rubber and comparing them with standard, conventional solar modules in a test facility on the roof of the Lanxess headquarters in Leverkusen.
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