WEB EXCLUSIVE: A new type of acrylic-based solar barrier film for production of flexible, thin-film solar modules has been developed by Evonik Degussa in Germany.

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WEB EXCLUSIVE: A new type of acrylic-based solar barrier film for production of flexible, thin-film solar modules has been developed by Evonik Degussa in Germany. Using the barrier film as the front cover makes it possible to produce the thin-film solar modules cost-effectively in a roll-to-roll process. Replacing the glass plates used in the past also makes the modules two-thirds lighter. According to Evonik, there has up to now been no suitable film that protects the thin-film solar cells from long-term environmental damage. Evonik now proposes a multilayer structure that has a top layer of PMMA acrylic for weather resistance, followed by two inorganic barrier layers for moisture resistance, and then an EVA or other adhesive layer to bond to the photovoltaic (PV) module. Evonik is a major acrylic producer and is the parent of Evonik Cyro LLC in Parsippany, N.J. Lightweight, film-based PV modules could have numerous applications, such as on vehicle roofs and laptops.