Quanex Explains the Value of Sealants in Solar Module Moisture Protection

As solar module technology continues to evolve, manufacturers are constantly striving to achieve higher levels of module performance and longevity. A long-term PV module performance issue/point of failure can be moisture ingress.

Many believe that crystalline silicon (c-Si) panels are not so susceptible to long-term moisture ingress, but recent testing by Quanex technical teams indicates that this is not true. Quanex has been providing photovoltaic (PV) module protection for over 20 years with SolarGain Edge Sealant. SolarGain Edge Sealant LP03 is a polyisobutylene butyl rubber adhesive with integrated desiccant applicable to many types of PV modules.

Quanex claims to have demonstrated the ability of SolarGain Edge Sealant to provide high levels of moisture protection in c-Si panels, thereby extending power output life, while shedding light on these emerging technology trends that revealed a need for higher levels of moisture protection across the photovoltaic market:

  • Traditional ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) encapsulants have the potential to generate acid which can undermine the panel’s potency due to the corrosiveness of the acid when exposed to moisture over time.
  • Alternative encapsulants like thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and polyvinyl butyral (PVB) have demonstrated a higher potential for resistance to moisture ingress compared to EVA, but are considerably more expensive and difficult to handle during processing. assembly process.
  • Newer technologies such as perovskite solar cells (PSC) and heterojunction cells (HTJ) have also demonstrated the promise of higher module efficiency, but have shown greater sensitivity to moisture and therefore also require greater protection against humidity.

Applying the proper sealant to new modules can:

  • Helps delay power loss over the life of a module by significantly delaying any moisture-activated degradation mechanisms.
  • Extend the useful life an additional 10-15 years without any further modifications to the existing design.
  • Maximize cell area by increasing aperture efficiency.
  • Maintain excellent environmental performance under high heat conditions.

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About Sandra A. Powell

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