Economic stimulus measures and the mantra of “build back better”, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, has many industries taking a fresh look at their products and activities to achieve better environmental outcomes. This is true of solar, where module manufacturers are seeing increased sustainability scrutiny.
Backsheets are a crucial component when it comes to module performance and durability, however to achieve these objectives is potentially hazardous – particularly if backsheet materials are burned at end of life.
Halogen-free materials are available for use in PV backsheets, which do not contain hazardous chemicals unlike their fluorinated counterparts. Their proponents argue that backsheets using these materials can achieve the durability required for 20 to 30 year lifespan for a PV module, while delivering substantially enhanced sustainability outcomes.
Research is underway to explore whether halogen-free backsheets can be effectively recycled, and closed-loop manufacturing achieved, with the material recovered reused in the manufacturer of new PV modules.
Join this free PV magazine Webinar to learn about the challenges to module recycling and how halogen-free backsheets can be effectively recycled – along with their efficacy regarding durability.