PROJECT PROFILE: Soliculture (T2M2)

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Funding Opportunity: Technology to Market 2
SunShot Subprogram: Technology to Market
Location: Scotts Valley, CA
SunShot Award Amount: $399,981
Awardee Cost Share: $100,000

This project develops a white backsheet for silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules that solves fundamental problems with current backsheets. This new technology removes tie layers, which are known to cause reliability problems, and replaces a polyester film that can recrystallize at certain temperatures.

Approach

The project team will fine-tune the grade of polymeric material from the family of materials it has already vetted, adding white pigment to the polymer and performing extensive reliability and relative thermal index testing on the final product. They will also establish solid relationships with customers, distributors, manufacturers, and the polymer manufacturer to help define cost models throughout the course of the project.

Innovation

This project will create backsheet technology using only material as opposed to the multi-layer backsheets that are currently widely used in the solar industry. This will increase efficiency and significantly lower costs, leading to a module cost reduction of up to $0.02 per watt and helping to reach a levelized cost of energy of $0.06 per kilowatt hour.