Low-Cost Bioplastics Emerge for Solar Cells

By Doug Smock in Design News, November 24 2009

A small California company called BioSolar is introducing plastic components for photovoltaic (PV) cells based on cotton and castor oil that are described as less costly than plastics based on petroleum.

"Designed specifically for cost-sensitive, economical PV solar cell modules, we expect the BioBacksheet-C to be instrumental in driving down the cost per watt of solar power," says David Lee, chief executive officer of BioSolar. "An initial full production run was recently completed at one of our manufacturing partners and samples will be available for all interested PV module manufacturers shortly."

The substrate of BioBackSheet-C is a cellulosic plastic coated with a proprietary material to reduce the water vapor transmission rate and to increase abrasion resistance. The two-component system aimed at crystalline silicon photovoltaic applications is said to possess high dielectric strength.

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