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Polymers and resins for solar manufacturing

SABIC, a specialist in the chemical industry, is showcasing at Intersolar North America, in Booth #7616, its portfolio of NORYL resins and LEXAN EXL copolymer resins that address customers’ needs for materials that can meet the higher voltage requirements of different solar energy systems, aiming to reduce costs and increase efficiency. SABIC is also sponsoring the event’s Innovation & Application Stage, where more than 20 solar industry experts, including presenters from SABIC, will provide insights into the latest trends in solar energy and systems.

The solar industry is rapidly evolving to increase installation efficiency and reduce associated costs, which is helping expand adoption. According to National Renewable Energy Lab data, the continued decrease in total system costs for residential and utility installations can be attributed to decreases in the cost of modules and electrical components, as well as reduced soft costs, such as labor1.

Higher performance components demand high-performing materials

As the solar energy space becomes more mature and efficient, new systems are being designed to handle higher voltages and storage needs. Higher performance also drives changing regulatory requirements for both photovoltaic (PV) junction boxes and connectors. Emerging standards for higher voltages (1.5kV) for these types of parts are leading toward materials with a comparative tracking index (CTI) rating capable of meeting performance level (PL) 0 requirements in multiple system components.

NORYL (PPE) Resin and LEXAN EXL Resin solutions

NORYL resins are built from a proprietary blend of polyphenylene ether (PPE) and polystyrene, along with additive enhancements ranging from fiberglass to flame retardants. These unique resins feature industry-leading low specific gravity, low moisture absorption, ultraviolet (UV) resistance and hydrolytic stability. 

NORYL resins also exhibit excellent electrical properties that remain stable over a wide range of temperature, humidity and frequency variations. This stability, together with a fine-tuned balance of thermal and impact properties, make NORYL resins potentially excellent candidates for demanding solar applications. From the company’s unfilled NORYL V0150B and LTA6020 resins to its NORYL SE1GFN2 fiberglass-reinforced resin, SABIC offers a multitude of NORYL resin options for the solar industry.

SABIC’s LEXAN EXL resin is a copolymer of polycarbonate and polysiloxane. The unique property profile of LEXAN EXL resin includes outstanding impact strength and toughness over a wide range of temperatures (up to -60 °C ductility), dimensional stability, consistent processability, flame retardancy, hydrolytic stability and wide colorability.

LEXAN EXL 9330 and LEXAN EXL 9330P copolymer resins are used in applications calling for CTI PLc-3 rated materials. The electrical and flame-retardant performance of these resins help enable designers to miniaturize entire systems by creating thin-wall parts, moving conductors closer together, and integrating junction box systems, contributing to reducing solar energy system costs and increasing efficiency.

Another LEXAN EXL grade, SABIC’s LEXAN EXL 9330S copolymer, is potentially well suited for designs that demand materials that meet the more stringent CTI PLc-2 standard. Compliance with this tough standard means LEXAN EXL 9330S copolymer resists arcing in the presence of moisture and salts and, therefore, can be used in parts that are placed closer together.

Technology experts from SABIC will be on hand to speak with visitors during the show at their booth. Intersolar North America is being held in San Francisco, Calif., from July 10 – 12, 2018.

1NREL National Renewable Energy Labs PV System Cost Benchmark (2010-2017)

Labels: SABIN,resins,copolymers,flame-retardant,electronics,solar manufacturing

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