Borealis and Borouge, leading providers of innovative, value-creating plastics solutions, announce their support for a Belgium-based racing team participating in the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. Solar encapsulant film based on grades from Borealis’ pioneering Quentys portfolio will be used to protect and maximize the full potential of the solar cells of the team’s racing car. A two-year sponsorship agreement to support the team shall also help it race faster, and place higher, than ever before. These support activities are in line with the Borealis and Borouge aim to empower solar energy on an international scale by making it more reliable, efficient and affordable.
Racing in the outback as ultimate test: empowering solar with Quentys
Building on an exceptional track record in Value Creation through Innovation and more than 50 years’ experience in the global energy industry, Borealis and Borouge expanded the scope of their global energy endeavours in 2017 with the launch of the flagship brand Quentys. The first major application based on Quentys was introduced soon thereafter: ICOSOLAR® CPO 3G, a co-extruded polypropylene (PP) solar backsheet boosts photovoltaic (PV) module output and reduces output decay. The Quentys PP compounds used to produce co-extruded PP backsheets are now globally available to Borealis and Borouge customers.
In June 2018, the commercial launch of two new encapsulant film types based on Borealis Quentys polyolefin (PO) grades brought further improvements to long-term PV module performance and reliability, as well as greater cost efficiency. Both films are now being used to encapsulate and protect the solar cells mounted on the racing car built by the Agoria Solar Team.
Empowering this racing team is a new way to cooperate with innovative partners along the value chain to develop and implement novel and superior solar products based on Quentys. Known informally as the world championship for solar cars, the biennial Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is a gruelling, 3,000-km race across challenging outback landscapes, and the ultimate test for a solar-powered vehicle. Like other teams participating in this race, the Agoria Solar Team is made up of university students – in this instance from the KU Leuven university in Belgium – who design, build, and race their own solar vehicles. For the 2019 race edition, the team is using Quentys encapsulant film for the roof-mounted solar panels. This shall serve to increase the power output of the PV modules for more speed and range in a most efficient way.
“I would be hard pressed to find a better demonstration of the power of solar than this race,” claims Rudi Peters, Borealis Global Value Chain Manager Solar. “Our Quentys encapsulant films will enable this young and ambitious team to power their racing car better and more efficiently than before. What is more, by sponsoring this next generation, we at Borealis are helping foster innovation which will ultimately benefit the entire solar industry.”
“Our testing of the Quentys front and back encapsulant confirmed its stability and ease of use, and its great optical properties mean that losses will be kept to a minimum,” explains Nelis Geurts, the Agoria Solar Team member responsible for production of the car’s module. “It will enable us to exploit every last bit of energy from the sun. We are confident that this partnership with Borealis will help us to be the first solar car to cross the finish line in Australia.”