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Solar-electrical Systems based on Polymeric Materials – Part 3 Print

The PV industry currently is entering into a new phase of high dynamic market growth which poses an enormous challenge in terms of keeping up with the market demand. A major technological challenge to be resolved is related to the use of novel polymeric materials for PV cell encapsulation and module production along with advancements in the associated processing technologies.

There is a tremendous opportunity for Austrian companies to participate in and take advantage of the rapidly expanding worldwide PV market. Hence, based on the available scientific and industrial expertise in the field of photovoltaic technologies and polymer technologies in Austria, two overall objectives are pursued with the present research proposal:

  1. To foster and further strengthen the position of the Austrian photovoltaic industry by interlinking the industrial competencies of leading Austrian photovoltaic and polymer companies with the research expertise of leading Austrian PV and polymer research institutions.
  2. To trigger polymer based product innovations for various types of PV modules specifically by applying novel encapsulation materials with improved performance, simultaneously allowing for processing improvements and cost reductions.

The Consortium to perform this industrial research project consists of 7 Company Partners and 3 Scientific Partners and deals with various research problems of fundamental and application-oriented, pre-competitive nature. The Project aims at the establishment of the methodological framework and requirements for material development, at the development of novel polymer based PV encapsulation materials (i.e., primarily embedding materials and backsheets) along with their application in various types of PV modules (i.e., rigid, semi-flexible and flexible PV modules), and at the improvement in the concomitant processing technologies for these novel encapsulation solutions.

A major synergy arises due to incorporating and combining the scientific, engineering and methodological competence of leading Austrian polymer and PV research institutions, on the one hand, and the technology, application and market development expertise of the polymer and PV industry, on the other. In this manner the science based approach of the research institutions will be closely interconnected with the applied research and product development approach of the polymer and the PV industry. The combination of consortium partners from research institutions and the polymer and solar industry sector allows for a multidisciplinary scientific and simultaneously application and market oriented research approach. With this background in scientific and industrial competencies and activities, this Project will create a unique potential for developing appropriate capabilities and technologies in the rapidly growing field of PV applications.