09/21/2009, Hamburg / Germany


Henkel to showcase solutions for photovoltaic industry at 24th EU PVSEC


Weather-resistant PV Backsheets with Liofol

From September 21 to September 25, Hamburg will be donning the guise of center of the solar system as it hosts the 24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC). During the first four days, the conference will be accompanied by an exhibition for which 800 companies have registered, among them Henkel.

Everybody who is anybody in the photovoltaic industry will be present or represented at this year’s EU PVSEC, a trade show for which all the exhibition floor space was snapped up long ago. This year Henkel is also taking part: In Hall B6, Stand B6/1 the company will be showcasing innovative adhesives, sealants and cleaners covering the entire value chain in photovoltaic manufacturing. Among other things, the specialists at Henkel will be bringing along a solution for laminating the backsheets used in PV solar modules. With a two-component system developed under the Liofol brand, the world number one in sealants and adhesives has now applied its entire expertise in laminating technology to solving the problems of the solar industry.

The main components of solar modules with photovoltaic cells of crystalline silicon are the glass lens, two EVA sheets (ethylene vinyl acetate) in which both the silicon solar cells and the electrical contacts are embedded, and then a final layer in the form of a protective, weather-resistant backsheet, usually comprised of a multi-film laminate. “The demands on this composite sheet are particularly high,” explains Stefan Tomke, responsible at Henkel for product development on the laminating adhesives side. “During the 20 to 25 years of its service lifetime, the backsheet is expected to continuously withstand all the tough weathering conditions to which it is exposed in its roof-top position.” For the components of the backsheet extreme hydrolysis is a particular problem, and the adhesives especially need to exhibit enormous resilience in this respect.”

UV resistance is also paramount as the backsheet must not be allowed to yellow. “Added to this is the fact that, during the laminate manufacturing process, the adhesives have to readily withstand temperatures of up to 150°C for periods of 25 to 35 minutes,” Tomke continues. The composite sheets laminated with Liofol adhesives are therefore subjected to a whole raft of different tests. For example, they are required to prove their thermal resistance at temperatures of 200°C, and to come through 2,000 hours of weathering at 85°C and 85% relative humidity without deterioration.

The European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition is widely regarded as the premier event within the industry. Over the last 32 years it has constantly provided an integrated program comprised of scientific knowledge transfer and trade show. During the five conference and four exhibition days, product innovations and technical developments are presented to an expert audience from all areas of the photovoltaic sector and all corners of the earth. “This exhibition is tailor-made for us,” enthuses Rajko Pfefferkorn, Regional Sales Manager and Head of Engineering Laminations, “because we too are globally structured, which means that we can offer all our customers the expertise they need, irrespective of whether they are located in Asia, Europe or the USA.”

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA