Earlier this year PlasticsToday brought you news from TULiPPS Solar (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) about the company's success developing new flame retardant thermoplastic automotive-grade composite materials for use with solar panels. The company recently announced a new product using this technology that will be commercially available next year: a 500 Watt-peak (Wp) lightweight PV module that has the largest-capacity in the solar industry.
Due to its thin, strong solar glass on the front, a thin glass PV laminate on a composite module base on the back, and a frameless solar panel support system using lightweight long-fiber thermoplastic (LFT) polypropylene (PP) composite, the 500 Watt panel has the thinnest stack and lightest installed weight in the industry. The120-cell modules have the same height and weight as a standard 280Watt panel with 72 cells and an aluminum frame, despite being 60% wider.
The innovation concerns not only the panels. Using flame retardant LFT-PP roof mounts makes it possible to use these massive (but light) modules in different ways because of what is missing - the aluminum frame...