In the past, glass and aluminum were common materials in making solar panels. Solar plastics have recently gained popularity in the solar industry due to their lightweight nature, flexibility, and affordability. Their versatility makes combining different materials easier to create aesthetically pleasing and powerful solar panels.
The most common type of plastics used for solar panels include:
Acrylic is a commonly used plastic for solar panels. It’s made of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), with other additives that make it strong and durable. Acrylic/Plexiglass is highly resistant to water and weathering. This makes it appropriate for outdoor applications like solar panels.
Polycarbonate is a transparent plastic with high impact strength that comes in various colors with excellent UV resistance. Its transparency allows visibility without losing sunlight from the solar cells. The versatility has increased its popularity as a material for solar panels.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is the main component of solar plastics. It is a tough, rigid, and impact-resistant material used in several applications. With its strength, good chemical resistance, and electrical properties, ABS is an effective plastic for solar panels.
Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer used in the manufacturing of solar panels. The material is transparent and is used for different types of solar cells, including single-crystal silicon, polycrystalline silicon, and thin film.
Crystalline silicon water
Crystalline silicon water is made by processing sand into silicon wafers. It is coated with an insulating layer to form it into solar cells. Polyesteris a type of plastic used to make frames that hold solar panels together and is the base material for creating photovoltaic cells.
Polyethylene Naphthalate (PEN)
PEN works in solar plastics panel construction and other materials, like PET. It helps to strengthen the solar panel and increase its durability.
Cyclic Oligomeric Siloxanes (COS)
These materials are used in solar panels due to their resistance to heat, cold, and ultraviolet radiation. They have low water absorption rates, making them ideal for solar applications in wet climates as they do not absorb environmental moisture like other plastics.
COS works with other polymers such as PEN or PET with similar properties.
Companies Shifting to Solar Plastics
Some solar manufacturing companies are shifting from aluminum and glass to plastic. These companies include LG, Tesla, and JinkoSolar.
LG’s new solar panels use plastics that are more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity than traditional silicon-based panels. Solar plastics are lighter than glass-based panels and easier to transport.
Tesla recently unveiled its latest product: a solar roof that looks like a typical roof but generates clean energy. According to Tesla, it is cheaper to use a solar roof than a normal roof.
JinkoSolar is developing new products made of plastic instead of glass or aluminum. The product is expected to generate up to more power than conventional designs while maintaining its lightweight.
Solar Plastics Gaining Popularity
The solar industry is booming. Many companies are making the switch because plastic has advantages over metal and glass. It is lighter than glass or aluminum and is used in various solar productions.
Plastic materials are flexible to allow shaping them into different forms, unlike metal or glass, which are limited to flat panels. This increases design flexibility and increases the panels’ overall performance and versatility. Companies can increase their production and profits by using plastic solar panels, instead of glass and metal.
Plastic solar panels are the way to go if you want something affordable, lightweight, and durable. These panels have gained traction with manufacturers as they’re easy to install and can cost less. Solar plastics are an excellent choice for those who want their products to look sleek and modern. They come in different colors and shapes, making them fit seamlessly into any space or décor scheme. If you would like to start using plastic solar panel, reach out to a manufacturer for details on the latest technology.