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16th June 2017, Leuven

Armageddon Energy, EconCore and DuPont develop ultra-light photovoltaic panel

Armageddon Energy, EconCore and DuPont joined forces to create a new lightweight polymer solar panel, which is said to be one-third the weight of a standard glass solar panel while being more rugged and resistant to damage than standard panels.

The high-performance solar panel and the team that developed it aim to represent combined innovations in materials, manufacturing and product design, all focused on delivering new and better products to commercial and residential customers in solar, the companies report.

Solar panel and honeycomb. © EconCore

The key advantages of the Armageddon solar panel design are said to include 70 to 80% lower weight, minimal need for cleaning, greatly improved resistance to typical kinds of damage suffered by solar panels and unique adaptiveness to challenging applications.

Thermoplastic honeycomb sandwich panel technology

Underlying these advantages is a thermoplastic honeycomb sandwich panel technology developed by EconCore N.V. in Belgium. The EconCore substrate is an exceptionally strong, lightweight polyamide (DuPont Zytel) honeycomb material that is produced continuously and can be in-line laminated with skin layers (DuPont Vizilon) to deliver a cost-effective sandwich product uniquely suited to high-volume production.

“The potential of a lightweight, durable solar panel is simply huge and this development opens up new markets and application perspectives, including those beyond photovoltaics,” said Tomasz Czarnecki, COO of EconCore. “We are committed to helping Armageddon bring their solar panel to market with high performance, competitive pricing and scalable manufacturing.”

DuPont Vizilon thermoplastic composite

DuPont Performance Materials provides a strong and durable version of its Vizilon thermoplastic composite to reinforce the substrates, as well as a tough Zytel polyamide resin for the honeycomb core.

“DuPont has a big footprint in solar with products like DuPont Tedlar backsheet films and Solamet metallization pastes, and we’re delighted to add this unique application of Vizilon thermoplastic composites to that portfolio,” said Jan Sawgle, Program Manager, DuPont Performance Polymers. “DuPont is uniquely positioned to understand just how large the growth potential is for solar and what hurdles need to be removed for that growth to happen.”

JEC Innovation Award

Armageddon Energy, a developer of high-performance solar panels and systems, has announced that, together with strategic partners EconCore and DuPont Performance Polymers, it was awarded a prestigious JEC Innovation Award for this PV honeycomb sandwich panel development.

“We are honoured to receive this recognition from JEC and the awards committee,” said Mark Goldman, CEO of Armageddon Energy. “We’ve been investing through multiple product generations in new materials and novel designs to help expand the market for solar and those who have access to it, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be supported by the industry that’s critical to helping us realize that vision.” Goldman noted that almost 2 billion people worldwide have limited access to electricity, and solar is ideally suited to meeting their needs economically.

The Innovation Award will be presented during the JEC Future of Composites in Construction trade show, which will be held at the McCormick Place in Chicago, from 20-22 June. The Innovation Award recognises companies that are involved in leading edge and best of breed innovation using composite materials. It serves to provide the winners with recognition within the composites industry and offers global visibility for their achievements, while also contributing to the advancement of the composites industry overall. This year, five companies will receive Innovation Awards in Chicago.

www.econcore.com

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