DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions Addresses Quality and Reliability in Photovoltaics

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, March 6, 2014 – At the third edition of Solaire Expo, which took place in Casablanca, Morocco from February 26 to March 1, 2014, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions outlined risk mitigation strategies that system owners and financiers can adopt to increase power output, help improve their return on investment and lower the cost of solar electricity.  Morocco has ambitious plans to develop renewable energy.  The target is 20 percent renewable energy by 2020, of which 2000 megawatts (MW) is expected to come from solar energy. 

Morocco’s hot, dusty and semi-desert climate can lead to solar panel performance degrading faster than in other parts of the globe. The average level of solar irradiation in Morocco and neighboring North African countries is twice the level of irradiation found in Europe and far from the testing standards module manufacturers are requested to fulfill.

With a unique perspective into materials science and capability to deliver integrated solutions, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions continues to provide critical materials that improve the power output, reliable lifetime and cost of solar energy systems.  Flagship products, including DuPont™ Solamet® metallization pastes and DuPont™ Tedlar® polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) film-based backsheet materials have respectively helped almost double solar cell efficiency over the last 12 years and proven to reliably protect solar panels for over 30 years, even in extremely harsh environments.

 “One of the most important issues facing Morocco’s solar energy movement right now is that if solar is to be seen as a reliable long-term energy solution, it must involve materials that are proven to help ensure solar panels perform even in the harshest conditions,” said Stephan Padlewski, regional marketing manager, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, as he addressed the conference. 

Recent trends suggest that lower cost, lower quality materials are more frequently being substituted for those proven to last the expected 25+ years of module lifetime. For example, recent field studies conducted by DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions in Southern Europe on ground-mounted solar farms have found early signs of material degradation, in particular of the backsheets, in systems as young as four years old.  Padlewski indicated that the lack of clear and appropriate standards to ensure the quality, reliability and durability for the expected 25 year lifetime of photovoltaic installations is an important consideration for Morocco given the region’s high level of irradiation.

System owners and developers in Morocco can prevent this trend from spreading in the local market by understanding and selecting materials that are proven to perform reliably.  Securing projects against future failures that can erode profits can often come down to choices in materials.

The success of solar installations in Morocco will not only be determined by the total installed capacity, but also by the total power these installations generate over time. The probability of this success will greatly increase when those who engineer, procure and construct systems, and system owners collaborate closely with experienced material suppliers while selecting their panels.

DuPont is the leading supplier of specialty materials to the solar industry.  More than half of the world’s 400 million panels installed since 1975 have DuPont materials in them.  To learn more, please visit http://photovoltaics.dupont.com.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802.  The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.  For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com.