You might not think that cotton and castor beans could be the answer to making solar panels less expensive, but that’s just what California-based BioSolar is trying to make happen. The company has just unveiled a new backing for solar panels which it hopes manufacturers will find financially and functionally more compelling than the petroleum-based backing sheets currently used for most panels.
Renewable and Less-Expensive, BioSolar Says
Announced at the Solar Energy + Applications conference in San Diego this week, BioSolar says the new backing sheet is made of a mixture of cotton and a nylon resin made from castor beans. Not only will these be a more environmentally friendly option, but according to BioSolar, will sell for 25-50% less than current backing sheets.
BioSolar’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr Stan Levy:
We have demonstrated that functional photovoltaic back-sheets can be produced from renewable resources. We believe that the BioBacksheet is a viable alternative to back-sheets currently in use. Not only is this product produced from sustainable and renewable resources, but is expected to be more cost effective than the current back-sheets.
Preliminary testing has shown that the new material performs well in tests, but final testing still has to be done before commercial production begins.
via BioSolar and :: GreenTech Media
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