A number of candidate alternative encapsulant and soft backsheet materials have been evaluated in terms of their suitability for photovoltaic (PV) module packaging applications. Relevant properties, including interfacial adhesion and moisture transport, have been measured as a function of damp-heat (85°C / 85% relative humidity) exposure. Based on these tests, promising new encapsulants with improved properties have been identified. Backsheets prepared by industry and at NREL have been found to provide varying levels of moisture ingress protection. To achieve significantly improved products, further development of these candidates is ongoing. The relative effectiveness of various packaging strategies to protect PV devices has also been investigated.
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