What Is Solar Panel Backsheet Failure?

For any large-scale solar installation, most of the focus goes towards a solar panel’s solar cells. However, close attention should be paid to the other components as well. This includes the backsheet attached to the solar panel. These parts are essential and will affect a solar module’s quality and longevity. Furthermore, these components influence the installation’s overall expenses as well.
A solar panel backsheet might seem like a straightforward element of a panel. It is a simple plastic layer on the module that offers protection from DC voltage, which can be dangerous. That is why quality solar panel backsheets are imporant. Furthermore, these backsheets also enhance the life of the solar panels.

Solar Panel Backsheets – Why Are They Important

 

Solar panel backsheets protect PV modules from environmental damage and work as electrical insulation. If a backsheet is defective or ineffective, a solar panel will encounter severe damage. When a backsheet fails, the entire module fails to function properly as well. Common problems that one might encounter are unacceptable power degradation, terrible failure, and safety failure.

Most backsheet failures are because of the company’s quality of production. This PVS layer offers durability and protection from moisture. To increase a module’s durability and an installation’s effectiveness, choose a reliable and safe back sheet.
To protect the module, consider three defective factors: adhesion, mechanical strength, and weather-resistance ability. By ensuring that a solar panel backsheet protects with these three components, one can extend the life of solar panels for more than 20 years.

 

Current Solar Panel Backsheet Defects

 

Solar Panel backsheets will improve the efficiency, life duration, and overall performance of the module. However, some defects are causing dangerous consequences for solar panels. It is important to identify such problems and find instant solutions.

A backsheet plays a vital role in shaping the final form of the module. These polymeric materials protect from UV light and moisture and work as electrical insulation. Below, you will find some signs for backsheet failure:

  • Delamination
  • Bubbling
  • Cracking
  • Yellowing

Sometimes, property owners or operations and maintenance professionals are too late at spotting defects, which leads to severe problems. This makes it essential to identify problems before it is too late. The delayed intervention will disrupt energy production and poses a risk for total failure. Furthermore, there are also risks of shock due to leaking electricity. The reason for material degradation is often a defective backsheet. Some reasons why a backsheet might defect are:

 

Weak Core

 

When a solar panel backsheet features cheap materials, the core layer will have low stability. Reduce the risk of backsheet failure by ensuring that the material has PET polymers, good electrical insulation. PET is highly sensitive to sunlight and moisture, so it is not recommended for outdoor use.

 

Fewer Materials or Cheap Quality

 

Numerous manufacturers are designing solar panel backsheets with a thinner layer. They focus more on meeting the cost pressure than quality. This makes the PET core less productive, and it remains vulnerable to moisture. Numerous backsheets are available on the market, featuring a thickness of fewer than 20 microns. However, the layer was previously available in more than 40 microns. These solar panel backsheets could cause extensive damage to the module over time.

 

No-Regulatory Practices

 

Manufacturers generally certify a solar panel backsheet once. Sometimes manufacturers will change their laminate and suppliers without any need for re-certification, even though their product does not match current standards and the latest regulations. These practices can affect the quality of backsheets, and their resulting inability to perform adequate functioning will damage installed solar panels.

 

Solar Panel Backsheet Solutions

 

Here are some solutions for the above three common problems that one might encounter:

To protect a weak core, consider adding PET with high stability, PVDF, or PVF. This method to protect a weak core is not only effective but budget friendly as well. This approach could protect the solar panel back sheet’s outer layer, making it robust for real-life applications.

Before the purchase of a solar panel backsheet for modules, check the quality and the thickness. Without the best backsheet, costs related to damage and repair of panels could build over time.

Check the company’s certification and if the solar panel backsheets follow the latest guidelines. Furthermore, ensure the quality of the product before making any decisions. Inefficient backsheets will not likely perform for long durations.

Backsheets, while sometimes overlooked, continue to be an important factor related to the overall lifespan and efficiency of a large-scale solar installation. As solar cells and manufacturing processes continue to improve, so does the attention granted to backsheets.

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