SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
ETFE and its role in the fabrication of lightweight c-Si solar modules 
Fabiana Lisco1, Farwa Bukhari2, Luke Jones2, Adam Law2, John Michael Walls2, Christophe Ballif1
1École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Neuchatel, Switzerland
/2Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), Loughborough, United Kingdom

Glass-free, lightweight (LW), photovoltaic modules have the potential to enable new uses of solar in building integrated and vehicle integrated applications.  Glass-free modules have the advantages of reduced weight, lower-cost mounting solutions and reduced transportation costs. ETFE is a promising candidate to replace glass as the front cover sheet material in module fabrication. In this paper, we report on its optical, chemical, self-cleaning, and morphological properties. Durability is a key issue especially for building-integrated applications since harsh conditions are prevalent outdoors.  We report on the effect of sequences of environmental stress tests (UV exposure, and Damp Heat).  The module cover material is also subject to regular cleaning, which can cause surface damage.  We report on the use of linear abrasion testing to assess the abrasion resistance of ETFE to a variety of abrasive materials.  The results provide useful data on the advantages and disadvantages of replacing glass with a durable polymer for front sheets in solar modules.