BioSolar Inc. is the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce bio-based materials from renewable plant sources that will reduce the cost per watt of photovoltaic solar cells. Most of the solar industry is focused on photovoltaic efficiency to reduce cost, however, BioSolar’s unique approach introduces a new dimension of cost reduction by replacing oil-based plastic solar cell components with durable bio-based materials.
The efficiency of a photovoltaic solar module is determined by the percentage of the incoming solar radiation that is converted to electricity within the solar panel. The efficiency of popular silicon solar cells decreases dramatically as the temperature of the module increases.
The company reported today that rigorous testing by an independent authority reveals that its BioBacksheet can actually improve the power output of solar panels by dissipating heat faster. According to tests performed in June by ThermTest, a leading independent authority in thermo physical measurements and instrumentation, BioBacksheet’s measured thermal conductivity was 70 percent higher than the current petroleum-based backsheets.
The higher thermal conductivity of the materials used to make the BioBacksheet allows the heat that builds up from solar exposure to be more effectively dissipated into the surrounding air. This contributes to a lower operating temperature within the photovoltaic module, directly leading to higher energy efficiency and improved power output for solar modules incorporating a BioBacksheet.
BioSolar was pleasantly surprised by the findings. The company’s original goals for BioBacksheet was to be lower cost with higher durability. However, now Biobacksheet has a much more valuable feature – improved power output. The interest among solar panel manufacturers for its breakthrough BioBacksheet product should increase dramatically.