Evaluation of the Durability of Flexible Barrier Materials

Michael Kempe, Dylan Nobles, Mark Weigel, Alan Nachtigal, Mark Roehrig, Tracie Berniard, Joseph Spagnola, Charlene Schubert

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


To enable the production of lightweight photovoltaic modules, it is desired to use thin film absorbers on metal substrates in a flexible package. To do this with a polymer based frontsheet, it is estimated that a water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) less than 10-4 g/m2/day must be achieved and maintained through the expected life of the module. Barrier-frontsheet films have been developed at 3M with very low permeation rates and evaluated for their long term durability with respect to WVTR and optical transmittance. After exposure to 2500 h of 10 UV suns at 105°C, one design was found which experienced negligible loss in optical transmission while maintaining a WVTR well below the required 10-4 g/m2/day. Further accelerated tests were conducted at different stress levels. For some less durable designs we were able to obtain degradation acceleration factors suggesting the highest exposure was equal to between 4.4 and 10 y on a roof.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 14 Dec 2015
Event42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 14 Jun 201519 Jun 2015


Conference42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-63614


  • Barrier
  • Durability
  • Flexible
  • Prediction
  • Reliability
  • Thin Film
  • Weathering


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