Polymers for Solar Energy Devices, Chapter 4.2

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    The functional role of polymeric materials for a wide range of applications in solar-energy conversion systems is summarized. These materials include metallized polymer reflectors, photovoltaic encapsulants, electrochromic devices, desiccant materials, and others. Metallized, flexible polymeric film reflectors can be used in solar concentrator technologies to focus sunlight to generate thermalheat for process applications or for conversion to electrical power. Transparent elastic polymers such as ethylene vinyl acetate have been used as encapsulant materials for photovoltaic modules. Developmental electrochromic devices consist of a multilayer stack of thin films mounted onto a suitable substrate. Polymers are used in the ion-conducting layer and are planned for use as substrates forelectrochromic windows in buildings applications. The use of cationic and anionic polymers as desiccants in cooling systems that are regenerated at temperatures below 353 K is briefly described. Recent work on metals deposited onto the organic functional end groups of self-assembled monolayers is also summarized. Problems, research needs, and future prospects for polymeric materials used insolar energy systems are identified and discussed.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Title of host publicationDesk Reference of Functional Polymers: Syntheses and Applications
    EditorsR. Arshady
    StatePublished - 1996

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CH-471-6097


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