Lamination is vital for solar panels

Solar panels are a very common sight today. You can see them on houses, massive commercial buildings, and even street lights. There are also some huge solar farms with hundreds of units to generate as much electricity as possible. While they are everywhere, not many people know exactly how they work. Even fewer will know about the crucial role laminating services play here. Let’s take a closer look.

Why lamination?

Laminating servicesAlmost everybody will understand how laminates work. It is likely you handle or encounter products with them on a daily basis. It could be books, packaging, architectural products, or even furniture. The laminate provides two crucial things; it protects the substrate and it enhances the aesthetics.

Protecting the substrate is why lamination is important for solar panels. They have to be able to withstand the outdoor climate for a long time. Typically people want their equipment to last 25+ years. However, rain, wind, ice, snow, and even intense heat can all cause problems. It can result in structural damage and a gradual loss of performance. Luckily, laminating can help.

What you tend to have with solar panels is a series of layers. It provides effective encapsulation to maximise protection. The common arrangement is an upper layer of tempered glass, an encapsulant, the solar cells, a second encapsulant, and finally a laminate film that can offer UV protection.

Precision is crucial

The laminate can make solar panels more effective and improves their lifecycle. However, you need to ensure the laminating services are high quality. If not, there can be various issues such as delamination and yellowing or browning. If a problem does occur, the panels won’t generate as much energy and won’t last as long.

Another major issue is edge pinch. If there is an issue with the laminator set up, it can apply excessive pressure to the panel. That can cause it to bend. It will be most noticeable at the edges, hence the name. The bending can ultimately result in glass breakage and delamination. So, manufacturers need to ensure they set up their equipment properly. It is especially crucial with any laminators that use a membrane to apply pressure to the panels.

Glass warping can also occur because of the temperature of the heating plate in a laminator. It can be massively higher than the solar panel module. What happens here is the panel heats up too quickly and unevenly. To tackle it, manufacturers can lift the module so it does not touch the heating plate directly. As a result, it can heat gently and evenly, ensuring it is homogeneous and remains as flat as possible.

Finally, manufacturers must ensure that the panels are completely sealed following lamination. It will make sure they have the best level of protection. They can then frame the module, typically using aluminium, so there won’t be excessive bending during delivery, installation, and use.

Do you need laminating services?

We are proud to be one of the UK’s lamination specialists. At Foiling Services we can apply laminate to a wide array of different products, including various sheet materials. Our goal is to deliver the best results and reliable encapsulation every time. We can provide access to various films, including interior and exterior ones, as well as sustainable options.

So, if you need laminating services, speak to us.