Investors in the solar industry are gaining a better understanding of how to calculate actual returns on investments. Discussions regarding price are moving from a capacity basis, traditionally discussed in terms of cost per watt, to an energy generation basis, which is discussed in terms of cost per kilowatt-hour of energy produced and represented by estimated levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). In today’s PV market, everyone from system owners to start up thin-film PV firms will tell you about their calculated LCOE. Many assumptions go into this calculation, one of those key assumptions being the system degradation rate, which is highly dependent on the stability of your encapsulant.
Encapsulant reliability requires accurate, repeatable formulation, top quality raw materials and strict process control.