Saint-Gobain Solar’s range of PV modules produced by Martifer Solar which utilise Solar Bond InFrame sealant have met the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) standard for the safety performance of crystallline silicone (c-Si) terrestrial PV modules.

The accreditation provides industry with the necessary assurances that the silicone sealant alternative provides a durable adhesive for solar modules manufactured with single-piece frames.

Launched in the summer of 2011, SolarBond InFrame is a foamable, single component reactive compound that builds on the strengths of traditional liquid silicone and frame tape methods for framing solar modules to offer a new category of material.

SolarBond InFrame is applied warm in a continuous motion. This process eliminates the setting time needed for silicone products to cure by offering the instant adhesion of frame tapes coupled with a highly automated application process to shorten production cycles and reduce product waste.

When applied to Saint-Gobain’s single-piece frame, the foamed material fills the aluminium channel completely, even in the corners, eliminating the risk of water collecting in the frame.

Before reaching the market, all newly launched modules must meet the IEC 61215 standard, which sets test sequences, conditions and requirements for the design qualifications of crystalline silicone photovoltaic (PV) modules.

Developed by TUV Rheinland, an independent assessment service, the IEC 61215 standard evaluation tests include visual and hot spot diagnostics, insulation inspection, electrical component wet-leakage resistance and performance measurements under extreme temperature coefficients and environmental conditions. These conditions include exposure to UV rays, humidity, extreme cold and damp heat.

Modules also undergo a bypass diode test for hot spots and testing of mechanical performance under different weight loads and in environmental conditions such as hail. Regardless of challenging temperature and environmental conditions, the bonding strength of SolarBond InFrame proved durable and lasting, ensuring PV module manufacturers that using the material in their framing process will yield a high-quality final product.

“With our SolarBond InFrame module framing solution, we have achieved the industry standards in a commercial application, providing PV manufacturers with an intelligent and innovative alternative to silicone sealants that will help them transition into the next generation of solar module making,” said Geoffrey King, Market Manager, Renewable Energy, Saint-Gobain Solar.