Wuxi Suntech the PV module manufacturing arm of Shunfeng International Clean Energy (SFCE) has confirmed the development and testing with Taiwan Carbon Nanotube Technology Corporation (TCNT) of a high-strength, lightweight carbon and glass fibre composite PV module frame, the first such development of its kind in the PV industry.

According to Suntech, modules employing the composite material have already passed a number of tests including the IEC61215 standard testing, IEC61701 salt mist corrosion testing, and a high-strength mechanical load test up to 5400Pa at minus 40 degrees Celsius.

Xiong Haibo, President of Wuxi Suntech said: “Together with TCNT, we have successfully developed a new type of carbon nanotube photovoltaic module frame — a revolutionary innovation from traditional metal frame modules. The research and development of these modules required us to overcome significant technical challenges, but through the integrated partnership of the two teams, we developed this breakthrough product.”

Suntech touted that the carbon nanotube enhanced composite frame had greater ability to resist corrosion and eliminate potential induced degradation (PID) problems from moisture ingress and alike, while being non-reflective and overall advantages in extreme weather conditions.

The company intimated that the new frame has significant cost-saving advantages over conventional aluminium frames, without providing further details. 

Although Suntech said the new frame had undergone standard industry testing regimes no timelines were given for entering production and becoming a mainstream product offering. 

This article first appeared on PV-Tech.org