Onsite PV backsheet checks at the push of a button: trinamiX launches handheld NIR solution for fast material identification

May 10, 2022

trinamiX GmbH, a subsidiary of BASF SE, today announced the market launch of a novel solution for rapid onsite material analysis of Photovoltaic (PV) module encapsulations and backsheets. With trinamiX’s Mobile Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Solution, customers now gain transparency about the materials built into those protective layers of PV modules. In a matter of seconds, trinamiX’s handheld device provides users with relevant information about the identified material on their smartphone. This way, malfunctioning and poorly performing PV modules caused by material flaws in the protective layers can be either identified during regular checks at solar farms or reclaimed upon arrival as part of incoming quality controls.

During their operational lifetime, PV modules are subject to environmental stresses which vary depending on weather-related and local factors. Under these circumstances, polymeric materials as used in encapsulants and backsheets are the decisive parts ensuring the highest performance, protection, and safe operation of critical PV components inside the modules.

“The stability of the protective polymeric materials is key to achieve high reliability of the active PV components over the whole life cycle of a PV module. Yet manufacturers only reveal little information about the materials built into the PV modules,” explains Dr. Gabriele C. Eder, Senior Researcher at the Austrian research Institute for Chemistry and Technology (OFI). “Therefore, the non-destructive material identification of the polymeric components in PV modules is an important task, especially when module failures and degradation occur”.

After successfully launching various solutions in the field of material identification for the plastics and recycling industry, trinamiX teamed up with the Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology (OFI) and the Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH (PCCL) to develop an easy-to-use solution to address the transparency gap, benefitting customers across the entire PV industry.

“As a company that started with a team of researchers, we at trinamiX are convinced that viable solutions combine scientific expertise with profound market insights,” explains Adrian Vogel, Business Development Manager IR Sensing at trinamiX. “This is why we are particularly excited to have partnered with leading experts when it comes to material analysis, environmental simulation, and polymers. Together, we are contributing our fair share towards ensuring performance and reliability of PV modules in light of the strong expansion of Photovoltaic systems across the globe.”

Considering the rise of renewable energies, the benefits of on-the-spot material identification are not limited to maintenance and incoming controls. At the end of the lifetime, a sustainable approach demands efficient recycling concepts for PV modules. Knowledge about the underlying materials paves the way for proper sorting, enhancing the recycling value for the respective PV module components.

“From a recycling perspective, it is particularly important to identify fluorinated polymers that may be present in PV backsheet films,” explains Dr. Oreski, Head of the Sustainable Polymer Solutions division at the Polymer Competence Center Leoben (Austria). “The reason for this lies in the fact that those polymers require special waste treatment compared to conventional plastics.”

From May 11-13, trinamiX will showcase live demos of its newly launched solution at Intersolar Europe 2022. Visitors of the trade show in Munich are invited to visit trinamiX’s booth 512 in hall A4.

More information about the solution: trinamiXsensing.com/pv-modules

Ines Kühn
Ines Kühn
+49 173 3478340