Encapsulation is an important step in the proces of building solar panels. Encapsulation or lamination ensures that the fragile solar cells are protected from the outside environment. The encapsulation consists of a multilayer laminate and can be seen as a wrap around the solar cells. Regular solar panels are protected by a glass front material and (depending on type of panel) a PET or glass back material. In between the front and backsheet are the solar cells. This is held together by a flexible interlayer, the encapsulant.
During lamination the stack of materials is brought into a solar laminator. Firstly a vacuum is applied to evacuate all air out of the laminate, so no unwanted are bubbles are trapped. After this vacuum step the laminate is pressed together and heated. Now the encapsulant melts and the layers are pressed firmly together. After around ten minutes the encapsulant is cross linked and bonded to the cells and front and backsheet. With a controlled cool down the materials set and the panel is laminated.
At Mito Solar we built solar modules with different requirements than regular solar panels, with respect to weight and optical properties. Therefore we use very thin and flexible front and backsheet materials. These materials are carefully chosen to ensure good optical properties while maintaining sufficient protection to the outside environment. We work with the industry best encapsulants to ensure quality, durability, the best optical properties and protection against vapor entering the laminate. We have developed two specialised laminates which can be used for racing teams, like solar car or solar boat racing. The laminates vary in properties, where one is optimised for maximum yield under all conditions by embedding a pyramid/cone microstructure, the other is more resistant to scratches and soiling but still benefits high yield. We can supply these laminates with your own choice of cells, size and electrical integration methods.