New company – Biosolar– has made the backsheet for solar panels not from plastic but from cotton and castor beans. We all knows that the plastic is mostly made from petroleum based products. Using the alternate products for the fabrication process instead of the classic plastic cuts the costs about 25%.
“It’s renewable and you don’t use any petroleum,” says electrical engineer David Lee, president and CEO of the California-based company about the new product. “The real merit is that we can actually reduce the cost of the backsheet compared to conventional petroleum-based backsheet.” Lee claims their backsheets will cost 25 percent less than conventional backsheets, which cost between $0.70 and $1 per square foot.
The proces starts with used cotton rags and turns them into a film of cellulose, a natural fiber. After the film is blended with a type of nylon made from castor beans. The tests conducted by the company at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that flexible plastic backsheet lasts longer.
Source: Ecogeek and Scientific Americain