Tera-Barrier Films Pte. Ltd. (Tera-Barrier Films) announced that its key customers have tested Tera-Barrier's Solar Barrier Films under accelerated lifetime testing and have determined that Tera-Barrier's films doubles their device lifetimes.
Testing conducted by Tera-Barrier's customers has shown a consistent linear performance, allowing the device to maintain a steady performance over time. This is a unique characteristic of Tera-Barrier's barrier product, which has been independently tested and reported on three different flexible photovoltaic technologies such as CIGS (Cadmium Indium Gallium Selenide), OPV (Organic Photovoltaic) and DSSC (Dye Sensitized Solar Cells).
"We believe the unique characteristic of the device performance on our barrier film is due to dual functions of the nanoparticles, primarily the nanoparticles could plug the defects of the barrier oxide films and secondly, the nanoparticle can also increase surface area significantly and therefore the residual moisture or oxygen can be effectively adsorbed and reacted with nanoparticles," explained Senthil Ramadas, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Tera-Barrier Films.
Under the accelerated life testing, the barrier film is used to cover or protect the PV device to become a solar module. The module is then measured for the initial power output. Thereafter, the module is placed inside a climate chamber with a light source and subjected to a high heat and humidity environment with the resulting power output tracked to determine how the efficiency of the module will degrade over time and under harsh conditions. This is also known as damp heat testing.
For outdoor applications, the modules must survive the damp heat test for 1000 hours without losing more than 90% of the original power output to obtain IEC certification, such as IEC 61646 for thin-film solar performance and IEC 61730 for solar module safety. Some manufacturers may opt to test the module longer under damp heat conditions to provide end users with some level of confidence that the modules will last a long time under normal environmental conditions.
"With these positive feedback from our key customers, we're fairly confident we will be able to make our presence felt in the barrier film's business, with the Photovoltaic market driving our growth. We're now discussing with several parties who've expressed an interest to become our manufacturing partners. These partners have the manufacturing capability and they bring additional value-add to our barrier film products. Further, we expect that it will help us accelerate our time to market so it's win-win for all parties alike," explained Dr Mark Auch, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Tera-Barrier Films.
"This is an example of doing science ahead of its time. When IMRE started this work a decade ago, we were first driven by exciting science. Now, the science has been translated to industry-ready technology that can bring in business. A happy achievement indeed!", said Prof. Andy Hor, Executive Director of IMRE, the A*STAR research institute that spun off Tera-Barrier Films in 2009.
Tera-Barrier Films is currently housed in IMRE under a unique Lab-in-a-RI scheme that allows the development of the technology to continue unabated.
About Tera-Barrier Films Pte Ltd
Tera-Barrier Films (tera-barrier.com) is jointly founded by Senthil Ramadas and Mark Auch along with Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd. TBF is a spin‐off company from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering/A*STAR. The strong patent portfolio (29 patents) on transparent gas barrier technology, encapsulation and gas permeation measurement system has been transferred to the company. The technology know‐how and expertise could provide a total barrier solution for flexible solar cell and flexible electronics device manufacturers. Tera‐Barrier is working in nexus with solar, display and printed electronics customers and has received several product validation reports.
About the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
Established in September 1997, IMRE has built strong capabilities in materials analysis, characterisation, materials growth, patterning, fabrication, synthesis and integration. IMRE is an institute of talented researchers equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as the SERC Nanofabrication and Characterisation Facility to conduct world-class materials science research. Leveraging on these capabilities, R&D programmes have been established in collaboration with industry partners. These include research on organic solar cells, nanocomposites, flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), solid-state lighting, nanoimprinting, microfluidics and next generation atomic scale interconnect technology.