Lemfoerde, Germany -- Photovoltaic panels and solar collectors can now be produced more quickly and cheaply, and with greater durability and flexibility, using BASF's new COLO-FAST polyurethane moulding system.
Before COLO-FAST, says BASF, the frames of PV panels and solar collectors had to be made laboriously by joint cutting, bending and fastening light alloys together. Now, the new framing method offered by BASF's polyurethane system "guarantees super-fast, problem-free production and inexpensive assembly," the company says.
Electrical connections, clasps, integrated metal plates and other components can be incorporated in a quick and simple one-step process.
The PU is cast directly onto the solar cell by reaction injection moulding. The solar cells and collectors are placed into a closed mould and COLO-FAST PU is injected. After a reaction time of only 30 seconds, the finished framed panel can be taken out and is ready for use immediately.
As well as improved edge protection during transport and installation, the material has "extreme resistance to weather and high UV resistance," said BASF. It also offers greater design freedom - more flexible forms and colours, light or thin frames.