Castor Beans Help Reduce Solar Panel Manufacturing Costs
No one doubts that solar panels are at the forefront of sustainable energy. The problem has been, and remains, the cost of manufacture, purchase, and installation. BioSolar is addressing at least one of those variables with its new castor bean oil-based backsheet for solar panels.
Backsheets are the protective layer placed on solar panels. Typically made of petroleum products, the durability of the backsheet affects the long-term cost of solar panel installation. If the backsheet delaminates or otherwise degrades, it affects the longevity of the solar panel and, therefore, the overall cost.
BioSolar’s product, called BioBacksheet™, is made from a polyamide resin derived from castor beans that is combined with a non-petroleum material. This backing material is more durable than the petroleum-based material, less expensive to produce, and uses a bio-material instead of petroleum. The net result is a less expensive solar energy product that can offer real competition to fossil-fuel based energy sources.
BioSolar announced on May 17 that it has begun commercial production of the BioBacksheet™ solar panels. According to Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar, this new product is the world’s, “…first commercial grade green backsheet…”