BioSolar has filed a patent application for a new type of backing for photovoltaic cells.
A backsheet is the bottom layer of a photovoltaic cell used by solar manufacturers to protect the cell from moisture, temperature fluctuations, and the elements.
BioSolar's BioBacksheet-A, a new addition to the company's line of backsheets, consists of a sheet of aluminum foil sandwiched between two layers of polymer made from renewable plant sources. The aluminum used in the sheets is also 100 percent recyclable.
The company announced that it was developing plant-based plastics for solar-cell components, which included the use of cotton and castor beans, in August 2008.
The BioBacksheet-A can meet the requirement of thin-film photovoltaics "to have a water vapor transmissions rate of nearly zero," according to BioSolar.
"BioSolar's goal is to reduce the costs of solar modules and make solar energy greener by replacing petroleum-based module components with bio-based materials made from renewable plant sources," David Lee, CEO of BioSolar, said in a statement.
The company is also trying to make it easy for interested solar manufacturers to make the switch from petroleum-based components. BioSolar's rolls of biomass backsheets can be used with existing industrial machines, according to the company.