- Published: November 1, 2011
- Written by Amanda H. Miller
A California company that produces an organic back sheet for solar panels announced earlier this week that’s it passed the last test needed before it can commercialize its product.
That means BioSolar (BSRC) is gearing to sell its BioBacksheet to solar panel manufacturers around the world and begin generating revenue for the first time in the company’s short history.
The company’s backsheet received provisional Relative Thermal Index recognition from Underwriters Laboratories, which was required before electronics companies can begin using it in their products.
BioSolar CEO David Lee said that solar panel manufacturers have been approaching BioSolar for over a year with keen interest and are coming to the company even more now.
“This was the last hurdle before we can sell to our customers,” Lee said. “But our customers will have to recertify their products before they can sell with our backsheets.”
That process can take anywhere from three to seven months depending on how many other components the manufacturers are changing, Lee said.
The market is ripe for BioSolar’s product.
Traditional backsheets are made with three layers that have to be fused together using toxic chemicals that make it impossible to recycle the panels or burn them and dangerous to bury in landfills. The three layers also tend to delaminate and are the biggest cause of panel failures before their 30-year lifetime is up, Lee said.
“The solar industry is changing very rapidly,” Lee said. “Panel prices are coming down around the world and manufacturers have to find ways to improve their products and reduce their costs.”
Lee said that the BioBacksheet offers a superior product that deflects heat better than the traditional backsheet, doesn’t delaminate and is made of greener materials. On top of all that, the BioBacksheet is also more affordable.
The company does not have its own manufacturing plant and instead has contracted with manufacturers around the country that have excess capacity to produce the backsheets.
“Even as it is—that’s not the most cost-effective way of producing—we are still very competitive and are able to undercut our competition substantially.”
Once the company begins selling a higher volume of its backsheets, however, it may make a move to open its own manufacturing facility and would then be able to produce superior backsheets at a dramatically lower price than traditional backsheets.
Image courtesy of BioSolar.