We have experience with hundreds of substrates, including a wide range of fabrics, metals, plastics, laminates, and fiberglass.
A substrate can increase rigidity, prevent creasing, accommodate mounting hardware, or allow sub-panels to be combined into larger arrays.
The right substrate material depends on your application needs and requirements.
Metal - Aluminum, stainless steel, and other alloys can be a strong, durable structure for adhering a solar panel to and also incorporates mounting hardware well.
Fabric - Our solar material can adhere to most fabrics, which readily take advantage of the thin/flexible nature of our amorphous silicon technology while providing a strong mounting structure for sewing, grommeting, or riveting. Fabric is a great cost-effective substrate choice for lightweight, wearable, and other portable applications.
We can laminate to most fabrics; however, some fabrics are better than others for long term outdoor exposure.
See examples of suitable fabrics below:
Polyester 200-1000 denier with DWR coating
Ripstop nylon 5 oz per yard up to 12, thermally stable liteloc performs the best in the nylons
Acrylic Fabrics like Sunbrella
PVC and vinyl-coated fabrics from 7 oz to 30 oz per yard
Acrylic coated polyesters
Fabrics that we cannot bond to but can sew to include
HDPE shade fabrics
Teflon coated fabric
ETFE coated Fabrics
Silicon coated fabrics
*The fabric must be able to handle up to 150°C process temperature.
Fiberglass - Fiberglass provides a strong, durable structure for adhering solar and incorporating mounting hardware. It can also be a cost-effective alternative to metal since many applications do not require the high degree of strength a metal plate provides. As an insulator, fiberglass can also reduce design complexity by allowing power to be routed on the substrate without insulating tape.
Plastics and Laminates - If a fabric or rigid substrate is not required, a wide range of laminate options can tailor the flexibility and durability of a panel to an application's exact needs.
We can test any sample material you provide to see if we can properly adhere our solar thin film to it. We run a variety of tests, including a ‘pull test’ as the final determination of success.