It’s easy to think about modules as singular units of power output, but the reality is that they are a collection of diverse components, each with influence over the end system’s total cost and performance. For DuPont, its focus is of course on the materials side, from metallization pastes used to form contacts on the solar cell, to backsheet materials that protect the panels themselves.

The latter is the focus of a new expanded partnership between Suntech and DuPont, specifically on DuPont’s Tedlar polyvinyl fluoride film (though the deal also includes other materials supplies). The two will explore technology advancements in backsheets: their construction and how that affects their longevity, and how backsheets might even improve the module’s power output, according to Maria Boulden, global sales manager for Dupont Photovoltaics Solutions.