SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — BioSolar Inc., developer of a new technology to produce bio-based materials from renewable plant sources to reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, reported that the company received provisional Relative Thermal Index (RTI) recognition from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for its BioBacksheet material.

UL certification is required for all electronic products and components, such as solar panels, prior to their sale in the general marketplace. BioSolar received UL materials certification for BioBacksheet in February 2011. UL then began performing long-term thermal stability testing on BioBacksheet. BioSolar said the official provisional RTI designation from UL allows solar panel manufacturers to proceed with confidence in integrating BioBacksheet into their panels for full UL certification, which the company expects to be merely a procedural matter.

BioBacksheet is said to be the first UL-approved bio-based backsheet for use in solar panels, and it is a direct replacement for conventional backsheets currently used in over 70 percent of solar panels in the world. It is the necessary bottom layer of a fully assembled solar panel. The company said BioBacksheet features the following properties:

• Lower Cost – Innovative modification of bio-based polymers derived from caster beans results in a lower cost backsheet compared to conventional petroleum-based backsheets, BioSolar said.

• Higher Performance – Advanced materials engineering enables BioBacksheet to exceed most performance characteristics of conventional backsheets, said the company.

• Higher Panel Efficiency –BioBacksheet dissipates heat away from solar cells 70 percent faster than conventional backsheets, allowing them to operate at a lower temperature, which results in higher power output, the company said.

• Green – The bio-based backsheet lets solar manufacturers improve their profit margins while being green. BioBacksheet has also received USDA BioPreferred Certification, giving BioBacksheet solar panels preferred purchase consideration by United States government procurement agencies.

Dr. David Lee, the company’s CEO, said, “This is a defining moment for BioSolar. By receiving the official provisional RTI designation from UL, we have completed the final product development milestone for BioBacksheet. I am pleased to report that we are finally ready to accept commercial orders. During the past two years, we have worked closely with several key solar manufacturers that will now be sending their panel to UL for final certification. Once their revised panels are re-certified with BioBacksheet, these customers will be able to sell their solar panels in the general marketplace.”

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Publication date: 11/21/2011