BioSolar, Inc. announced today that it has filed a patent application to protect the novel inventions and processes behind its proprietary bio-based backsheet, a protective covering for the back of photovoltaic solar cells traditionally made from expensive petroleum-based film. The comprehensive patent application, filed earlier this week, is expected to give BioSolar full protection on its BioBacksheet(TM) breakthrough technology made from renewable plant sources that will reduce the cost per watt of solar cells.
“As the solar industry aims to make the world a greener place, the reality is that making solar cells currently relies on the use of petroleum based-products,” said Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar. “The goal of solar is to provide power while reducing our dependence on the world’s petroleum supply and the use of petro-based chemicals in the manufacturing process of green energy presents a fundamental contradiction. Plus, our technology will reduce the final cost per watt of solar electricity by allowing manufacturers to lower the cost of their finished product without being impacted by the volatile cost of petroleum.”
Lee is leading a movement working to make “green” technologies more environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient by developing alternatives to petroleum. BioSolar’s intensive, 18-month research and development program aimed at identifying sustainable resources for photovoltaic backsheet development resulted in the company’s BioBacksheet, a cellulosic plastic equivalent derived from cotton and castor beans materials.
Details of manufacturing methods are disclosed in the patent application, which covers many breakthrough developments including the use of cellulosic film made from cotton with additives and coatings, and also in combination with a type of nylon derived from castor beans.
Expected to cost significantly less than traditional Tedlar®-based backsheet, the petroleum-based film made by DuPont in use by the majority of silicon-based solar-cell manufacturers today, BioBacksheet meets or exceeds the characteristics of various testing and performance standards for the photovoltaic industry.
“We expect this breakthrough product to be rapidly accepted as the standard for the backsheet component of both traditional and certain thin-film photovoltaic modules,” said Lee. “Patent filing and protection of our intellectual property is an important milestone as we continue our transition into full-scale production with our contract manufacturing partner, Rowland Technologies, Inc.”