Sustainable solutions for solar energy
solar thermal collectors love high efficiency
BASF offers a number of technological solutions for the improvement of solar thermal collectors.
These collectors - which harness thermal energy to heat swimming pools, provide residential or commercial hot water systems, and contribute to industrial processes - achieve efficiency rates as high as 90%. With new solar system designs being developed every day, the list of possible applications is expanding beyond traditional residential and commercial hot water systems to more energy intensive ones, such as radiant floor heating and solar air conditioning.
As these technologies evolve, specialized applications are emerging for specific climates. For example, new, sophisticated technologies have been developed which allow solar thermal collectors to handle cold temperatures, while the efficiencies of collectors for hot climates continue to reach new heights. A properly designed unit combined with an energy efficient building design can help a home or building owner to achieve reduced or zero net energy consumption.
Our experts work with trade organizations, manufacturers, and distributors to improve the performance and aesthetics of solar thermal collectors using BASF materials.
BASF solutions for framing
- Luran® S ASA plastics maintain their cosmetic and structural integrity for years. These UV-stable, weatherable plastics can be used for solar collector framing, fasteners, and a number of aesthetic components.
- Luran® GF-SAN products are high-modulus, low CLTE thermoplastics. They have a number of metal-replacement applications, lowering overall material and production costs.
- Ultramid® polyamide (PA) and Ultradur® polybutyleneterephthalate (PBT)
- are thermoplastic engineering polymers used for high-quality, highly stressed engineering parts. They have the potential to replace metallic frames and mounting systems in solar applications.
- Colo-Fast® polyurethane casting system
- offers quick, economical and secure framing of photovoltaic and solar panels. The UV-stable system can be used to replace aluminum frames typically used in the past and opens up a variety of frame design opportunities for customers. Other benefits include better edge protection, and resistance to weathering and UV light.
BASF solutions for adhesives and sealants
- Oppanol® polyisobutylenes (PIBs) can be used to seal the edges of glass and silicon structures to prevent moisture and air infiltration. Used in conjunction with other sealant components, Oppanol PIBs are cost effective, efficient and durable solutions to protect the active components of solar panels. Oppanol-based products are already used in double and triple glazed insulated glass manufacturing processes.
BASF solutions for insulation
- Basotect® melamine foam is used as an insulating material, primarily on the back and side walls of flat plate collectors. It can also be used to insulate piping and tanking. Basotect foam has good insulation properties over a long period, even when exposed to the extreme temperatures that can exist in solar thermal collectors. Uniquely, Basotect resin foam can be easily cut into customized shapes. Basotect foam releases practically no volatile substances that could contribute to fogging. The material also has excellent fire resistance properties and is exceptionally light weight.
- Elastopor® and Autofroth® rigid polyurethane foams have a closed-cell structure that provides superior insulation performance as well as structural and design enhancing physical properties. Polyurethane foams have an R-rating of 6.7 per inch. These products are foamed-in-place for reduced material waste, decreased skilled labor requirements and improved manufacturing productivity. They can be molded to a wide range of shapes and sizes and can be painted or laminated. They adhere well to a wide range of substrates, eliminating the need for adhesives. These foam chemicals can be processed through Autofroth SL or conventional urethane processing equipment. The rigid structure of these foams increases their strength and resistance to moisture, mold, mildew and insects. Elastopor and Autofroth polyurethane systems are available with Zero Ozone Depleting Technology, using blowing agents approved by the EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, designed to evaluate and regulate substitutes for the ozone-depleting chemicals that are being phased out under the stratospheric ozone protection provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA). BASF's customized formulations meet building codes and various customer requirements.
BASF solutions for light stabilization for film manufacturing and framing components
- Uvinul®, Chimassorb® and Tinuvin® UV absorbers can be formulated into resins and plastics to protect the system from the sun's damaging rays. This UV protection can extend the physical durability of the resins so that they will not lose their physical characteristics. These UV absorbers can help maintain clarity in the entire system, allowing for a maximized absorbance of electricity-generating light, for longer lasting films, sheets, and frames.
- Lumogen® IR 1050 and 1050 PC, BASF's newest high performance solar solutions, are designed for use in transparent applications. This technology involves absorbing the near infrared (NIR) radiation at the outside of the automobile or building, and releasing the heat outside thereby reducing the interior temperature up to 20°C (36°F).
BASF solutions for heat load reduction
- Meteor®, Sicopal® and Sicotan® NIR-reflective pigments with optimized spectral behavior reduce the energy absorbed from the sun by reflecting NIR radiation. These pigments can be formulated in both coating and plastic applications for use in roofing granules, roofing membranes, window profiles, coil coatings for roofs and thermoplastic shingles.
- Lumogen®, Heliogen®, Paliotol® and Paliogen® NIR transparent organic pigments allow NIR radiation to pass through the pigmented layer and be reflected by the substrate. These pigments combine very good weatherability and light resistance with the strength of an organic pigment, and can be used in plastics and coatings applications.
- Xfast® Black 0095 stir-in dry pigment offers stir-in dispersibility in aqueous systems. The Xfast Black 0095 offers the NIR reflection of Sicopal Black K 0095 in a ready to use stir-in form that allows for ease of use without milling for emulsified systems.