Venting improves solar equipment performance

Newly released GORE Protective Vents, installed on junction boxes, power inverters, thermo collectors, concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) modules, and other components can improve the performance and increase the life of solar installations. These membrane vents protect the components from moisture, dust, and debris and also reduce condensation.

The electronic components in solar applications are subject to contamination as the result of rapid changes in temperature. If the components are not properly vented, temperature changes caused by rain or snow will result in a drop in pressure within the components, creating a vacuum that will stress the enclosure’s seals and draw in damaging debris, salt, and moisture.

These protective vents equalize the pressure in solar applications through the use of a proprietary membrane that allows air to flow freely in and out, while preventing contaminants and moisture from entering. The membrane used in these vents has been proven for more than 25 years in uses ranging from automotive headlamps to chemical packaging to pharmaceutical delivery. It withstands harsh conditions, resists infiltration by even very small contaminants, and repels water, oil, and other liquids.

Proper venting offers additional benefits for CPV lenses by reducing condensation and preventing the pressure build-up that results in a distortion of the reflective lens. Both conditions will dramatically reduce the efficiency of a CPV lens.

The use of Protective Vents reportedly reduces maintenance costs and warranty claims in solar installations, prolongs their useful life, and improves user satisfaction. The membrane vents allow a finished assembly to comply with regulatory standards including UL, TUV, and IEC. They are designed to easily integrate into fully automated assembly lines. For more information, visit W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.

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