GreenVolts to use Henkel’s Aquence coatings to protect its CPV solar equipment from corrosion
September 3, 2012
Henkel announced that its Aquence Co-Cure technology has been selected for use by GreenVolts, Inc. for its higher-performing, lower cost protection against corrosion and UV-damage in the solar industry. GreenVolts, provider of the world’s only complete and fully integrated concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) solar system, and its investor and global strategic partner ABB, a leader in power and automation technologies, are the first to use this process for solar energy equipment. Henkel worked with GreenVolts and leading paint and coatings company AkzoNobel to customize a process that layers Henkel’s Aquence autodeposition coatings with a powder topcoat and “co-cures” them in a single oven. This lean paint shop process, which has been very successful in the automotive industry, now provides solar components with higher quality finishes, increased durability, and ultraviolet protection for 25 years. Additionally, the process reduces environmental impact, since it contains no heavy metals or sludge, and lowers water and energy requirements. According to Henkel, most solar equipment manufacturers use a hot-dip galvanization process to protect their metal parts. While industry-standard, this process has drawbacks. The high temperatures can introduce stresses in the dipped metal parts. These stresses and any dimensional distortions can be weak points in a system. Also, the galvanization process leaves a thick layer that can be problematic for complex shapes, especially internal cavities. For example, threaded holes may reduce in size so that bolts do not fit properly. The Aquence process is more precise, and can provide a smoother, higher quality surface for topcoats and finishes the company said.