German materials firm BASF and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing membrane producer Oriental Yuhong are teaming up to develop solar roofing membranes used in buildings. The new development aims to meet China’s rapidly growing demand for rooftop solar panels.
As the country’s solar PV installations reached a record high of 51 gigawatts, with rooftops accounting for more than one-third of the installed capacity in 2022, the quality of TPO roofing membranes, including their waterproofing performance, has become critical.
BASF says its optimised light stabiliser formulations, Tinuvin and Chimassorb, protect TPO membranes from degradation and discoloration while providing weathering resistance and long-term strength, increasing the lifetime of roofing membranes. Their increased lifespan both conserves resources and reduces waste during maintenance and repair.
In addition, BASF’s collaboration with Oriental Yuhong addresses the challenges caused by the increasing number of PV panels installed on roofs. As the panels absorb high amounts of sunlight, their temperatures can reach up to 70°C, accelerating the ageing process of TPO roofing membranes.
“Our new Tinuvin and Chimassorb formulations together with technical support have improved the durability of Oriental Yuhong’s TPO membranes, resulting in roofs that last longer even with solar panels,” said Hazel Sprafke, Vice President, Global Business Management Plastic Additives, Asia Pacific. “More importantly, this will help Oriental Yuhong meet China’s newly updated GB55030 standards, which require roofing materials to last a minimum of 20 years.”
Due to the government’s recent county-level trials that could increase rooftop solar power generation, the distributed solar PV market is expected to gain further momentum in 2023, contributing to China’s net-zero climate goals.