Overview

Venting to Improve Performance, Value and Profit
Protective Vents for Solar Energy Systems - Applications

Solar energy systems are challenged by the changing demands of evolving technologies, by harsh operating conditions that can threaten performance, and by customer demands for decades-long service life.

Advanced venting solutions from Gore can help reduce engineering complexity and fabrication costs while maintaining higher system efficiency over the long lifespan customers expect.

 

 

 

GORE Protective Vents for solar system housings are engineered to deliver higher performance over the long term, helping solar systems to do the same. Gore vents:

  • provide rapid pressure equalization to ensure the seals maintain the original level of Ingress Protection (IP) rating over the life of the product;
  • block ingress of liquids and contaminants like salts, sand, or dust;
  • diffuse water vapor more effectively, minimizing condensation damage and improving system power output;
  • are available in screw-in, snap-fit or welded membrane styles for easy integration into any housing design;
  • are tested and proven to meet the world’s most demanding enclosure-protection standards including Underwriters Laboratory (UL), Technischer Überwachungsverein (TÜV) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

    Why Vent?

    Electronic enclosures that are installed outdoors are vulnerable to a wide range of environmental hazards that can affect the performance, reliability and life expectancy of the sensitive electronics within.

    Problems for Outdoor Electronics:
    Enclosure seal

    Pressure differentials are created when a sealed enclosure is exposed to rapid, extreme or recurring changes in ambient conditions. Extreme changes in temperature (a sudden thunderstorm on a hot, sunny day), altitude changes (in transit), or the constant heating and cooling cycle of an internal heat source – any of these can cause a pressure differential within a sealed enclosure. A rapid decrease in temperature, for example, can create a vacuum inside the enclosure. If this pressure differential is not dissipated, the vacuum places continual stress on the housing seals. Over time, this can cause seals to fail, allowing moisture and other contaminants such as dust, dirt and other particulates to be drawn inside.

    Cloudy pane due to condensation

    In addition to failed seals, moisture can get inside enclosures by diffusion – the process by which vapor moves by natural molecular motion through the walls of a polymer enclosure. When water vapor enters a sealed enclosure and has no way to escape, it will condense to a liquid state. If this condensation remains inside the sealed enclosure, it can compromise lens function and corrode sensitive electronics and battery contacts.

    Reliable Solutions with GORE Protective Vents:

    GORE Protective Vents rapidly equalize pressure differentials within sealed enclosures, effectively preventing the internal vacuums or pressure build-ups that stress housing seals. In non-vented housings, pressure differentials as low as 70 mbar (1 psi) can cause seals to leak after repeated temperature cycles. GORE Vents reliably protect against premature seal failure, to preserve the integrity of the enclosure.

    Equalize Pressures to Protect Housing Enclosures and Seals

    GORE Protective Vents reliably block ingress of a wide range of contaminants, from rain and insects to dirt, dust, sand and other particulates. Yet GORE Vents allow air molecules to pass through, preventing the formation of vacuums that could pull external contaminants in. With vents from Gore, components perform reliably, with lower maintenance or warranty costs.

    Air passes through the membrane. Liquids and particles are repelled.

    GORE Protective Vents enable water vapor molecules to diffuse through the microporous membrane, and pass freely out of the enclosure. By reducing the amount of internal moisture, internal surfaces such as lenses are protected from condensation, and electronics are protected from premature failure due to corrosion.

    Water vapor molecules pass through the membrane

    During normal operation and recharging cycles, batteries can generate heat and emit hydrogen or other gases. This can create a hazardous, or even explosive, situation. GORE Protective Vents effectively dissipate hazardous gas molecules. By continuously equalizing pressures inside and outside the battery compartment, they reduce explosion hazards, while maintaining an effective barrier to liquids and particulates.

    Gas molecules pass through the membrane

    Applications

    Venting Solutions for a Variety of Solar Applications
    Junction Box
    Junction Box Water can cause corrosion and shorts to the electronics in junction boxes. By equalizing pressure inside the box, GORE Protective Vents prevent stress on the housing seals, so water cannot enter.
    CPV Modules
    CPV Modules The large dimensions of the CPV modules make them susceptible to pressure differentials caused by temperature changes. Installing GORE Protective Vents in the housing equalizes pressure and increases efficiency.
    String Combiner Box
    String Combiner Box Regardless of the size and volume of the string combiner box, Gore can customize a venting solution to ensure the reliability of the seals and gaskets, protecting the connectors from shorts caused by water.
    Tracking Equipment
    Tracking Equipment Exposure to water and other contaminants can compromise the mechanical components of the tracking system. GORE Protective Vents provide a barrier against liquid and other contaminants that can lead to corrosion.
    Micro / String Inverter
    Micro / String Inverter Corrosion can quickly damage the sensitive electronics inside the micro/string inverter. GORE Protective Vents prevent degradation by providing a durable barrier against water, oils and other liquids.
    Monitoring Equipment
    Monitoring Equipment Condensation can compromise the performance of control components. By allowing moisture vapor to diffuse easily, GORE Protective Vents reduce the potential for condensation inside the enclosures.

     

    Product Comparison

    NEW GORE® PolyVent XS

    NEW GORE® PolyVent XS

    Realize Streamlined Designs With a 30% Smaller Vent. Learn more.

    ENHANCED: GORE<sup>®</sup> PolyVent Stainless Steel

    ENHANCED: GORE® PolyVent Stainless Steel

    Now top-rated for mechanical impact resistance. Compare all Screw-In Series options.

    * IK10 rating applies to this GORE® Vent, not the device.

    Screw-In vents provide durable protection against water, salts and corrosive liquids, even after immersion. The threaded shaft and durable O-ring provide increased mechanical stability, and these hydrolytically-stable vents are UV- and temperature-resistant, for added durability and longer product life. Designed for easy installation in any application, these rugged vents come in different styles:

    GORE PolyVent XS GORE® PolyVent XS 
    has a compact, low-profile design that meets some of the industry’s toughest standards, making it ideal for today’s smaller (up to 2 l) housings.
    GORE PolyVent Standard GORE® PolyVent Standard (M12x1 and M12x1.5)
    offers reliable venting for volumes up to 5 l, and comes in two colors and two thread sizes for different wall thicknesses. The longer thread (M12x1.5) can be installed with or without counter nut.
    GORE PolyVent High Airflow GORE® PolyVent High Airflow (M12x1.5)
    has the protection level of “Standard” – with nearly ten times the airflow. For housings up to 50 liters, it easily manages the strong pressure differentials caused by extreme weather.
    GORE PolyVent XL GORE® PolyVent XL
    maintains exceptionally high airflow in extra-large enclosures (volumes up to 200 l) and meets the most rigorous standards, such as solar resistance (IEC 62108).
    GORE PolyVent Stainless Steel with IK10 ENHANCED: GORE® PolyVent Stainless Steel
    now with IK10, delivers the highest mechanical impact resistance as exceptional durability, corrosion- and chemical resistance, to reliably protect enclosures up to 20 liters in the most rugged environments.
    GORE PolyVent Ex+ GORE PolyVent Ex+
    is both IECEx and ATEX certified for equipment operating in potentially explosive environments and offers exceptional venting performance for enclosures up to 20 liters in volume. More information on the product.

    Snap-In Vents deliver robust venting performance and consistent, long-lasting protection in very harsh environments. Engineered specifically for high-throughput production applications, these vents can be quickly installed with semi- or fully- automated equipment. Most products in this series are individually laser-marked, for full product traceability. Four performance options are available to accommodate different housing sizes and provide varying speeds of pressure equalization:

    GORE PolyVent Hysi GORE® PolyVent Hysi
    offers fast, economical integration, and the option to inside-mount for nearly-invisible installation. For enclosure volumes up to 2 liters.
    GORE PolyVent XS NEW: GORE® PolyVent XS
    is 30% smaller than PolyVent Standard, for light-weight, thin-walled enclosures with volumes up to 5 liters.
    GORE PolyVent Standard GORE® PolyVent Standard
    offers reliable performance in many applications, for enclosure volumes up to 5 liters.
    GORE PolyVent High Airflow GORE® PolyVent High Airflow,
    in hydrophobic or oleophobic versions, delivers high airflow for enclosure volumes up to 30 liters.

    Low-profile adhesive vents provide the flexible integration options for almost any application. They can be installed quickly and easily on the interior or exterior of an enclosure, using manual or automated processes. While these vents can easily be customized for the demands and geometry of a specific application, our standard product portfolio offers a wide variety of sizes, designs and constructions.

    Existing customers using parts not listed here, please contact us.

    GORE Adhesive Vent VE7 GORE® Adhesive Vent Series VE7
    For enclosures with rough or smooth surfaces. These durable all membrane constructions offer high temperature stability.
    GORE Adhesive Vent VE8

    GORE® Adhesive Vent Series VE8
    For interior housing mount applications requiring high airflow with oleophobicity.

    GORE Adhesive Vent VE9

    GORE® Adhesive Vent Series VE9
    For enclosures with rough or smooth surfaces. These durable all membrane constructions offer high temperature stability and are engineered for higher airflow.

    Weldable membrane vents are engineered for low-profile solar energy system applications that demand fast, secure integration via heat or ultrasonic welding. Readily dispensable from the roll, they are ideal for high-throughput production in fully- or semi-automated processes. Constructed of durable, 100% ePTFE membrane, these vents are rated UL 94-V0 for flammability, and UL 746C for UV resistance.

    GORE Weldable Membrane Vent

    GORE® Weldable Membrane Vent VE0001SLR
    For solar energy system applications using automated heat or ultrasonic welding processes to achieve the most robust mechanical bond to interior and/or exterior housing surfaces.

    Resources

    Recent News

    News

    PolyVent Stainless Steel Brings Premium Performance and Durability to GORE® Protective Vents Screw-In Series

    Posted July 13, 2020

    PolyVent Stainless Steel brings premium performance and durability to GORE® Protective Vents Screw-In Series. Its premium-quality materials and construction durably withstand the worst hazards: from aggressive industrial chemicals and cleaners to corrosion-inducing salty offshore environments. For added safety, a flammability-resistant GORE™ membrane (UL 94 VTM-0) and O-ring (UL 94 V-0) complement the non-flammable stainless steel body.

    News

    New GORE® PolyVent XS is 30% smaller, for more design options and easier integration into small, thin-walled outdoor electronics

    Posted September 30, 2018

    GORE® Protective Vents introduces PolyVent XS, for designers who want to achieve more sophisticated aesthetics in todays smaller, lighter-weight and thinner-walled enclosures. About 30% smaller in every dimension than Gore’s Standard and High-Airflow snap-in vents, PolyVent XS has a smaller diameter and a shorter “head” for less external protrusion – so it’s virtually undetectable when installed. Its shorter “legs” mean less protrusion inside the enclosure, for more room and more design flexibility.

    Press Release

    New GORE® PolyVent EX+

    Posted November 29, 2017

    MUNICH, GERMANY (November 29, 2017) – W. L. Gore & Associates proudly announces the launch of GORE® PolyVent Ex+. Our latest addition to the Protective Vents Screw-In Series is certified according to explosion-proof safety standards, IECEx and ATEX. This will allow you to sell your products globally with fewer certification efforts, saving you labour and testing costs. Plus, the PolyVent Ex+ offers you additional protection performance due to its unique design.

    News

    GORE® PolyVent Ex+: IECEx / ATEX Explosion Protection Certified

    Posted November 27, 2017

    The newly launched GORE® PolyVent Ex+ adds explosion protection according to IECEx and ATEX to GORE® Protective Vents Screw-In Series. GORE® PolyVent Ex+ offers additional plus (+) features that truly deliver the uncompromising and reliable product performance which is required in tough environments and add to the “long-time safety aspect” for both – operators and equipment.

    View all News & Events

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    Not for use in food, drug, cosmetic or medical device manufacturing, processing, or packaging operations.