Honeywell Jet Applied Brazing Flux Technology

Honeywell Jet Applied Brazing Flux Technology: Honeywell Innovation Improves Solar Panel Reliability and Efficiency

When I meet customers around the world, one of their foremost concerns is energy – both in terms of the impact its skyrocketing wholesale value is having on their business and its contribution to the global climate crisis. But while energy is causing a great deal of angst, it’s important to remember that it’s also part of the solution. 

Fossil fuels today account for about 80% of global energy production, but renewable energy sourced from the sun, wind, water, waste, and heat are quickly gaining ground. In fact, nearly 29% of electricity supplies are now generated from renewable sources.1

I’ve worked at Honeywell for nearly four years and I’m proud of the work we are doing to support the global energy transition. Every day I learn something new about how the company is applying our know-how and innovative solutions to a more sustainable energy market. And much of that pioneering development is happening here, in the business I run: Honeywell Advanced Materials.

Did you know, for example, that our jet printing technology for controlled atmosphere brazing of aluminum is now being used to strengthen the lifespan, power efficiency, and solar collection capabilities of solar panels? That’s important because among renewables, solar – including photovoltaics – is the fastest growing energy source in the world and could deliver more than 30% of the world's energy supply by 2040.2

Our patent-pending technology is called Honeywell Jet Applied Brazing Flux and a prime example of how it’s being used is in photovoltaic thermal solar (PV-T) panels manufactured by Tyll Solar, a US-based R&D company.

The reason Tyll Solar chose Honeywell was to resolve a longstanding PV-T manufacturing challenge. Molten flux is commonly used to facilitate the wetting, spreading, and flowing of molten filler metal into the gap between PV-T panels to form a brazed joint. The problem is, the process often leads to excess flux being applied, which – apart from being wasteful and adding unnecessary weight – contaminates and corrodes the coolant flow channels, compromising the lifespan of the panels.

To mitigate these issues, we suggested integrating Honeywell Jet Applied Brazing Flux technology into Tyll Solar’s paint robot. It was ideal for this application because, as a thixotropic paste incorporating flux particles several times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, it prevents hard sediments from forming in process equipment and from blocking jet nozzles.

Beyond the success of this specific use case, I see a vast market opportunity for Honeywell Jet Applied Brazing Flux technology. It’s suitable for a wide range of applications, from heaters and radiators for air conditioning; to powertrain cooling components in electrical vehicles, where large base cooling plates or light channeling fins enable active thermal management of battery packs. That capability is important because only when optimally cooled do EV batteries operate with high efficiency and provide the highest possible drive range and longest life.

Honeywell Jet Applied Brazing Flux technology, of course, is just one of many Honeywell innovations enabling the global energy transition. In the months ahead, I look forward to engaging with customers worldwide to discuss, develop, and commercialize new solutions to meet their energy requirements.

 To learn more about Honeywell Jet Applied Brazing Flux technology, download the Tyll Solar case study.

1 United Nations | Climate Action, Renewable Energy - Powering a Safer Future
United Nations | UN Chronicle, The Promise Of Solar Energy: A Low Carbon Energy Strategy For The 21st Century

Ken West
President, Honeywell Advanced Materials