Industry News

Dow Corning Corp. and Reis Robotics Declare the Availability of Silicon-based Encapsulant

Published on 2011-08-24. Author : SpecialChem

Midland, Mich. -- Dow Corning Corp. and Reis Robotics have announced that their breakthrough solar cell liquid encapsulation process has passed factory acceptance testing and is now available for commercial use.

Additional site testing was conducted on the pilot line at the new Dow Corning Solar Solutions Application Center in JinCheon, Korea with a world-leading manufacturer of high-performance solar power products.

The new technology enables solar panel manufacturers to use Dow Corning® PV-6100 Cell Encapsulant Series and Reis equipment to achieve higher production rates for crystalline and amorphous silicon thin film modules, reducing the cost per kilowatt-hour of solar power.

"This technology can help make solar power a viable and sustainable energy option globally by improving module durability and efficiency, as well as reducing capital and manufacturing costs and significantly increasing the production rate of solar panels," said Eric Peeters, vice president, Dow Corning Solar Business.

The liquid encapsulation process provides a clear laminate to protect each solar cell in a panel and can replace commonly used ethyl vinyl acetate resin. Panel manufacturers can increase efficiency and reduce total cost of ownership through lower processing temperatures, and faster throughput. This process also requires lower capital and less factory space.

Dow Corning® PV-6100 Encapsulant Series relies on the UV stability of the silicone molecule to deliver improved durability and increased efficiency for crystalline modules compared to incumbent organics. The liquid silicone-based material provides an ultra-transparent layer of protection for the solar cell in a panel and outperforms incumbent organics in durability, efficiency, module life and UV resistance, providing greater protection for solar cell modules.

"All of our efforts are focused on uncovering and creating new opportunities to deliver improved cost efficiency, durability and performance to help the solar industry move towards being economically competitive with conventional energy sources, and become a sustainable energy option globally. And we're getting closer and closer to that reality every day," said Peeters.

Dow Corning is applying more than 65 years of experience to bring innovation and efficiencies to the silicon-based materials that are ideal for solar applications, including materials for next-generation solar cells, protective coatings for solar cells, high-performance silicone encapsulants, adhesives, and sealants. Dow Corning is also the majority shareholder in the Hemlock Semiconductor Group joint ventures, which includes Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. Hemlock Semiconductor is a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon.

Dow Corning's solar experts will be available to discuss this and other product developments at the following upcoming tradeshows:
  • European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, September 5-8, Hamburg, Germany, Hall B6, Stand B28
  • Solar Power International, October 17-20, Dallas, Texas, Hall C, Booth 2543
  • About Dow Corning

    Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company's Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® brands. Dow Corning is a joint venture equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning's annual sales are outside the United States.

    About Reis Robotics

    In recent years, Reis Robotics designed the most versified assembly systems for the module production and furnished many renowned solar module manufacturers with them. The more than 80 systems put into practice so far achieve an annual production capacity of approximately 3.5 GW. Reis Robotics offers a performance range from technology development, development of new production methods, planning and putting into practice individual production cells, as well as delivery and commissioning of complete production lines. The degrees of automation range from manual, semi-automatic up to fully automatic production lines in the ranges thin film, silicon and solar thermal.

    Source: Dow Corning

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