Industry News

Dow to Build Production Facility for Making ENLIGHT™ Polyolefin Encapsulant Films in Schkopau, Germany

Published on 2012-06-04. Author : SpecialChem

Schkopau, Germany -- The Dow Chemical Company announced that construction is underway for a new production facility for making ENLIGHT™ Polyolefin Encapsulant Films in Schkopau, Germany. Scheduled for completion in late 2012, the facility will bring about 35 new jobs to Dow and the region.

"The proximity to leading photovoltaic companies and research institutes in Central Germany and the good conditions at the Schkopau site offer excellent opportunities for cooperation," said Ralf Brinkmann, president of Dow in Germany. "This investment will also strengthen our research and product development in a growing market." The global market for solar panels expects an annual sales increase by about 25 percent in the next years.

Dow offers a number of commercial grades of ENLIGHT™ Films, and also develops customer-specific formulations. These films provide greater module stability and improved electrical performance versus traditional encapsulants, such as EVA-based products. These encapsulant films are suitable for C-Si and thin-film modules. "Unlike conventional films, ENLIGHT™ Polyolefin Films increase long-term efficiency of photovoltaic panels, help extend service life, maintain module reliability and thus help the industry to reduce total system costs" said Friedrich von Rechteren, Global Business Development Manager Photovoltaics. Modules made with ENLIGHT™ films can retain efficiency levels after more than 10,000 hours of damp heat exposure. Dow testing shows that EVA-based materials typically show a sharp drop off in efficiency after 2,000 hours of use. With the new ENLIGHT™ films can embed the solar cells under wide temperature ranges and resulting bubbles can - unlike conventional films - are completely eliminated. This reduces waste and shortens the production time for the module manufacturers by up to 30%. Manufacturers of solar panels can thus produce not only faster but also cheaper, which in turn lowers the consumer prices for solar systems in the long run. Crystalline silicon PV (photovoltaic) modules made with these films were currently also performance tested by TÜV Rheinland in Germany and were shown to perform well in all test protocols.

With the new facility at Schkopau and another one that is currently under construction in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, Dow will more than triple its capacity for making specialty films used in photovoltaic solar modules. Both plants will join manufacturing capacity in Findlay, Ohio, that came on-stream in December 2010.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

Source: Dow

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