The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) continues to take steps to validate
the benefits of using ENLIGHT™ Polyolefin Encapsulant Films technology
to help harness the power of the sun and turn it into useful energy for
the world's needs.
Crystalline silicon PV (photovoltaic) modules made with ENLIGHT™
Polyolefin Encapsulant Films were performance tested by TÜV Rheinland1
in Germany. Following requirements of IEC 61215, the panels were shown
to perform well in all test protocols.
"This is another step – an important one – that continues to validate
the performance of ENLIGHT™ films for use in crystalline silicon
photovoltaic cell technology," says Mark Hofius, leader of the R&D team.
Hofius noted that Dow's own research shows that using ENLIGHT™
Polyolefin Films to make photovoltaic panels can help extend service
life and maintain module reliability. Based on accelerated damp heat
test results power loss in panels using more traditional films occur
after just 2,000 hours. Modules based on ENLIGHT Polyolefin Film shows
no power loss after 10,000 hours.
Using Dow's polyolefin encapsulant films can also help lower the total
system cost of producing the modules. ENLIGHT can allow panel
manufacturers to use faster processing speeds (up to 30% faster) because
of an extended window for lamination temperatures and the virtual
elimination of bubbles, which leads to fewer rejects, according to
Hofius. "Damage to equipment and modules might also be markedly reduced
with our material because this process does not produce acetic acid," he
Dow began commercial production of these films in Findlay, Ohio, a
little more than a year ago. Demand has been so great that the Company
is already building two additional manufacturing plants that will
come on-stream later in 2012 – one in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, and one in
Schkopau, Germany, the heart of Europe's "solar valley." When complete,
these sites will triple Dow's current capacity to produce ENLIGHT films.
Dow is dedicated to finding technologies that help harness
the power of the sun and bring energy to use in many different ways
– through commercial solar farms, through rigid and flexible
photovoltaic solar modules, and through innovative new roof shingles for
residential homes. Current products include adhesives, heat transfer
fluids, coolant and wafer cutting fluids, and metallization, imaging,
texturizing and cleaning technologies for solar cells.