Dow Ramps Up Manufacturing for Specialty Films

New production line was added to address the growing demand for specialty films for use in PV modules

The Dow Chemical Co. announced on August 17 that is introducing ENLIGHTTM Polyolefin Encapsulant Films, which can enhance efficiencies in photovoltaic (PV) module production and lead to lower conversion costs.

The films also can provide greater module stability and improved electrical performance versus traditional encapsulants, such as EVA-based products, which improves the reliability and extends the service life of PV modules. the company says. The new encapsulant films are suitable for C-Si and thin-film modules.

"Customers have found the films reduce cycle times up to 30% and that the lamination temperature windows can be extended," said Brij Sinha, global business development leader for Dos's Specialty Packaging & Films busines. "The physical properties virtually eliminate bubbles, which leads to fewer rejects. Damage to equipment and modules is also markedly reduced because the process does not produce acetic acid."

The specialty films will initially be produced at Dow's manufacturing plant in Findlay, Ohio, where a state-of-the-art production line was added to address the growing demand for specialty films for use in PV modules. Commercial-scale manufacturing of ENLIGHT Polyolefin Encapsulant Films will begin on that line in the fourth quarter of 2010. Dow is pursuing a phase-in plan to upgrade production and increase capacity across the globe to address increasing demand for these differentiated encapsulants.

"Dow continues to bring high-performance products to the solar energy market, and has made a multi-million dollar investment in photovoltaic encapsulants. We are constantly innovating to help customers improve conversion efficiencies and extend the reliability and longevity of both rigid and flexible photovoltaic modules," Sinha said.

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