19 June 2012
3M today announced the completion of its manufacturing expansion for its 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film in Columbia, Missouri (US). This expansion will support the growing demand for high-efficiency flexible photovoltaic (PV) modules.
Designed to address the needs of flexible thin-film solar manufacturers, 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film acts as a replacement for glass with high light transmission, fine moisture-barrier performance and excellent weather-ability. Compared with rigid glass modules, large area, lightweight flexible PV modules manufactured with 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film can achieve significantly lower balance of systems (BOS) costs by requiring less installation time, removing the need for metal racking and reducing logistics expenditures. 3M Ultra Barrier Films may also enable lower module manufacturing costs by allowing manufacturers to commercialise large-area modules assembled in a continuous roll-to-roll process. 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film is currently available in widths up to 1.2 metres and can be available in wider widths depending on market requirements.
3M's Renewable Energy Division offers a robust portfolio of new and existing products, bringing more than 100 years of combined expertise in coatings, film, tape, adhesive and optical technologies to the rapidly expanding renewable energy and energy-efficiency markets worldwide. In addition to the company's research and development (R&D) facilities, 3M works closely with US national labs to develop and refine its energy-generation and energy-conservation technologies. 3M has expanded its global manufacturing capabilities for Renewable Energy Division products several-fold in recent years to bring key products to commercial-scale production to meet customers' growing needs.