01 August 2012
The Dow Chemical Company said today that it has begun production in Map Ta Phut, Thailand for Enlight Polyolefin Encapsulant films for use in photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.
The Map Ta Phut, Thailand site is a state-of-the-art manufacturing operation that allows Dow to double global production capacity immediately. Dow is also constructing a third manufacturing site for this film in Schkopau, Germany, which will bring additional capacity. Dow has had a production facility in Findlay, Ohio since December 2010.
Dow's polyolefin-based encapsulant films offer distinct advantages over existing materials for panel manufacturers. Enlight films can:
• Help extend the service life of modules because the films have significantly better electrical properties and improved moisture resistance. Dow research shows that PV solar panels made with Enlight films retain efficiency when tested in damp-heat conditions for more than 10,000 hours. Panels made with competitive encapsulant technology typically begin to show a drop in efficiency level after 2000 hours using the same test. Because of its excellent electrical insulation properties, panels made with Enlight films also show significant improvement in potential induced degradation (PID) resistance.
• Allow panel manufacturers to potentially increase yield and capacity by reducing lamination cycle times by up to 30%. Enlight films' polyolefin technology may also allow manufacturers to reduce damage to equipment and modules because the film does not produce corrosion-causing acetic acid.
The benefits of Enlight Encapsulant films were further validated earlier this year when performance-based tests conducted by TÜV Rheinland on solar panels made with Dow's films were found to meet all industry standards (International Electrotechnical Commission—IEC—61215). Dow offers a number of commercial grades of Enlight Encapsulant films to help customers develop formulations to meet their specific needs.
Dow is dedicated to finding technologies that harness the power of the sun and bring energy to use in many different ways—through solar farms, through rigid and flexible PV solar modules and more. In addition to Enlight Encapsulant films, Dow also makes Adcote solvent-based adhesives and Mor-Free solvent-less laminating adhesives for backsheet products, electronic materials used to make photoelectric cells, polyglycol heat-transfer fluids and Dow Powerhouse solar shingles for residential use.