The ENLIGHT™ Polyolefin Encapsulant Film production line in Schkopau, Germany, has been completed and the first commercial quantities have been shipped to customers.
- The facility produces ENLIGHT™ Polyolefin encapsulant film for solar cells
This expansion not only marks a substantial increase in global capacity, but also means that Dow is now able to supply its customers in the photovoltaic industry from within the region in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and ultimately helps customers reduce total system costs and increase global competitiveness.
Since 2010, Dow has tripled its production capacity for photovoltaic film. Shortly after the second photovoltaic film production plant was inaugurated in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, in early 2012, construction of this third production line in Schkopau, Germany began. The energy efficient facility was completed with no recordable injuries or process safety incidents just 10 months later in February 2013.
Not only is Dow now able to offer leading technology to its customers, it can also do so efficiently with its production facilities in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The fact that Dow is able to supply ENLIGHT™ Polyolefin Encapsulant Film from Germany offers European customers increased flexibility, which may reduce lead times, thereby creating possible reductions in necessary working capital.
Dow’s polyolefin chemistry enables encapsulant films to be made with a broad range of optics, moisture barrier and electrical properties, making them well suited for current c-Si solar modules and thin-film applications.
ENLIGHT™ films can embed the solar cells under wide temperature ranges, and, unlike conventional films, provide the opportunity to reduce, and potentially eliminate, bubbling under appropriate conditions and application. This can reduce waste and shorten the production time for the module manufacturers by up to 30%. This provides manufacturers with the potential to produce solar systems more efficiently, thereby possibly lowering the consumer prices for solar systems in the long run. Crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules made with these films were also performance tested by TÜV Rheinland in Germany, and showed good performance in all test protocols.
Dow offers a number of commercial grades of ENLIGHT™ films and also develops customer-specific formulations.