Dow Corning and PV equipment supplier Reis Robotics have formed an alliance to promote the materials company’s PV-6100 silicone-based encapsulants for solar module production applications. The new encapsulants, when used in conjunction with the manufacturing process, are said to outperform the industry standard EVA resins as a way to protect the solar cells in a PV panel.
The companies say that the liquid silicone-based materials exhibit better durability, module efficiency, and manufacturing efficiencies than the incumbent materials, providing an improved total cost for solar modules.
The encapsulant technology will help reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour of solar power by reducing the total cost of ownership through lower processing temperatures, faster throughput, lower capital, and less factory space needed for the equipment, according to the partners.
Demonstration lines for customer evaluations will be installed at Reis’ facility in Germany, as well as at Dow Corning’s site in South Korea.
“We are looking for innovative collaborators who excel at providing next-generation turnkey solutions to customers quickly,” said Gaetan Borgers, global industry director of Dow Corning’s solar business. “By working with leaders in the field who share our vision of advancing the promise of solar technology, a complete manufacturing solution is possible.”
“We are proud to work with Dow Corning to actualize energy efficiency gains in solar module line automation,” said Michael Wenzel, GM of Reis Robotics. “We are confident that our proven robotics solutions will help the solar industry reach grid parity, lower production costs, and achieve economy of scale.”
“This collaboration maximizes our strength as a material solution provider and Reis’ strength as an equipment solution provider,” said Don Buchalski, senior marketing specialist for Dow Corning solar unit. “Our ultimate goal is to help advance solar power as a viable and sustainable option globally.”