3M today announced the expansion of its manufacturing facility for its 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film. As a key component supplier to the solar industry, this expansion will support the growing demand for high efficiency flexible PV modules. The majority of the facility expansion, located in Columbia, Missouri, is scheduled to be completed in 2011.
"3M once again demonstrates the value it brings to the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector by bringing our high-performance Ultra Barrier Solar Film to commercial-scale production," said Derek DeScioli, Business Development Manager for the 3M Renewable Energy Division. "3M is a recognized leader in ultra barrier film technology, and we are committed to accelerating our efforts to support the scale-up of our thin film manufacturing customers."
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, superb moisture barrier performance, and excellent weatherability. Compared with glass-glass modules, large area, light weight 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 Film also enable lower module manufacturing costs by allowing manufacturers to commercialize large area modules, effectively reducing fixed costs associated with module manufacturing, assembled in a continuous roll-to-roll process.