Dow Corning Corporation today opened a Solar Solutions Application & Business Center in Newark, California that will serve as its West Coast hub for customer sales, product evaluation and the development of commercialization strategy.
The center, located within Dow Corning's 32,130 square-foot manufacturing facility, features state-of-the-art laboratories and testing facilities.
"Dow Corning is excited to establish a presence on the West Coast, home to many of our solar customers and some of the largest solar energy providers in North America," said Gaetan Borgers, global industry director, Dow Corning Solar Business. "We see the North American market as poised for growth in the very near future and we want to provide local support to our customers in this market", Borgers continued.
The Newark center is equipped with materials development and characterization laboratories, which will allow customers to evaluate environmental aging and performance capabilities on-site. In addition to serving West Coast customers, the center will also serve customers around the world by supplementing the capabilities of Dow Corning's Solar Solutions Application Center in Freeland, Michigan and the center in JinCheon, Korea, which is scheduled to open early next year.
"Dow Corning is committed to promoting global solar innovation and helping develop solar power as a viable and sustainable energy option," said Borgers. "Silicone technology has tremendous potential to address key challenges preventing the widespread use of solar power such as the high cost of solar modules."
The Solar Solutions Application & Business Center in California is the latest in a series of recent solar-related announcements made by Dow Corning.
In September, Dow Corning announced the commercialization of a breakthrough manufacturing process featuring new developmental silicone materials - Dow Corning PV-6100 Encapsulant Series - that significantly increases the production rate of solar panels, effectively lowering the cost per watt of solar power.
Also in September 2009, Dow Corning announced the addition of a new sealant and adhesive to its solar solutions portfolio: Dow Corning PV-8303 Ultra Fast Cure Sealant and Dow Corning PV-8030 Adhesive for bonding and sealing photovoltaic module components.
In June, Dow Corning announced that more than 50 percent of its innovation portfolio will be on projects related to sustainability. Over the past five years, Dow Corning and its joint ventures at the Hemlock Semiconductor Group have announced investments of more than $5 billion to research, develop and expand production of materials critical to the solar industry.
One of the only companies in the world able to provide silicon-based solutions throughout the entire photovoltaic value chain, Dow Corning is investing to expand its portfolio of total solution packages for solar cell manufacturing, module assembly and installation. Solution packages are built on high-performance silicone products such as encapsulants, adhesives, coatings, potting agents and sealants, as well as next-generation solar grade silicon.