The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) (NYSE:Dow) has begun commercial-scale manufacturing of ENLIGHTTM Polyolefin Encapsulant Films for use in photovoltaic solar panel modules at its state-of-the-art production line in Findlay, Ohio. Ceremonies marking the opening took place last week.
“Response to the introduction of ENLIGHT technology earlier this year has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Brij Sinha, global strategic marketing manager for photovoltaics for Dow’s Packaging and Converting business. “Our encapsulant films improve the ability of module manufacturers to lower their overall costs.” Sinha notes that the films allow faster processing speeds, which lead to lower conversion costs. “Just as important, ENLIGHT technology has demonstrated that it can help increase the reliability of the finished module, leading to a longer service life.”
Dow offers two developmental grades of ENLIGHT Polyolefin Encapsulant Films, and also is developing customer-specific formulations. These films provide greater module stability and improved electrical performance versus traditional encapsulants, such as EVA-based products. The new encapsulant films are suitable for C-Si and thin-film modules.
“The extensive polyolefin film production capabilities of Dow’s Findlay operations make it the perfect site for manufacturing ENLIGHT Polyolefin Encapsulant Film formulations that are tailored to address the unique needs of customers around the world,” said Brian Brown, Findlay manufacturing site leader for Dow’s Packaging and Converting business.
The company plans to phase in production capacity around the world as needed to meet growing demand.
“This world-scale production facility for ENLIGHT Polyolefin Encapsulant Films is the latest step Dow is taking to help support the continued growth of the solar panel market around the world,” said Neil Carr, business group vice president for Dow’s Packaging and Converting business. “Dow is bringing a wide range of technologies to address the needs of PV module manufacturers, including films, adhesives, and electronic materials.”
This latest encapsulant joins the ENLIGHT™ family of encapsulants, metallization, imaging, cleaning and texturizing materials sold to the photovoltaic market worldwide. These include ADCOTETM Solvent-Based Adhesives, MOR-FREETM Solventless Adhesives and ENLIGHTTM Liquid Encapsulants for flexible modules.