May 7, 2008 – DuPont says it will “soon begin” construction of a R&D site in Hong Kong and a manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China, to tap into the thin-film side of the high-growth photovoltaic (PV) industry.
The company says by applying its materials, technology development, and manufacturing know-how, it can offer technologies “that will improve the lifetime and efficiency of photovoltaic modules,” with enough production capabilities to meet global demand, noted David Miller, group VP of DuPont electronic and communication technologies, in a statement.
The company says it’s chasing a projected 30% annual growth rate for PV over the next several years, by making “significant investments” in product development and capacity expansions. These new expansions will help serve the amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin-film market, demand for which it projects to be twice as high as for crystalline silicon (c-Si) cells and modules.
Among its product lineup targeting this space are PV sheets based on polyvinyl butyral (PVB), ionomer, and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) to encapsulate materials for thin-film modules. Further capacity expansions are planned for the company’s “Tedlar” film and Solamet thick film metallization paste.
“The most important factor for continued rapid market growth is achieving continuous year-over-year cost reductions in installed photovoltaic system cost, and we will continue to invest in offerings that meet the needs of this market,” Miller stated.