USA - Solutia ( http://www.solutia.com ) announced that its Saflex(r) Photovoltaic business is providing PVB interlayer and technical expertise in encapsulation technology to several companies that are producing the world`s largest thin-film solar modules, measuring 5.7 square meters.
"Saflex is committed to growing photovoltaic into a third major business segment, similar in size to our well-established architectural and automotive businesses," said Luc De Temmerman, senior vice president of Solutia Inc. and president of Saflex.
"By collaborating with leading equipment manufacturers, integrators, specifiers and module makers, Saflex will play a key role in shaping the future of this dynamic and rapidly growing market."
Solutia`s Saflex Photovoltaic business is a provider of encapsulant technology and materials to the thin-film solar module market. When Saflex polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer is sealed between coated glass, it protects the electronic components that are contained inside.
Independent testing has demonstrated that solar module configurations using PVB as the encapsulant are the most reliable, which is a key reason why PVB is emerging as the encapsulant of choice in thin-film solar modules.
"Saflex provides the manufacturers of thin-film solar modules with the scale, skill and speed to help them efficiently and rapidly ramp up production," said Rich Daniels, vice president of innovation and growth, Saflex.
"No other PVB supplier brings Saflex`s global manufacturing capacity, commitment to the development of next-generation products, and team of professionals that spans the world and understands local market needs."
The market for thin-film solar modules is growing at approximately 40% per year, with demand driven largely by the growth of large-scale solar farms that route energy into a local or national electricity grid. In 2007, the largest photovoltaic markets were Germany and Spain, which accounted for nearly 70% of global demand.
"Currently Saflex is supplying large-scale module makers in Germany, Spain, and India, with expansion into additional world areas in the coming months," said Jay Pyper, global market development director, solar business, Saflex.
"These customers will be producing the world`s largest thin-film solar modules, using Saflex PVB interlayer as the encapsulant. Our global Saflex team will be actively engaged in supporting the startup and optimization of these new lines."