Volume 45, Issue 7 - July 2010


company news

Dyesol and Pilkington North America Form Joint BIPV Venture
The collaboration between Dyesol Inc. and Pilkington North America has resulted in the formation of a new company, DyeTec Solar (DTS). The new company will be located in Toledo, Ohio, near Pilkington’s corporate research and development center. The two companies began collaborating earlier this year (see April 2010 USGlass, page 48, for related story).

The new company will develop and deliver a standard technology platform (STP) solution for mass manufacture of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and automotive integrated photovoltaics (AIPV), as well as interior PV generating glass-based products, powered displays and security devices. The STP is a configurable manufacturing equipment set and related processes that are designed to leverage optimized transparent conductive oxide (TCO) glass and dye solar cell (DSC) materials from Pilkington and Dyesol, respectively, and enable downstream suppliers in the global glass market to mass manufacture high-performing DSC-TCO glass-based products.

“It is rare opportunity to participate in a partnership where our corporate interests are so well aligned and focused,” says Marc Thomas, Dyesol’s chief executive officer. “DTS will leverage Pilkington and Dyesol’s long established R&D and manufacturing resources, which represent thousands of man years of expertise in glass, TCO and DSC.”

According to information from DTS, BIPV represents the single largest market for DSC and TCO products, followed closely by AIPV. Where most PV technologies work well while facing the sun, DSC-based products allow all sides of a building to be electrically productive and capable of producing power all day, every day, even in less than ideal conditions.

“The unique technologies from the shareholders will allow DTS to develop new products that truly enable the BIPV market to become a reality, while providing pull through sales for TCO glass and DSC for the owners,” says William McCreary, the founding chairman of DTS. “The leadership of DTS will come from key members of each shareholder, who represent several hundred years of experience in the specific technologies, as well as commercializing entrepreneurial start-ups.”

Saint-Gobain to Build a Second PV Plant in Germany
As part of its solar power growth strategy, Saint-Gobain in France has announced that its subsidiary, Avancis, will be building a new plant to produce photovoltaic (PV) modules to cover the roofs of residential, industrial and commercial buildings as well as solar plants. This industrial site will be located in Torgau, Germany.

This new plant will be Avancis’ second German facility manufacturing thin-film CIGS PV panels. The new plant is expected have a production output of 100 MWp/year. The company plans to have the site on-stream by the first quarter of 2012.

research news
PPG Reports Advances in Solar Mirror Development
Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries has reported advances in solar mirror development for concentrated solar power (CSP) applications, including improvements in solar mirror reflectance performance of up to 1-percent after heat treatment; production of flat solar mirrors as large as approximately 89 by 126 inches on standard production equipment; and formulation of a lead-free encapsulant that prevents solar mirrors from degrading and losing reflectivity in accelerated testing.

These advancements were detailed in a progress report to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on a three-phase contract to enhance and commercialize large-area mirror technology.

PPG said it has developed mirror technology that enables fabricators to purchase large-area “pre-silvered” mirrors, cut them to desired size and subject them to heat treatments such as tempering, bending and heat-strengthening. According to information from the company, this is not possible with conventional “wet-silver” mirror technology.

Funding from the DOE contract began in 2008 and is expected to continue through 2011.

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