Dow has opened a new encapsulant production line in Schkopau, Germany. The line, opened yesterday, will produce its Enlight encapsulant film to supply European photovoltaic manufacturers. Since 2010, Dow claims to have tripled its photovoltaic film capacity.
"The adoption of polyolefin technology is gathering pace due to its technical and economic performance benefits. A significant European customer base has requested our local production presence," said Mark Saurin, PV platform development director at Dow, in a statement announcing the lines start up. The new German line will operate additionally to the first and second such lines in the U.S. and Thailand.
Construction on the new line began in early 2012, being completed in February of this year. "The Schkopau site is based at the heart of the so-called solar valley with proximity to leading photovoltaic companies and research institutes in Central Germany," said Reiner Roghmann, site director for central Germany at Dow. "This and the good conditions at the site offer opportunities for growth in industry relationships."
Dow claims its polyolefin technology can allow for a wide range of encapsulant films to be produced, for both c-Si and thin film modules. With appropriate application of the encapsulant, Dow claims bubbling can be reduced and potentially eliminated. This can reduce waste and reduce production time by up to 30%, the statement continues. c-Si modules employing the Enlight films have been performance tested by TÜV Rheinland.