DuPont to Double Solamet® Production to Meet Surging Solar Energy Market Demand
Metallization Materials Increase Solar Cell Efficiency to Help Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels
|Contact: Dan Turner|
WILMINGTON, Del., Aug. 31, 2010 – DuPont announced plans to double production capacity for its market-leading DuPont™ Solamet® photovoltaic metallization pastes, based on strong, continued growth in the solar energy industry and accelerated demand for new materials that enable higher efficiency photovoltaic cells. As part of DuPont’s efforts to help reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, the capacity increase is consistent with the company’s expectation that its sales of enabling innovations into photovoltaic applications will exceed $1 billion in 2011 and $2 billion by 2014.
We are seeing extremely strong demand from our customers, while the supply of certain materials in the photovoltaic market has been tight,” said David B. Miller, president – DuPont Electronics & Communications. “This additional capacity expansion demonstrates our commitment to decreasing dependence on fossil fuels by meeting our customers’ needs for materials that increase the efficiency of solar cells and modules. By increasing efficiency, Solamet® paste helps reduce overall system costs, thereby making photovoltaic power more competitive with other forms of electricity generation.”
DuPont is applying the power of its integrated science to help reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. DuPont has a range of market-leading innovations that address the renewable energy challenge, including enabling materials for photovoltaics, biofuels, renewably sourced materials and technologies engineered to improve energy efficiency.
The planned capacity expansion, which will more than double the production capacity for Solamet® products for the photovoltaic industry, involves DuPont Microcircuit Materials facilities in Manati, Puerto Rico; Dongguan, China; and Taoyuan, Taiwan. Completion of the work is expected in 2011. This is the second major Solamet® expansion in the last two years. In February 2009, DuPont announced it doubled production capacity at its European electronic materials manufacturing facility in Bristol, U.K.
DuPont™ Solamet® photovoltaic metallization pastes are made from silver and other materials, which collect electricity produced by the solar cell and transport it out of the cell. They play a critical role in how efficiently photovoltaic modules turn sunlight into electricity. The advances made by DuPont in the field of front- and back-side metallization contacts have resulted in significant efficiency gains for solar cell technology. In 1998, the efficiency of a crystalline silicon solar cell was approximately 10 percent. Today, these cells operate at close to 16 percent for multi-crystalline wafers, and at greater than 18 percent for monocrystalline wafers; a rise in efficiency that is partly due to the performance provided by the metallizations DuPont has developed. Higher module efficiency delivers more power from the same module, so even a fraction of a percent efficiency improvement can substantially increase the return on investment from a photovoltaic system.
DuPont™ Solamet® photovoltaic metallizations are part of the broad and growing portfolio of products represented by DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, which connects science and technology from across the company on a global scale to help support the dramatic growth of the photovoltaic industry. To learn more about DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, visit http://photovoltaics.dupont.com.
DuPont (www.dupont.com) is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
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