DuPont opens photovoltaic application facility in Geneva

To address the needs of the fast-growing photovoltaic market, DuPont has opened the Meyrin Photovoltaic Application Laboratory at its European Technical Center – adding new capabilities to this leadin…

To address the needs of the fast-growing photovoltaic market, DuPont has opened the Meyrin Photovoltaic Application Laboratory at its European Technical Center – adding new capabilities to this leading R&D hub by developing next-generation products. Over 50 representatives from the photovoltaic industry joined government leaders and DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman and Ian Hudson, president – DuPont Europe, Middle East and Africa, for the facility“s opening. Addressing energy needs is a global concern. The generation and storage of renewable energy will be the fastest growing sector in the energy market for the next 20 years, said Kullman. We can apply the power of our market-driven science to offer products and technologies that can transform the sun“s potential into clean energy, contributing to decreasing dependence on fossil fuels. The Meyrin Photovoltaic Application Lab will operate as an open centre, enabling technological exchanges and research collaborations between DuPont and customers, industrial partners, institutes and academia. The lab is designed to advance state-of-the-art solar module design, accelerate time to market in photovoltaic innovation and deliver cost-effective, high-performance solutions for the photovoltaic industry. A new innovative building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panel system that replaces tile or slate roofs is an example of open innovation. This new innovation was developed at the lab in collaboration with DuPont Building Innovations, DuPont Performance Polymers and industry partners. It significantly improves the ease and speed of installation, offers high-energy efficiency, exceptional water tightness and superior aesthetics to the building. The system was initially developed for the French market where it will be commercialized in the first quarter of 2010. In a second phase, the product will be commercialized in other Southern European markets. DuPont materials have been at the forefront of photovoltaic innovation for more than 25 years, setting standards around the world through materials that provide unmatched quality and reliability to photovoltaic modules. DuPont anticipates that the photovoltaic market will grow by about 30 percent in 2010 and will continue to grow rapidly over the next three years. DuPont sales exceeded USD 500 million in 2009, and the company expects overall sales of its family of products into the photovoltaic industry will exceed USD 1 billion by 2012. DuPont has recently made significant investments in product development and capacity expansions for leading brands critical to solar cell and module manufacturing, including DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallizations, DuPont PV5300 encapsulant sheets and DuPont Tedlar polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) films. At DuPont, responding to the sustainability challenges often involves looking at where different science and capabilities intersect, Hudson said. The new Meyrin Photovoltaic Application Lab will allow us to collaborate more closely with our customers in the photovoltaic industry, to provide local technical support and to develop the next generation of products for the global photovoltaic market. DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions represents the broadest portfolio in the solar energy industry, with more than 10 products critical to photovoltaic production. DuPont materials and technology solutions are designed to work together to help increase the efficiency and lifetime of crystalline silicon and thin film photovoltaic solar modules, while reducing total systems cost and enabling the photovoltaic industry to reach grid parity faster. DuPont – one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 20 years ago – has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.