DSM and Interfloat sign license and supply agreements for DSM’s KhepriCoat™ high-transmission/anti-reflective coating technology
By using DSM’s technology on Interfloat’s superior-quality solar cover glass, module manufacturers in Europe will be able to improve the efficiency of their solar panels. The KhepriCoat technology will be taken into production at Interfloat’s solar glass plant in Tschernitz (Germany). The transfer of know-how and technology and the installation of the coating equipment are expected to be completed by August, when Interfloat will start production.
A KhepriCoat layer on solar cover glass reduces the amount of sunlight reflected, thereby allowing more of it to pass through to the solar cells. This significantly boosts the sunlight conversion rate of solar modules: the typical daily improvement in module efficiency is in the range of 3-4% for photovoltaic (PV) modules and 6-8% for solar thermal modules. DSM licenses its KhepriCoat know-how and technology to selected glass producers and glass processors, producing the coating formulation in-house for direct supply to its licensees.
The PV industry is growing in double-digit figures. In fact, in 2010 the size of the market more than doubled. One important driver of this growth is the continued reduction in the cost of converting solar energy. The use of AR coatings is contributing significantly to improvements in module efficiency – which in turn helps make solar energy more competitive compared with energy produced from fossil fuels. With the AR coating KhepriCoat, DSM is answering this market need.
Oscar Goddijn, Vice President of DSM Advanced Surfaces: “DSM Advanced Surfaces develops coating solutions in order to help make life brighter for everyone. By boosting the efficiency of solar modules, KhepriCoat supports renewable energy production and underlines the importance of sustainability in our emerging businesses. We’re proud to team up with Interfloat and help the world to boost its ability to generate electricity from sunlight, and make the way we live much more sustainable.”
Ulrich Frei, Managing Director of Interfloat: “Performance, durability, effectiveness and costs have always been our main concerns for photovoltaic cover-glass products. And by choosing DSM Advanced Surfaces as our partner for AR-coatings we are taking another step along this path. Their new coating-technology KhepriCoat is the key to reducing the reflection of the solar glass for PV modules from 4% to less than 1% in the relevant wavelength range. This advantage will help module manufacturers make solar electricity more competitive compared with conventional sources.”
Interfloat Corporation has supplied the European solar industry with solar cover glass since 1982. It was the first importer of solar glass from the USA to Europe, and has now evolved from a long-term trading partner for the solar industry into a glass producer, thanks to its investment partnership with GMB Glasmanufaktur Brandenburg. GMB produces high-quality low-iron solar glass exclusively for Interfloat, 365 days a year, at the Tschernitz plant. All the machinery at the factory has been purpose-designed. GMB began production in 2008. All advisory, sales and after-sales services for GMB’s solar glass products are carried out exclusively by Interfloat. For more information, see www.interfloat.com.