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PPG awarded $2.1 million by DOE to help automate PV module manufacturing

Funding supports development of liquid encapsulants that will enable PV modules to be manufactured without the need for capital-intensive laminators.

The funding comes courtesy of DOE’s SunShot Initiative. 1 PPG will match each dollar committed by the DOE, resulting in a total public-private investment of approximately $4.3 million in the project. PPG is partnering with Flextronics International, Inc., a leading global solar module manufacturer, to design and test a pilot line at Flextronics’ Milpitas, Calif., facility that will produce 60- and 72-cell modules.

“With the proposed manufacturing approach, we expect to increase module throughput by a factor of four at half the capital expense of the existing process," said Andy Meshanko, PPG market development manager, industrial coatings. "With these cost savings and more efficient module designs, we can advance the goal of achieving grid parity for solar power.”

The PPG award is part of a $13 million investment in five projects to strengthen domestic solar manufacturing and speed commercialization of efficient, affordable PV and concentrating solar power technologies.

REFERENCES

  1. The SunShot Initiative, which is funded through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), seeks to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade.

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