PPG to Install Solar Array
at PA Glass Research Facility
PPG Industries is installing a 4,800 watt
solar array on the roof of the PPG Flat Glass Business and Discovery Center
in Harmar, Pa. Scott Follett, global director of PPG’s Solar Performance
Group, says the site will demonstrate the value of solar products such
as the Solarphire® line, and will help company researchers and product
developers to gather real-world data on the performance of existing and
Follett adds that the array will be available for use as a testing and
demonstration site for customers as well. “It is one thing for us to tell
current and potential customers about the virtues of Solarphire glass
products by PPG,” he says. “To actually show them the value of the glass,
used in their own modules, is far more impressive.”
The array will include two 10-module assemblies, complete with online
monitoring software to measure the real-time power output of each module
type. Customers may use the demonstration site in one-month intervals,
and those with products installed on the array will have access to performance
data. Solar power generated by the array will be tied back into building
For the initial installation, PPG will equip one assembly with Solarphire
PV photovoltaic glass and the other with Solarphire AR anti-reflective
glass and compare their performance.
First Solar to Build Solar Module Factory in AZ
First Solar Inc. is building a new U.S. manufacturing center in Mesa,
Ariz. The solar module manufacturer is investing about $300 million in
the factory, which is expected to create approximately 600 jobs and include
four manufacturing lines with a capacity to produce more than 250 megawatts
(MW) of thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules per year. The new factory,
in combination with a recently expanded facility in Perrysburg, Ohio,
will increase its U.S. production capacity to more than 500MW per year.
Construction began in the second quarter of 2011, while module shipments
are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2012. The facility is located
on a 135-acre site that is designed to accommodate future expansion. The
facility will include a 3MW rooftop solar installation, as well as a ground-mounted
PV testing facility. The factory will utilize First Solar’s continuous
manufacturing process, which transforms a sheet of glass into a complete
solar module in less than 2 1/2 hours.
DyeTec Wins Ohio State Development Grant
Australia-based DyeTec Solar Inc., a joint venture between Dyesol Inc.
and Pilkington North America, has received a $1 million Ohio Third Frontier
Commission grant to develop technology for mass manufacture of glass-based
building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV), building applied photovoltaic
(BAPV) and automotive integrated photovoltaic (AIPV) products.
DyeTec’s technology is designed to utilize optimized transparent conductive
oxide (TCO) glass and dye solar cell (DSC) materials manufactured by the
joint venture partners, and enables downstream suppliers in the glass
market to mass produce high-performing DSC-TCO glass-based products for
use in BIPV, BAPV and AIPV applications. Initial DyeTec efforts are expected
to result in the development of prototype DSC-based BIPV glass panels
and related equipment sets, laying the foundation for high volume manufacturing
Solutia Produces EVAEncapsulants in China
Solutia Inc. in St. Louis is opening a new Vistasolar® ethylene vinyl
acetate (EVA) manufacturing center in Suzhou, China. The new facility
has completed testing and is now ready to supply commercial-grade Vistasolar
EVA encapsulant for use in solar modules.
According to the company, Chinese solar module manufacturers currently
produce more than half of all modules installed globally, and this new
manufacturing center is expected to strengthen Solutia’s position to supply
solar encapsulants to the Chinese photovoltaic market.
“The industry requires reductions in cost per watt for solar energy,”
says Christopher Reed, Solutia photovoltaic business director. “By investing
directly into China, our ability to reduce the total cost of production
and enhance our service levels to Chinese module manufacturers is greatly
This is Solutia’s first new EVA production facility to be developed after
the acquisition of Etimex Solar GmbH of Germany. The facility is based
at the company’s Suzhou, China, manufacturing center, which also produces
Saflex® polyvinyl butyral (PVB) films.
NSG Expands Solar Energy Glass Capacity in Vietnam
The NSG Group has announced plans to build two float lines in Vietnam
to increase its production of specialty products to the solar energy and
touch screen sectors. The first of the two new float lines will be fitted
with online coating equipment for the production of coated glass for use
in thin-film type photovoltaic applications. The total investment will
be in the order of $320 million USD (JPY 26 billion), with both lines
due to start production in 2013. The Group estimates that approximately
400 jobs will be created locally as a result of the investment.
The new float lines will be constructed at the My Xuan site in southern
Vietnam, in which the company already operates a float line dedicated
to solar energy products.
Renewable Energy Systems Discussed During IgCC Hearings
Among the proposals heard during the International Green Construction
Code (IgCC) hearings in May in Dallas was one that called for revising
section 611.2 on photovoltaic systems. Proposal GEW249-11, submitted by
Robert Dewey, who represented the U.S. Department of Energy, called for
revising the section so the systems would be designed, constructed and
sized to provide not less than 5 percent (an increase from 2 percent)
of the total estimated annual electric energy consumption of the building,
or collective buildings on the building site in accordance with Section
611.1.1 or 611.1.2.
Tom Culp, representing the Glazing Industry Code Committee, spoke in opposition.
“Our members make solar photovoltaic systems so you’d think I’d speak
in favor, but the 5-percent increase is only on one category and not across
the board, and that may likely discourage the use of solar photovoltaic
systems,” Culp said.
The proposal was disapproved by the committee.
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