Supporting Clean Energy
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Ferro solar glass innovation supports clean and sustainable integrated building material (BIPV)
While the US, Japan, Germany and Italy are all major contributors to solar photovoltaic (PV) global capacity, China now has the largest installed solar PV capacity in the world. And the leader there in the production of solar glass is Xinyi Glass. Founded in1988, Xinyi Glass has grown rapidly to become a major global player in the automobile, architectural, float, and now solar glass markets.
In 2018, Ferro – through its Chinese subsidiary Zibo Ferro Performance Materials – began a major project with Xinyi Solar (a subsidiary of Xinyi Glass), to supply specialty white enamel for Xinyi’s latest generation solar glass.
These innovative modules have a glass-to-glass laminated solar panel construction, with a battery sandwiched between two layers of interlayer film such as EVA. The glass used is 2.0 mm or 2.5 mm ultra-clear, with Ferro white glass enamel screen-printed on Side 3 of the laminated glass construct.
Compared to the single-glass version of yesteryears, this double glass construction improves the power generating efficiency and the shelf life of the battery pack, decreases the attenuation and improves the weather resistance of the module.
More recently, to further enhance solar efficiency, Ferro’s global R&D team worked with Xinyi to develop a specialty, high reflectivity white enamel for application on Side 3 of the laminated glass. This improves the reflectivity of the module, such that the battery absorbs more sunlight, thereby enhancing performance. Following exhaustive laboratory testing and field trials, this new Zibo Ferro product was fully approved in early 2019, and reached full production in early 2020.
Double glass PV modules are a new type of integrated building material (BIPV) providing clean and sustainable energy. Designed to be compatible with most conventional glazing systems for facades and skylights, they are particularly suitable for construction of car-park facilities, bus stops, shopping malls, sports facilities and greenhouses.