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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DSM contributes to world record for most efficient solar module
Article Type: Environment and safety From: Pigment & Resin Technology, Volume 39, Issue 1
Royal DSM N.V., the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company headquartered in The Netherlands, announces today that its KhepriCoat™ anti-reflective coating system has contributed to achieving the highest energy conversion ever of a full-size solar module. The world record of 16.4 percent, achieved by the Energy Research Centre of The Netherlands (ECN), was verified by global certification and testing organization TÜV. The previous record of 15.5 percent from 1998 was broken with an impressive 0.9 percent efficiency improvement, of which a significant part can be attributed to DSM's coating.
The new record efficiency to 16.4 percent means a substantial step in the ongoing quest to bring solar energy closer to “grid parity,” the point at which solar energy is equal to or cheaper than traditional electricity. This would make it broadly accessible to both industrial and residential users without state and/or government subsidies. The successful utilization of DSM's KhepriCoat™ anti-reflective coating confirms its performance leadership and will contribute to the speed of implementation of anti-reflective coatings in the rapidly growing solar energy market.
Owing to an ever increasing demand for generation of sustainable energy, solar power will play a critically important role in future energy supply. To enable these developments, innovative companies like DSM are constantly working on technology breakthroughs that allow a significant cost reduction in solar systems. One of such breakthroughs has been the development of DSM's KhepriCoat™ anti-reflective coating on solar glass, which offers the best performance in terms of light transmission, durability and flexibility. Application of the coating to solar glass sheets has shown an increase in light transmission of ∼4 percent leading to approximately 96 percent transmission rate for wavelengths in 400-1,200 nm range.
Paul Wyers, Manager, solar energy at ECN said: “The added value of anti-reflective coatings in improving the efficiency of solar modules is significant. We were glad we could make use of the latest technology in this field to set our world record. Our cooperation with DSM helped us achieve a premium conversion efficiency of 16.4 per cent on a full-size solar module, which is a huge leap from the previous record.”
Khepricoat™ is the second commercial product in DSM's Functional Coating program that focuses on applying DSM's proprietary coating technology platform on various applications. Next to coatings for solar panels, DSM has already launched ®claryl picture glass which makes framed pictures clearer, emphasizes colors better and reduces the amount of reflection. ®claryl is currently available in 15 European countries. A US launch is being prepared.