The renewable energy market is rapidly growing, and solar power is a major pillar of this global energy transition. Dow supplies a variety of proven materials, chemistries and technologies used in the manufacture of solar equipment and operation of assets, focusing on high-quality materials solutions that will provide the performance, durability and reliability manufacturers and end users need.
Leveraging more than 100 years of expertise, our technologies are enabling solar component manufacturers to explore novel and more efficient designs as well as providing end users with global reliability of supply to meet today’s and tomorrow’s renewable energy needs
Materials selection for PV modules can be a critical factor in the ongoing success of module manufacturers. Dow’s innovative adhesives, encapsulants, coatings, fluids and bonding materials help make the choice for PV manufacturers easier with opportunities for exceptional long-term performance, reliability, and ease in application.
Select your area of interest below:
Solar cell encapsulants
Longer service life and reliability rule in the highly competitive solar market. That’s why selecting the right material for PV encapsulants can be a critical factor contributing to the ongoing success of PV module manufacturers. Dow offers both polyolefin- and silicone-based solutions for encapsulants.
ENGAGE™ PV POEs offer improved performance compared to most competing materials
ENGAGE™ PV Polyolefin Elastomers (POEs) help make the choice for PV encapsulant films easier, delivering exceptional long-term performance and reliability at a lower overall cost. Top and bottom PV encapsulant films made with ENGAGE™ PV POEs offer opportunities to significantly:
- Increase power generation, reliability and service life
- Improve resistance to potential-induced degradation (PID), especially for high-efficiency bifacial solar cells
- Reduce the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) as well as total system costs
|ENGAGE™ PV POEs vs. EVA-Based Film|
|Enhanced power retention||Weathering||Encapsulant film degradation under UV|
Better "anti-PID" performance is enabled by films made with ENGAGE™ PV POE, especially for high-efficiency bifacial solar cells.
Third-party testing by Fraunhofer showed ENGAGE™ PV POEs exhibited virtually no PID during service life, with a power loss of 0.3% versus 35% with ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)-based film¹.
|After alternating cycles of damp heat and QUV exposure over extended periods of time, a module with ENGAGE™ PV films showed more consistent power compared to a module using EVA films.||Even after 10,000 hours of Xenon Arc weathering testing, encapsulant films made with ENGAGE™ PV POEs did not show increased yellowness index, while EVA film turned an evident yellow color².|
1 Based on tests conducted by the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP. Chart provided by Fraunhofer. Additional information available upon request.
2 Based on Dow testing that compared a module film made with ENGAGE™ PV POE to a module made with an EVA-based film. Additional information available upon request.
DOWSIL™ silicone encapsulants deliver out-of-this-world performance in BIPV and harsh climate applications
For specific applications, including Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and solar panels for very hot climates, silicone solar cell encapsulation may be the preferred solution. These encapsulants are dispensed as a liquid and cure into highly transparent elastomers. Dow offers silicone-based solar cell encapsulants that meet different needs, but which all share outstanding durability and resistance to extreme temperatures.
Excellent and durable adhesion is essential for module frame attachment to PV laminates. Regardless of climate or weather conditions, ensuring reliable sealing performance and preventing water ingress is essential to the durability and longevity of PV modules.
Rail bonding adhesives
Whether your goal is to reduce metal and therefore cost, or to design PV modules with flawless frameless aesthetics, combining back-rail and silicone rail bonding adhesives is an excellent choice. Dow brings extensive experience in structural glazing, paired with the right technology and expertise to help you achieve your rail bonding objectives.
Electronics encapsulants and potting agents
Whether in junction boxes or power management devices, electronic components need reliable protection against water ingress, corrosion and arcing. Dow offers a wide range of encapsulants to meet durability and protection requirements for electronics applications.
Junction box adhesives
Excellent and durable adhesion is essential for junction box attachment to PV laminates. Regardless of climate or weather conditions, ensuring reliable sealing performance and preventing water ingress is essential to the durability and longevity of PV modules.
Silicone coatings for backsheets and aesthetics
A challenge that has recently emerged in solar park operation is the cracking of backsheets. PV modules manufactured with a backsheet type later determined to be of poor quality — degraded after only a few years in the field. Cracks appear in the backsheet affecting insulation performance. DOWSIL™ silicone coating helps restore insulation resistance and prevent further degradation.
Many PV applications require a protective and/or decorative silicone coating to meet both specified durability and aesthetics. Dow offers silicones for repair and protective coating, as well as a decorative glass coating material with strong and durable adhesion to glass and perfect color control. Contact us for more information on how to improve your panel aesthetics, and for color coating options.
Advanced photovoltaic concepts require secondary optics with complex shapes, excellent transparency, and outstanding stability under high fluxes. Discover our range of moldable silicones and explore how they can enable you to implement your design.
SYLTHERM™ silicone-based and DOWTHERM™ synthetic organic-based thermal fluids offer optimal thermal stability for a highly sensitive process and subzero temperature operation required at various stages of producing high purity polysilicon.
SYLTHERM™ 800 Heat Transfer Fluid stands out as an ideal solution to be used as a cooling medium in the jacket reactor to control the temperature at the reduction reaction step with temperatures reaching 400ºC. SYLTHERM™ 800 is a non-fouling, low in toxicity fluid with the longest lifetime service (10 years at 400ºC).
DOWTHERM™ J and SYLTHERM™ XLT Heat Transfer Fluids are used in the separation and condensing step of various reaction gases through cooling method where extremely low temperatures are required (-40ºC ~-75ºC). This part of the process enables collection of the gas mixtures to be recycled.
Enabling concentrated solar power with advanced heat transfer fluids
Parabolic Trough Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants enable capturing solar power by using parabolic shaped mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto receivers. Collected solar thermal energy is typically then used to generate electricity via a steam turbine or stored for later dispatch. Parabolic trough CSP plants complements other renewable energy technologies by overcoming intermittency, enabling reliable energy storage, and reducing undesired environmental impact (e.g., dust and heat).
Dow helps you harness the power of the sun with advanced heat transfer fluid technology and support to meet the most challenging system, volume and delivery requirements, all over the world. We’ve proven it where it counts most: in many of the largest CSP projects under the sun. Today, more than 50 CSP plants filled with DOWTHERM™ A provide enough electrical generation capacity to meet the needs of more than 1 million homes at a savings of over 5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Our total solution approach supports your project from end-to-end with:
- DOWTHERM™ A Fluid, the world’s leading fluid for CSP
- In-depth technical support
- World-scale production capacity
- Tailored supply chain and logistics capabilities
- Total commitment to safety
DOWTHERM™ A fluid is the most thermally stable synthetic organic fluid under the sun which is proven reliable for more than 80 years in chemical, synthetic fiber and other high temperature processing applications. It is capable of withstanding temperatures as high as 400°C (750°F) to collect and transport heat in CSP systems while operating in either liquid or vapor phase. The extreme temperature capabilities of DOWTHERM™ A enable this versatile, high purity fluid to operate for years with excellent thermal stability, great heat transfer fluid efficiency, and improved overall fluid life. And because the fluid’s viscosity is low throughout its operating temperature range, system efficiency and pumpability are excellent.
Optimized technologies for passive and active solar heating
Active solar thermal systems, such as flat panel collectors, rely on the solar energy to heat-up a fluid, which is circulated in an area that requires heat. This is how, in residential buildings for instance, domestic water can be indirectly (via a heat exchanger) warmed-up, therefore supporting the building’s heating system.
In such applications, DOWCAL™ 200 Heat Transfer Fluid is an optimum heat transfer fluid choice: it prevents pipes from bursting during cold weather, and/or eliminates the need for system drainage every year, while maintaining excellent heat transfer efficiencies. In collectors built with aluminum tubes, DOWCAL™ 200 Fluid offers best in class corrosion protection, reducing overall collector maintenance cost.