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Posted: May 4, 2009
DuPont Opens New Photovoltaic Technical Center in China
(Nanowerk News) DuPont today opened a photovoltaic (PV) technical center at its China global R&D Center in Shanghai to support material developments for the fast growing crystalline silicon photovoltaic solar energy market. DuPont expects to nearly triple its annual photovoltaic sales to more than $1 billion in 2012.
This newly established facility contains three labs that focus on processes including cell to module manufacturing, PV metallization and PV module and reliability testing. The new PV technology center provides integrated research, development and technical support for customers in the PV industry in China.
"China is a key market for DuPont and will remain so, in spite of the global recession," said Douglas Muzyka, president -- DuPont Greater China. "The center will allow us to collaborate more closely with our customers in the PV industry, to provide technical support and to develop new materials technologies to meet the market needs. Through this partnership, we will be able to help create solar modules that run more efficiently, last longer and make solar energy a more viable alternative for everyone. This new technology center is a prime example of how DuPont is implementing its global strategies in China."
In 2008 the output of crystalline silicon PV cells and modules in China was about one third of the total volume in the world. In response to the rapid expansion of demand from the China market, the PV technical center, with evaluation facilities resembling its customers' production lines, can conduct more systematic product evaluations, troubleshoot issues more quickly and modify material properties for maximum performance. The center will additionally play a key role as a technical focal point, connecting the China market with other technical networks in the region and with the Experimental Station, DuPont's global R&D headquarters in the United States.
"DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions is accelerating its ability to deliver innovations that will improve the lifetime and efficiency of photovoltaic modules, while helping lower the cost per watt of photovoltaic modules," said Marc Doyle, global business director -- DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions. "DuPont has recently made significant investments in product development and capacity expansions for leading brands critical to photovoltaic cell and module manufacturing, including DuPont™ Solamet® photovoltaic metallizations, DuPont™ Tedlar® polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) films and the DuPont™ PV5300 Series PV of encapsulant sheets."
The China R&D Center is located in Zhangjiang High-tech Park, Pudong, Shanghai, one of China's national level technical parks dedicated to high-tech start-ups and research organizations. The total investment for the center to date is approximately $25 million. DuPont 2008 net sales in greater China were $2.07 billion. Initially, the facility housed 100 people when it opened in 2005 with a planned expansion of up to 400 scientists and technicians. The facility was designed to provide support for research, application development, training, technology transfer and licensing of DuPont technologies for China, Asia Pacific and global markets. The center also will provide an enhanced platform to enable technological exchanges and research collaborations between DuPont and leading Chinese and Asian universities and research institutes.
In addition to solar, DuPont is providing key innovative products for the wind, biofuels and fuel cells industries that advance energy efficiency and deliver alternative energy sources to reduce the global reliance on fossil fuels.