US Ferro wins $1m solar cell research grant

12 January 2010 19:36  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Ferro has won a $1m (€690,000) grant to develop advanced durability sealing systems for photovoltaic solar cells, the US-based international chemicals and specialty materials producer said on Tuesday.

Under the grant from the Ohio Department of Development, Ferro Electronic Materials will work on systems to provide reliable air-tight and water-tight seals for second- and third-generation thin-film solar cells, it said.

Like all solar cells, thin-film solar cells require a hermetic seal to operate reliably for their expected lifetimes of 20-plus years.

This, however, can be a problem because most current thin-film solar cell modules are designed to be sealed with organic sealants that typically lose their hermeticity in time, especially if exposed to sunlight-containing UV radiation, Ferro said.

Many chemicals, materials and industrial gases producers are looking to the solar market as an important growth opportunity.

($1 = €0.69)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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