PPG wins $3 million grant to advance photovoltaic glass technology

Glass Magazine
February 28, 2011
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : SOLAR

PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, has won funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for the development of glass coatings technology that will enable performance gains in power-generating photovoltaic fields, according to a Feb. 28 release.

These fields are expected to have a power-producing lifetime of 30 or more years, helping to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign fossil fuels, improve national security and protect the environment.

The company has received a $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop the materials, coating designs and manufacturing processes necessary to commercialize a new glass article for the Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) module manufacturing industry.

Cadmium Telluride is a thin-film coating that has the potential to improve the performance of photovoltaic glass. James McCamy, PPG manager, solar technologies, said the new glass article will combine three new technological innovations into a single product, with the goal of reducing Cadmium Telluride module costs by 17 percent by 2015. "This could represent a significant step toward grid parity (cost-competitiveness) for solar energy," he added in the release.

The grant is part of a $20 million investment by the DOE in the Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP). The PPG award will be delivered through the Photovoltaic Supply Chain and Cross-Cutting Technologies program, which aims to accelerate the development of unique PV products or processes with the aid of related technologies from non-solar companies.

PPG said technology and process development will be coordinated through the Solar Technologies Group at PPG and project partnerships with the Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics at Colorado State University and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is located in Tennessee and managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 28, 2011 –