Covestro and partners collaborate for a sustainable photovoltaic industry

German materials manufacturer Covestro has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with five partners in China’s photovoltaic (PV) value chain, inaugurating a new innovation platform dedicated to advancing sustainability within the industry. By capitalizing on Covestro’s diversified solutions and research and development capabilities, this collaboration aspires to facilitate the integration of circular economy principles in the solar power sector’s manufacturing phase, ultimately forging a sustainable path forward for the industry itself.

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The other partners are Jolywood (Suzhou) Sunwatt Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Deyilong Technology Co., Ltd., Changzhou Fusion New Material Co., Ltd., Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and COSCO Kansai Paint & Chemical Co., Ltd.

Diversified solutions

As a fresh and dynamic entrant in the PV industry, Covestro is poised to offer a wide array of material solutions through the newly launched platform. These solutions aim to enhance power generation efficiency, reduce module weight, and extend the service life of PV modules. Meanwhile, they empower customers to innovate and develop new products, all the while contributing to a reduction in their carbon footprint. For instance:

  • Covestro’s coatings raw material solution can ensure that two-sided coated backsheets achieve a light transmittance exceeding 93 percent, enable bi-facial PV modules to reduce their weight by 20 percent and increase power generation by 1.29 percent. Additionally, these modules exhibit outstanding aging resistance, guaranteeing a service life of over 25 years.
  • Covestro’s low-temperature photovoltaic silver paste polymer solution, integrated into next-generation cell technology, excels in enhancing photoelectric conversion efficiency. Furthermore, its capability to cure at temperatures below 200 degrees Celsius contributes to a notable reduction in energy consumption.
  • Decovery®, a bio-based waterborne coating raw material, is a viable choice for coating containerized energy storage systems. By replacing conventional fossil-based solvent-borne materials, it reduces carbon emissions by more than 20 percent and effectively diminishes emissions of volatile organic compounds. Importantly, its application doesn’t require any modifications to the painting process, thus preserving work efficiency. This represents a step forward as Covestro extends its material applications from photovoltaic modules to encompass related energy storage systems for the first time.
  • Polyurethane composite frames for PV modules, made of Covestro’s Baydur® resin, boast mechanical properties, featuring an axial tensile strength over five times that of aluminum alloy frames. Additionally, they demonstrate resistance to salt mist and chemical corrosion, rendering them suitable for coastal and offshore solar farms with elevated humidity levels. These frames, being non-metallic, contribute to mitigating power attenuation in the modules and eliminate the need for grounding. Overall, it is a more cost-effective solution with a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to aluminum alloy frames.

Lu Wenxiao, CEO of Zhejiang Deyilong Technology Co., Ltd., said: “Deyilong has more than 30 years of production experience in glass fiber polyurethane composite pultrusion and is also a leader in the photovoltaic composite frame industry. At present, Deyilong’s composite material frames and component products using Deyilong frames have been exported to European and Southeast Asian markets, and products using Deyilong composite frame components have been exported to the European and Southeast Asian markets. I sincerely hope that the two companies will collaborate in innovation, mutual benefit and win-win in the future, and contribute to the development of the photovoltaic industry and the realization of the dual-carbon goal.”

“Covestro’s innovative solutions offer us new opportunities and a brighter outlook for development,” said Cheng Xudong, General Manager of Jolywood (Suzhou) Sunwatt Co., Ltd. “We aim to optimize technological advancements and enhance energy efficiency to create sustainable PV products, thus propelling the progress of the PV industry through our collaboration.”

“Covestro is at the forefront of product development and innovation within the industry. We anticipate continued collaboration with Covestro to infuse fresh vigor into the photovoltaic sector, particularly in the realms of circular economy and achieving net-zero emissions, which will contribute to China’s green transformation and society development,” said Liu Zhengxin, a professor at Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology.

More information www.covestro.com