PPG Industries 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, such as those shown in this artist's rendering. 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.
PPG Industries announced that is has received a $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 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 (PV) 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.
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.
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Founded in 1883, the company serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG (ppg.com) operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2010 were $13.4 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG).