Gallery: 3M Awarded $4 Million to Develop Low Cost Solar Film

 

3M, the company behind Scotch Tape, is moving into alternative energy thanks to a $4.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The company plans to use the money to develop and commercialize its new thin film solar technology known as Ultra Barrier Solar Film. The solar material is reported to have high light transmission, superb moisture barrier performance and excellent weather resistance.

The grant is part of the DOE’s SunShot Initiative, which aims to reduce the total cost of photovoltaic solar energy systems by 75 percent by the end of the decade. 3M’s Ultra Barrier Solar Film utilizes moisture-resistant film to replace the glass used in conventional thin film solar panels.

Whereas traditional solar panels are expensive and require involved installation systems, 3M’s solar film requires no metal racking and reduces logistics expenditures. 3M has also stated that the solar film reduces module manufacturing costs by allowing manufacturers to commercialize large area modules.

“High-efficiency flexible solar modules manufactured with 3M’s Film not only have the potential to significantly reduce the total system costs for rooftop solar installations, but also have an array of niche applications where our customers can take advantage of the unique module form factor,” said Derek DeScioli, business development manager for 3M’s renewable energy division.

+ 3M

Via Environmental Leader

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  1. lazyreader March 28, 2011 at 8:06 am

    What is 3M on a budget now? They made 26 billion dollars last year with a net income of 4 billion selling glue and scotchtape, certainly they could come up with the 4 million themselves to develop the solar film. Are they suddenly strapped for cash. Before we give 3M the benefit of the doubt for their “Green initiative”, let us not forget their environmental record. In 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‎ (EPA) began investigating per-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs) after receiving data on the global distribution and toxicity of PFOS,[11] the former key ingredient in Scotchgard. In response to PFC contamination of the Mississippi River and surrounding area, 3M states the area will be “cleaned through a combination of groundwater pump-out wells and soil sediment excavation. The clean-up cost estimate is $50–56 million, which will be funded from a $147 million environmental reserve set aside in 2006. Hope none of that money is ours.

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