PPG Industries receives government award

PPG Industries Inc., Pittsburgh, has received a $2.1 million award from the Department of Energy (DOE) to design an automated photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing process that eliminates assembly time and labor. Delivered through DOE's SunShot Initiative, the funding will be used to develop liquid encapsulants that enable PV modules to be manufactured without the need for capital-intensive laminators.

PPG Industries will match the award, resulting in a $4.3 million project investment, and plans to partner with Flextronics International Inc., San Jose, Calif., to design and test the pilot line at the Flextronics Milpitas, Calif., facility that also will produce 60- and 72-cell modules.

"With the proposed manufacturing approach, we expect to increase module throughput by a factor of four at half the capital expense of the existing process," says Andy Meshanko, PPG Industries market development manager, industrial coatings. "With these cost savings and more efficient module designs, we can advance the goal of achieving grid parity for solar power."