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DuPont buys Innovalight, boosts solar cell efficiency

Posted: 28 Jul 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar cells  silicon  photovoltaic materials 

DuPont acquires Innovalight Inc., a company specialising in advanced silicon inks and process technologies, aimed at increasing the efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells.

DuPont claims that the acquisition further strengthens DuPont's position as a clear leader in materials for the solar energy market, enabling a broader and more integrated photovoltaic materials and technology offering from DuPont. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

Innovalight, located in Sunnyvale, Calif., has developed innovative proprietary silicon ink products, process technology and a pipeline of anticipated products. Silicon inks used in conjunction with DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallisation pastes boost the amount of electricity produced from sunlight, enabling the production of superior Selective Emitter solar cells. According to industry estimates, Selective Emitter technology could represent 13 per cent of crystalline silicon solar cell production by 2013 and up to 38 per cent by 2020.

"Innovalight has very exciting technology that improves cell efficiency and DuPont can help expedite its adoption," said David B. Miller, president—DuPont Electronics & Communications. "DuPont and Innovalight share a commitment to innovation in materials that have a common purpose—to make solar energy more efficient and more affordable."

DuPont exceeded Rs.4,464.29 crore ($1 billion) in revenue from sales into the photovoltaic market in 2010, and has set a goal to reach Rs.8,928.57 crore ($2 billion) by 2014 based on continued growth supported by more innovations that improve solar module efficiency, lifetime and overall system costs.

"Innovalight brings in-depth knowledge of solar devices, silicon technology and Selective Emitter technology, and DuPont adds expertise in materials science, manufacturing capabilities and global market access," said Conrad Burke, founder of Innovalight.

DuPont anticipates that the acquisition will aim to enable opportunities for greater efficiencies and future innovations which could more quickly and effectively help address the market demand for higher-efficiency solar cell designs. According to the company, DuPont experience in production scale-up and manufacturing operations will accelerate time-to-market for Innovalight products and broaden customers' access to the technology. In addition, DuPont's broad range of offerings in photovoltaic module materials, including back sheet films and encapsulants, will target to help accelerate adoption of new high efficiency solar cells that need to be packaged into modules to meet in-field performance requirements.

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