Encapsulation of solar cells is done between the solar module glass cover and the glass cover of the solar cell located inside the module. Encapsulations are usually done in order to extend the useful life of such PV installations. Materials selected for encapsulations usually possess corrosion resistant, flame retardant or hard wearing properties. Generally such encapsulation cannot be easily automated and requires significant energy and material resources. The use of such encapsulants is growing steadily in multiple industries such as construction and automotive among others. Encapsulation ensures safe working of solar PV modules which enables consumers to reduce the maintenance costs. The construction industry is one the largest consumers of this segment. The growth of construction industry in the future will encourage companies to invest in R&D activities associated with solar encapsulation technology. The market for solar encapsulation is anticipated to grow at a substantial rate in the future owing to increased adoption of solar PV modules. Currently, there are no substitutes available for solar encapsulation technology, thus the growth of PV modules will directly enhance the growth rate of this technology.
Growing awareness towards renewable energy resources and increased adoption of solar as a viable form of energy is bolstering the demand for solar PV modules. Many government agencies in developed counties have set targets to ensure maximum adoption of solar technology. Such government initiatives and growing demand of solar PV modules will encourage investment in solar encapsulation market. Other driving factors include growing energy requirements and immense technological proliferation in the solar PV module industry resulting in plummeting prices. Even though the market is at a nascent stage of development, growing acceptance and negligible product substitutes will ensure steady growth of the market in future. Constant R&D initiatives by existing PV module manufacturers will drive down encapsulation prices in the future as well as develop newer encapsulants for future PV technologies. The development of organic solar technology in the future will attract further investment in solar encapsulation market.
The encapsulants can be segmented on the basis of technology and materials used. Segmentation on the basis of technology can be done as polycrystalline silicon solar technology and thin film solar technology. On the basis of material used for encapsulation, segmentation may be done as Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA), Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) and Ionomers among others. The material to be used for construction of solar encapsulation depends on the requirements of the consumer.
Asia is emerging to be the market leader in terms of adoption of such encapsulation technologies. This is mostly due to aggressive renewable energy targets and growing energy requirements of the Asian economies. Countries such as India and China have intensively invested in this technology. Significant adoption is also observed in both North America and Europe. The national governments in these regions have announced several tax benefits to encourage adoption of solar technology which positively impacts the solar encapsulation market. Rest of the World has a comparatively lower market share in the overall installation market.
Some of the key players competing in solar encapsulation market include Bridgestone, STR Holdings Inc., DuPont, First Solar GmBH, Dow Corning Corporation, KURARAY EUROPE GMBH and Hangzhou First PV Material Co. Ltd. among others.
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- Middle East and Africa
- Latin America
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