Making photovoltaic systems greener

Covestro and partners collaborate for a sustainable photovoltaic industry

  • Six-party agreement signed at CIIE marks the launch of industry cooperation platform
  • Diversified solutions to create more circular, lighter and higher-performance solar PV modules
  • Alternative raw materials to empower industry development for a circular economy

Materials manufacturer Covestro has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with five partners in China’s photovoltaic (PV) value chain, inaugurating a new innovation platform dedicated to advancing sustainability within the industry. By capitalizing on Covestro’s diversified solutions and robust research and development capabilities, this collaboration aspires to facilitate the integration of circular economy principles in the solar power sector’s manufacturing phase, ultimately forging a sustainable path forward for the industry itself.

This milestone was inked at Covestro’s booth during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), an annual event dedicated to promoting imports into China and fostering international trade and cooperation. The other partners are Jolywood (Suzhou) Sunwatt Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Deyilong Technology Co., Ltd., Changzhou Fusion New Material Co., Ltd., Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and COSCO Kansai Paint & Chemical Co., Ltd. 

In alignment with China’s “double carbon” goals, the country continues to advance the reform of its industrial and energy structure, dedicating significant efforts to bolster clean energy, notably solar power. Leveraging its material expertise, Covestro plays a dynamic role in PV module production, elevating their efficiency and introducing alternative raw materials. This approach enables Covestro and collaborators to tackle technical challenges and advance the green transformation of the PV industry itself, while remaining attuned to evolving industry trends. 

Anand Khot, Senior Vice President of the Coatings and Adhesives segment of Covestro in Asia Pacific, said, “As a leading materials supplier, Covestro is committed to introducing viable new technologies and delivering differentiated services. At the same time, we aspire to empower the growth of the photovoltaic industry and contribute to the realization of a circular economy and climate neutrality through comprehensive cooperation with our customers.”

Diversified solutions

As a fresh and dynamic entrant in the PV industry, Covestro is poised to offer a wide array of material solutions through the newly launched platform. These solutions aim to enhance power generation efficiency, reduce module weight, and extend the service life of PV modules. Meanwhile, they empower customers to innovate and develop new products, all the while contributing to a reduction in their carbon footprint. For instance:

·       Covestro’s coatings raw material solution can ensure that two-sided coated backsheets achieve a light transmittance exceeding 93 percent, enable bi-facial PV modules to reduce their weight by 20 percent and increase power generation by 1.29 percent. Additionally, these modules exhibit outstanding aging resistance, guaranteeing a service life of over 25 years.

·       Covestro’s low-temperature photovoltaic silver paste polymer solution, integrated into next-generation cell technology, excels in enhancing photoelectric conversion efficiency. Furthermore, its capability to cure at temperatures below 200 degrees Celsius contributes to a notable reduction in energy consumption.

·       Decovery®, a bio-based waterborne coating raw material, is a viable choice for coating containerized energy storage systems. By replacing conventional fossil-based solvent-borne materials, it reduces carbon emissions by more than 20 percent and effectively diminishes emissions of volatile organic compounds. Importantly, its application doesn’t require any modifications to the painting process, thus preserving work efficiency. This represents a step forward as Covestro extends its material applications from photovoltaic modules to encompass related energy storage systems for the first time.

·       Polyurethane composite frames for PV modules, made of Covestro’s Baydur® resin, boast remarkable mechanical properties, featuring an axial tensile strength over five times that of aluminum alloy frames. Additionally, they demonstrate exceptional resistance to salt mist and chemical corrosion, rendering them suitable for coastal and offshore solar farms with elevated humidity levels. These frames, being non-metallic, contribute to mitigating power attenuation in the modules and eliminate the need for grounding. Overall, it is a more cost-effective solution with a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to aluminum alloy frames.

“Covestro’s innovative solutions offer us new opportunities and a brighter outlook for development,” said Cheng Xudong, General Manager of Jolywood (Suzhou) Sunwatt Co., Ltd. “We aim to optimize technological advancements and enhance energy efficiency to create sustainable PV products, thus propelling the progress of the PV industry through our collaboration.”

“Covestro is at the forefront of product development and innovation within the industry. We anticipate continued collaboration with Covestro to infuse fresh vigor into the photovoltaic sector, particularly in the realms of circular economy and achieving net-zero emissions, which will contribute to China’s green transformation and society development,” said Liu Zhengxin, a professor at Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology.

Covestro aims to assist partners in the photovoltaic industry chain in creating products with higher added value and a reduced carbon while advancing their technologies. This will be realized through the utilization of alternative raw materials and the adoption of more sustainable production processes, ultimately driving the sustainable development of both the industry and society.

For a closer look at Covestro’s solutions for a fully circular future at the CIIE, visit us at booth 3B6-05, at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) from November 5 to 10, 2023.


About Covestro:

Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and methods, the company helps enhance sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key industries such as mobility, building and living, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, polymers from Covestro are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, cosmetics and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

The company is committed to becoming fully circular and is striving to become climate neutral by 2035 (scope 1 and 2). Covestro generated sales of EUR 18 billion in fiscal 2022. At the end of 2022, the company had 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 18,000 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Forward-looking statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.