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While glass will continue to dominate substrate and encapsulation materials used for thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV), new materials including metal foils, plastics, ceramics, and composites will grow rapidly in importance, according to a new NanoMarkets report. These new materials will mainly be used to support flexible PV in order to reduce PV panel costs using R2R processes and the rise of intrinsically flexible products, most notably those used for building-integrated PV (BIPV).
The TFPV substrate/encapsulation market is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2015 and $1.8 billion by 2017, according to the report. While some of the most advanced encapsulation systems have proved difficult to develop and come with a high cost, these systems are beginning to make economic sense in several areas, most notably in the CIGS sector, according to the report.
For additional details, visit www.nanomarkets.net.