Ceramic Industry

PPG to Produce Solar Glass at Oregon Plant

April 12, 2012

PPG Industries’ flat glass business recently announced that a coater at its Salem, Ore., glass plant is being upgraded to enable the manufacture of SOLARPHIRE®AR anti-reflective and 2XAR two-sided, anti-reflective glasses. Richard A. Beuke, PPG vice president, flat glass, said investment in the Salem factory, along with new production of ultra-high light-transmissive glass at PPG’s factory in Fresno, Calif., is part of the company’s continuing commitment to serving the West Coast’s growing solar power industry.

“With the new capabilities at Salem and Fresno, we can now produce Solarphire PV (photovoltaic) glass at Fresno then ship it to Salem for the addition of an anti-reflective coating,” he said. “That enables us not just to accelerate internal production, but to respond more quickly and with a broader range of products to solar industry customers throughout the western U.S. It also enables solar customers to further reduce the carbon footprint of solar cell manufacturing.”

The Salem plant will be expanded and workers added to accommodate the increased production volume. “We are very pleased to be adding to our workforce the kinds of green jobs this country needs to help improve the economy and further reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Beuke said.

Scott Follett, global director of the PPG Solar Performance Group, said that shifting part of PPG’s solar glass production from the East Coast to the West Coast will make it easier for customers to manage their production and inventory requirements. “Our goal is to fulfill most standard and in-stock orders for Solarphire PV and Solarphire AR glasses by the next day in California, Arizona and Nevada,” he said.

The Salem plant will manufacture Solarphire AR and Solarphire 2XAR glasses. Solarphire AR glass has PPG’s anti-reflective coating on one surface of a Solarphire PV glass substrate, and generates solar transmittance of 93.6% in a 3.2 mm thickness. Manufacturers of crystalline-silicon modules that replaced their units’ cover plates with Solarphire AR glass reported typical power output increases of up to seven watts.

For more information, visit www.ppgsolarphire.com.