DSM has opened its Solar Technology Lab at Brightlands Chemelot Campus to develop innovative coatings and sustainable materials for solar panels. The lab will develop into a knowledge center for solar energy, positioning DSM in a leading role in this field. The building where the new lab is located was realized by Brightlands Chemelot Campus.
Madelon Janssen, RT&D Director of Advanced Surfaces says: “The innovations to be developed in the lab concern the increase of energy yield by using smarter solutions, such as film and coatings, as well as the introduction of new, sustainable, and recyclable materials. In the lab new products can be scaled up and tested towards market requirements”.
The objective is to realize a higher energy yield against lower costs. DSM already knows a lot about the efficient use of anti-reflecting coatings on glass in solar panels. According to Jan Grimberg, Business Director Advanced Surfaces at DSM, more efficiency improvement is feasible. ”Imagine, one hour of sunshine provides enough energy for the global electricity consumption during one year – if we only could capture it.”
An example of innovation concerns the backsheets that are needed to protect solar panels. Grimberg: “These backsheets must be durable to guarantee a long production time and they must be recyclable to avoid waste from discarded solar panels.”
DSM cooperates with several research institutes, like Fraunhofer Institute and ECN, while the lab is also available for supporting other important collaboration partners. In short, solar energy presents a serious business model for DSM: ‘Same sun. More power’.