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REPORT # Nano-334 PUBLISHED March 09, 2011
Smart Coatings for Photovoltaics
  • Advanced Materials
  • Renewable Energy
  • Smart Technology

    NanoMarkets has announced a new report for 2012 on this subject.  See here for details

    This new report from NanoMarkets examines the role of self-cleaning, self-healing, electrochromic and thermochromic coatings encapsulation in the photovoltaics space over the next eight years.  It includes an assessment of where the main opportunities will appear and when and includes a detailed eight-year forecast of smart coating usage in the PV space, broken out by volume and value.  This report will be essential reading to marketing and business development executives at all coatings and materials firms selling into the PV space as well as product managers in the PV industry itself.

    Among the companies mentioned in this report are, Bayer MaterialScience, Cardinal Glass, Corning, Gentex, Nippon Sheet Glass, Nissan, PPG, Peer, SAGE Electrochromics, Saint-Gobain, and Soldadigm.

    NanoMarkets has been covering the PV coatings business for several years and believes that there will be growing opportunities to sell smart coatings of various into the PV sector.  As insiders we foresee a future in which smart coatings will be able to make substantial improvements in the efficiency and costs for PV devices.  We also believe that smart coatings will add new functionality to PV devices, customizing them for certain niche markets.
    These advantages are exactly what the PV industry is looking for.  Improved efficiencies and prices and an opportunity to distinguish products in the marketplace are exactly what PV firms are looking for in the rapidly commoditizing PV market environment, and smart coatings are well positioned to meet some of these needs.  As a result, NanoMarkets believes that materials firms, coatings suppliers and others will soon find new money-making activities in the PV sector

    Examples of where smart coatings can help PV firms provide better value to their customers include the ability to provide enhanced protection to PV panels and reduce maintenance requirements.  Self-repairing coatings reduce the impact of scratches—virtually impossible to avoid in many outdoor markets, especially BIPV ones—that can obstruct light or, worse, lead to breakage.  And self-cleaning coatings help to keep dirt from blocking light from PV panels, maximizing power output—and reducing the cost of keeping them clean.

    Improvements in transparency and durability are not the only value adders that can be provided to the PV industry by smart coatings.  Electrochromic and thermochromic coatings—normally targeted for ambient lighting and shading purposes—have a role to play in the PV market as well.  Most other sources of electricity come with a way to manually control the output, such as a throttle or even a simple “off” switch.

    All of these functionalities mean added value for the end user, which is why we believe that smart coatings will do so well in the PV sector.  This is the reason that NanoMarkets is publishing this report.  In addition to the analysis of the market opportunities, this report also contains an eight-year forecast of the market for smart coatings in the PV industry, by type of smart coating.  This report will be essential reading for firms that produce or develop smart coatings of all types and for PV firms seeking to add value to—and make more money from—their products by using smart coatings.


    Executive Summary
    E.1 How Smart Coatings Can Add Value to PV
    E.2 Opportunities for Smart Coatings Firms in the PV Sector
    E.2.1 Self-Cleaning Coatings
    E.2.2 Thermochromic and Electrochromic Coatings
    E.3 Firms to Watch in this Space
    E.4 Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Smart Coatings for PV
    Chapter One: Introduction
    1.1 Background to this Report
    1.1.1 Better Performance Through Smart Coatings
    1.1.2 Adding PV Functionality Through Smart Coatings
    1.1.3 Is the PV World Ready for Smart Coatings?
    1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report
    1.3 Methodology of this Report
    1.4 Plan of this Report
    Chapter Two: Smart Coatings: Why They will Add Value in the PV Industry
    2.1 Self-Cleaning Coatings in PV
    2.1.1 Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Materials
    2.1.2 Catalytic Self-Cleaning Materials
    2.1.3 Opportunities for Self-Cleaning Coatings in the PV Space
    2.1.4  The Self-Cleaning Glass Value Proposition in the PV Industry
    2.2 Self-Repairing Coatings in PV
    2.2.1 Viscoelastic Materials
    2.2.2 Microencapsulation
    2.2.3 Thermoset Materials
    2.2.4 Next-Generation Self-Healing Materials
    2.2.5 Suppliers of Self-Healing Materials
    2.2.6 PV Durability: A Reason for Self Repair
    2.3 Electrochromic and Thermochromic Coatings in PV
    2.3.1 Controlling Power in PV Panels
    2.4 Other Smart Optical Coatings for the PV Industry
    2.5 Can Smart Coatings Fit Easily Into Current PV Manufacturing?
    2.5.1 Smart Coatings on Substrates
    2.5.2 Smart Coatings on Cover Glasses or Films
    2.5.3 Smart Coatings Within the Device Itself
    2.6 Opportunities for Smart Coatings by PV Type
    2.6.1 Conventional Panels
    2.6.2 Heat-Sensitive PV Technologies
    2.6.3 BIPV Glass
    2.6.4 Other PV Types
    2.7 Key Points Made in this Chapter
    Chapter Three: Market Opportunities for Smart Coated PV
    3.1 Maximizing Performance Through Smart Coatings
    3.1.1 Self-Cleaning and Self-Healing Panels: Maximizing Power
    3.1.2 The Other Side of the Coin: Minimizing Maintenance and Repair
    3.1.3 Antireflection for PV: But Are These Coatings “Smart”?
    3.2 Market Factors in Favor of “Dimming” PV Panels
    3.2.1 Safety Concerns: Turning Off the Power
    3.2.2 Protecting the Investment: Avoiding Degradation at High Temperature
    3.2.3 Transparent PV Windows: Still a Window, Still a Need for Shading
    3.2.4 Double Duty: PV by Day, Something Else by Night
    3.2.5 Sensors, Toys, and Other Off-Grid Markets That Could Use a “Switch”
    3.3 Key Points Made in this Chapter
    Chapter Four: Eight-Year Forecasts of Smart Coatings for PV
    4.1 Forecasting Methodology
    4.1.1 Data Sources
    4.1.2 Alternative Scenarios
    4.1.3 Differences from Earlier NanoMarkets Forecasts
    4.2 Forecasts of Self-Repairing and Self-Cleaning Smart Coatings for PV
    4.2.1 Self-Cleaning Smart Coatings
    4.2.2 Self-Repairing Smart Coatings
    4.3 Forecasts of Electrochromic and Thermochromic Smart Coatings for PV
    4.3.1 Electrochromic Smart Coatings
    4.3.2 Thermochromic Smart Coatings
    4.4 Summary of Forecasts
    Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report
    About the Author
    List of Exhibits
    Exhibit E-1: Selected Smart Coatings Firms with PV Potential
    Exhibit E-2: Summary of Market for Smart Coatings in PV
    Exhibit 2-1:  A crack in a self-healing material
    Exhibit 4-1: Forecasts of Self-Cleaning Coatings in PV
    Exhibit 4-2: Forecasts of Self-Repairing Coatings in PV
    Exhibit 4-3: Forecasts of Electrochromic Coatings in PV
    Exhibit 4-4: Forecasts of Thermochromic Coatings in PV
    Exhibit 4-5: Summary of Forecasts of Smart Coatings in PV


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