Backsheets Manufacturers Update

Non Fluoropolymer Backsheets Gain Momentum In The Solar Module Market With Growing Demand And Promising Prospects

Backsheets Manufacturers Update

Mostly PET: RenewSys has different products in its portfolio including Tedlar based backsheets, but it mainly sells PET based models in its home market India, where it is the market leader. (Source: Renewsys)

  •  Endurans Solar, Feron and RenewSys are international solar backsheet manufacturers listed in the TaiyangNews Market Survey Solar Backsheets and Encapsulation
  • Endurans Solar uses a coextrusion process and polypropylene as the stack of material for its backsheet, while Feron focuses exclusively on non-fluoropolymers and relied on coatings to provide UV resistance
  • RenewSys is a leading supplier of both encapsulants and backsheets and has a total backsheet capacity of 24 million m2
  • Endurans Non fluoropolymer backsheet finds success in India and Europe with over 20 million solar modules and 6 Gw of installed capacity

This article provides details about some solar backsheet suppliers’s developments, after we discussed the recent price drop of PVDF and market updates on other backsheet several companies in a previous article on this topic (see Backsheet Market Shifts To Coating).

Endurans, is another important and evolving non fluoropolymer backsheet supplier. The company has had an interesting journey under different ownerships. In 2021, US based Worthen Industries acquired the backsheet business from Dutch chemicals company Royal DSM and christened it Endurans Solar. The company is quite upbeat about the prospects of its somewhat special product – coextrusion as the process and PP as the stack of material. Endurans has been selling in India for the past 5 years and its products are qualified with 5 out of the top 10 players in the country, according to Endurans business director Vivek Chaturvedi. “We’ve had some very interesting success in the last 12 months in Europe,” he added. While Endurans would not reveal its shipment data as a policy, Chaturvedi indicates that the company’s backsheet has found its way into over 20 million solar modules, totaling greater than 6 GW of installed capacity. Endurans has doubled its capacity over the last 18 months with about 30 million m2 capacity from 2 fabs in China, while a 3rd facility is ready to go live in China. “It’s all done and dusted,” says Chaturvedi, “just waiting for the favorable market conditions to push the green button.” On top, the company has started manufacturing in the US and has big plans for it.

After a long gap, Féron, while being an integral part of our backsheets surveys, shared some additional input apart from just the products specs. The market, especially in Europe, is very promising for the company. Féron has developed its production line to be modular; “We have different product groups, machines, lines, which can be used for producing different materials,” explains sales manager Michael Robertz. Féron has always been exclusively focusing on non-fluoropolymers and traditionally relying on coatings, which according to Robertz can provide UV-resistance comparable to any fluoropolymer films (PVDF or Tedlar). In addition, a few years ago, the company started focusing on polyolefin core replacing the PET. However, the company relies on its partners to extrude the polyolefin. “We put a special coating on top of polyolefin along with a special treatment,” said Robertz.

RenewSys from India is a new entrant to the survey, but not to the market. The company is the leading supplier of both the encapsulation and backsheets and it is also a material supplier that turned into a solar cell and module manufacturer. Coming from a packaging industry background, RenewSys has ventured into making EVA. While the company divested its packaging business, it has retained the solar business, according to RenewSys’s GCEO &managing director Avinash Hiranandani. RenewSys eventually also started producing backsheets. In an effort to increase the solar footprint, the company then decided to enter mainstream solar production, especially cell manufacturing, motivated by the domestic content requirement (DCR) in cells. As part of this strategy, it acquired Solar Semiconductor in Hyderabad, India, then a sick company, which was turned into a profitable entity over the course of time. Coming to its backsheets business, RenewSys’ main product stream for RenewSys is laminated PET backsheets and being a partner of DuPont, RenewSys also supplies Tedlar backsheets. It has a total backsheet capacity of 24 million m2. While the company exports a small portion of its production (5%), most of its products are sold domestically to module makers. RenewSys is part of every Indian module maker’s vendor list, it claims. “Every Indian module maker buys our products, and certifies their modules,” said Hiranandani. RenewSys, since based in India, follows the country’s fiscal year that starts from on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the next year. In FY 2021-22, it shipped 12 million m2 and for FY 2022-23, the company estimates to increase its shipments to 14 to 14.5 million m2 (see Trends in PVF & PET Backsheets).

For more details, download the TaiyangNews Market Survey on Backsheets and Encapsulation  2022-23 for free here.

 

About The Author

Shravan Chunduri

HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY Shravan is a name to reckon with in the solar industry. Having caught the solar bug very early in his career, he began his journey 20 years ago in research, followed by stints in solar manufacturing. He then moved on to write and eventually ventured into Consulting. At TaiyangNews, he is responsible for drafting the technology reports and articles that are regularly published in TaiyangNews, apart from hosting the Conferences and Webinars that TaiyangNews conducts. [email protected]

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