- Encapsulation segment is severely hit by the raw materiel shortage and a significant price increase
- EVA and White EVA saw a price increase of 30%, while POE price increase was marginal in 2021 compared to 2020 level
- Co-extruded EPE structure is used as an alternative to reduce the consumption of EVA
- Bifacial is also at the center of most important technological developments in the encapsulation segment
While nothing groundbreaking has happened in the mainstream encapsulation segment, Dow is in the process of developing a very innovative liquid silicone solution for building integrated PV that cures at room temperature with high durability of up to 50 years. On a general note, the major improvements in the encapsulation segment are aimed at providing compatible solutions to advanced architectures such as HJT and TOPCon.
The other developments in the encapsulation segment are going basically in the same direction as for backsheets. This segment of polymer wraps is also severely hit by raw material shortages, leading to spikes in encapsulation material prices. And bifacial is also at the center of most important developments in the encapsulation segment. While EVA’s rule in the encapsulation segment has been mostly unchallenged, the special requisites arising from the bifacial segment saw the advent of polyolefins. The coextrusion technology, which has just started making inroads into the backsheets segment, is already very well established in the encapsulation segment to produce multi-layered stacks of encapsulation films, again also mainly for glass-glass bifacial modules.
As with any raw materials these days, the prices of encapsulation films have also increased considerably. However, the prices for EVA have been going literally through the roof, owing to short supply of the resin. According to HIUV’s Vice President Colin Quan, the price went up from 13,000 CNY/ton during the beginning of 2021 to 19,000 CNY/ton during the month of August, putting encapsulation makers under pressure. As for the final product, compared to 2020 average selling price, every mainstream encapsulant’s price has gone up by about 30%, as can be seen from the average prices of 2020 and H1-2021 referenced below.
- EVA: 2020: 9.4 CNY /m2; 2021: 12.1 CNY/m2
- White EVA: 2020: 10.3 CNY /m2; 2021: 13.4 CNY /m2
- POE (EPE): 2020: 13.3 CNY /m2; 2021: 13.7 CNY /m2
In September 2021, HIUV announced a big price increase on EVA of up to 35%, citing the rise in input prices with no end in sight. In order to save on EVA consumption, some module makers have even started using the coextruded EPE structure also on the front side of the glass-glass modules. Cybrid’s Marketing Director Xinjun Li expects the short supply situation to ease sometime in 2022 (see A Few Lead The Encapsulation Segment).
The Text is an excerpt from TaiyangNews’ recent Market Survey on Backsheet and Encapsulation Materials 2021, which can be downloaded for free here.
An overview of the survey was presented during TaiyangNews Conference on Reliable PV Module Design. To learn more about the conference and view the presentations click here.