3M recently announced the on-time completion of its manufacturing expansion for its 3M™ ultra barrier solar film in Columbia, MO. This expansion will reportedly support the growing demand for high-efficiency flexible photovoltaic (PV) modules.

“This manufacturing expansion helps us support our customers’ manufacturing scale-up plans by providing ample capacity to this growing market,” said Derek DeScioli, Global Business Development manager for 3M’s Renewable Energy Division. “With our new production equipment and continued product innovation, 3M is well-positioned to not only increase the performance of our ultra barrier solar film, but also significantly drive down the costs, further enabling our customers to provide competitive photovoltaic solutions to the commercial rooftop market.”

Designed to address the needs of flexible thin film solar manufacturers, the film can act as a replacement for glass with high light transmission, superb moisture barrier performance, and excellent weatherability. Compared with rigid glass modules, large area, lightweight flexible PV modules manufactured with the film reportedly can achieve significantly lower balance of systems (BOS) costs by requiring less installation time, removing the need for metal racking, and reducing logistics expenditures.

For additional information, visit www.3m.com/solar.