Novel encapsulation and substrate materials are the key to the long-term survival of organic photovoltaics (OPV) and dye sensitized cell (DSC) photovoltaics, according to a new report from NanoMarkets.
The report projects that a $1.3 billion encapsulation and substrate market will be possible by 2017 if manufacturers of these materials can offer products that will smooth the way for OPV and DSC technologies to break into the building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) sector.
Although the revenues from selling encapsulation materials into the OPV and DSC sectors will never be huge, the gross margins on those sales will be impressive, NanoMarkets predicts. The two technologies will live or die on their ability to penetrate the BIPV sector, and OPV and DSC panel makers will have to pay premiums for good encapsulation materials. In addition, NanoMarkets believes that the encapsulation products that are developed for OPV and DSC will find ready markets in the organic light-emitting diode and other organic electronic markets in the future.
According to NanoMarkets, the substrate market for the technologies is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2017, with almost 70% of that value coming from glass. Because OPV and DSC allow a much higher degree of transparency than any other kind of PV that might be used with glass, NanoMarkets believes that glass substrate suppliers aiming at this sector of the OPV/DSC substrate market should focus on architectural glass substrates for BIPV, rather than the conventional glass panels used for every other kind of PV.