Fluon® ETFE FILM

This content introduces how the Asahi Glass products are working close to you. You will be amazed to learn that many things around you have been created by Asahi Glass.

The "flexible solar cell" for which a next-generation film is used

One of the environment friendly energy sources that will come into use is the solar cell. On a TV ad, you may have frequently seen an "eco-house" that has a large solar cell panel on its roof. Studies to make that eco-energy easier to use are now in progress all over Japan. The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has taken up this "flexible solar cell" as an important study theme.

ETFE film with high transparency and flexibility.
ETFE film with high transparency and flexibility.

A really "flexible" solar cell

The flexible solar cell is a cell that is physically flexible as its name suggests, and can be used even if it is kept in a bended shape. As its development has been advanced, it is expected that the flexible solar cell will shortly come into use and be widely used in the future in power generator devices for cellular phones or laptop PCs. Originally, Japan has studied the solar cell actively as an alternative energy source that can replace oil, just because Japan has less resources. As a result, Japan has occupied the first position in the world in the production of solar cells and their performance is also regarded as the cutting-edge in the world. Let's take a look at the structure of a solar cell. Taking a general solar cell as an example, you can see that several thin blue or black silicon plates (generator panel) are stacked together and a sheet of glass is attached as a protector. Those plates of silicon and a sheet of glass, however, are heavy and inflexible, so the usage of those cells has been limited.

Why is "ETFE Film" needed?

As opposed to the cells mentioned above, a flexible cell is so flexible that you can bend it freely and easily carry it in your bag. The application will be widely expanded and the appearance of a product will be no longer limited. It is "ETFE Film", a fluorine material Asahi Glass provides, that has enabled the flexibility of the cell. ETFE Film is used as a protective material for the sensitive special silicon (amorphous silicon) that works as the generator panel of a flexible cell. To use as a protective material for solar cells, some conditions have to be met. Though a sheet of ETFE Film has a look-and-feel like a transparent plastic document file, it provides amazingly rich functionalities. One of the functionalities is high transparency. ETFE Film is over 10% more transparent than glass. Another function required is impact resistance. While glass can be easily broken by an impact, the flexibility of ETFE Film provides high impact resistance. ETFE Film has other advantages over glass: fouling resistance and less weight. Providing those rich functionalities, ETFE Film has been used in flexible solar cells that will play a critical role in the next generation."Versatile film" with well-balanced high functionalities

"Versatile film" with well-balanced high functionalities

"Allianz-Arena" under construction
"Allianz-Arena" under construction

Green house
Green house

ETFE Film has numerous features. It is heat resistant, not easily ripped, not easily burnt, does not easily allow condensation etc. ETFE Film is also known as "versatile film" because those powerful features are integrated in a well-balanced manner. Besides flexible solar cells, it is also used as the material for the roof and walls of the football stadium "Allianz Arena" in Germany and as release film for semiconductor. It is also a vital ingredient of covering materials for green houses, protective materials for aerospace areas, and protective film for sound insulating materials. While ETFE Film has been conventionally used in limited areas for its high functionalities, studies to expand its applications to our daily products are surely in progress. ETFE Film is one of the key materials for the next generation products.

AGC into the Life

This content introduces how the Asahi Glass products are working close to you. You will be amazed to learn that many things around you have been created by Asahi Glass.

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