The market is witnessing growth due to the growing awareness about the advantages of the solar cell technology, new developments in the solar cell technology, and the rising requirement for photovoltaic (PV) modules. A protective thin sheet which is used to shield the solar cell or module from dust, moisture, and air, is termed as a solar encapsulant.
Based on material, the solar encapsulant market is classified into polyolefin elastomer, polyvinyl butyral (PVB), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), and others (polydimethylsiloxane [PDMS]), ionomers, and thermoplastic polyurethane [TPU]). The largest volume share of 74.2% was held by the EVA classification in 2017, and was the dominant category in the market throughout the historical period (2013–2017). This was attributed to the excellent properties of EVA, such as great adhesive strength, excellent toughness and elasticity, and strong protection to solar cells against delamination and corrosion, making it a preferred material over others.
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The bifurcations of the solar encapsulant market based on technology are thin-film solar and crystalline silicon solar. In the forecast period, the thin-film solar technology is predicted to be the faster growing one with the value and volume CAGRs of 28.7% and 23.0%, respectively. This technology is further divided into amorphous silicon (a-Si), copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), and cadmium telluride (CdTe). Among all, CIGS is expected to register the highest volume CAGR in the forecast period, as they provide the highest efficiency among all single-junction thin-film solar cells.
The solar encapsulant market is observing the trend of the emergence of thin-film solar cell technology. Commonly, the crystalline silicon solar technology is used in building solar modules. However, they have certain drawbacks, such as high production cost and brittle nature. These drawbacks have been taken care of by the thin-film solar cell technology, which has significantly reduced the solar cell production cost. Further, the product produced using the technology is highly flexible. Another added advantage of the thin-film solar technology is that it consumes less resources, in terms of raw material, for production.
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The solar encapsulant market is witnessing growth due to the rising demand for PV modules. This can be credited to the rising concerns regarding environmental concerns, which is driving the demand for solar energy. PV modules enable the direct conversion of sunlight into electrical energy by using solar cells. To offer adhesion between the top and rear surfaces of the modules and further protect them from high moisture, temperature, and external stress, solar encapsulants are used. These modules are beneficial as they offer environmental sustainability, economic viability, and clean green energy.
Increasing research & development activities in the solar encapsulant market are creating massive growth opportunities for the manufacturers. These activities are focused on enhancing the durability and efficiency of solar cells and their materials. Continuous efforts have resulted in the development of third-generation PVs that are equipped to overcome performance limits and current efficiency. Further, the prices of the materials used in the construction of cells and panels, have significantly reduced, thereby making the products accessible to a wider customer base.
Hence, the market for solar encapsulants is slated to grow considerably in the forecast period as the demand for clean energy is witnessing an increase.
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