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DuPont Signs Solar R&D Deal with GD Solar

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The DuPont Co. has signed a research and development agreement with a major Chinese solar development and manufacturing firm, extending the reach of its photovoltaic solar component materials. DuPont’s China holding company and GD Solar will collaborate on the research and development of materials to be used in GD Solar panels and systems, hoping to improve the power output and reliability of the systems.

DuPont will supply photovoltaic materials and work with GD Solar to optimize the Chinese firm’s solar cells, panels, frames and protective backsheets. DuPont’s Solamet metalization paste is used in solar panel manufacturing and company officials have said it has almost doubled the efficiency of solar cells in the past 12 years. DuPont also produces Tedlar, a critical component used in solar panel backsheets.

The GD Solar agreement is the second major solar pact DuPont has entered into with a firm in China this year.

In June, DuPont agreed to sell metalization paste that increases solar-cell performance and polyvinyl fluoride film to protect panels to Yingli Green Energy. The deal included plans for Yingli to build a solar power plant at a DuPont facility in China, with the potential for other projects. Under the agreement with GD Solar, the two firms also will undertake field research on panel reliability to learn more about the durability and performance of component materials.

“Solar energy is clean and sustainable. With the development and transformation of energy resources, solar energy will become a key part of our future energy mix,” said Xu Zhong, general manager, GD Solar, said in a statement.

GD Solar was established in April 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Guodian Technology & Environment Group Corp. Limited, which has investments in silicon wafer, cell and components manufacturing, as well as solar research, design and system integration.

“Through our work with GD Solar, we can further assess the impact of materials on systems and continue to improve their performance,” Walt Cheng, managing director, DuPont Electronics & Communications in China, said in a statement.

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