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PV industry to remain among top silver consumers

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:substrate? conductivity?

The photovoltaics (PV) industry will remain one of the biggest consumers of silver, according to a new NanoMarkets study. The industry analyst firm that while the PV industry's consumption of silver will remain flat, it will generate $1 billion in annual revenue over the next several years.

Silver inks will remain manufacturers' choice for the front electrode "fingers" in crystalline silicon PV cells and for the finer grids sometimes applied to the transparent front electrodes of thin-film and organic PV as a good substitute is yet to be found, the report stated.

NanoMarkets predicted that the value of silver sold for front electrode applications is likely to soar more than 50 percent to about $450 million by 2015. The study also stated that makers of silver ink may give up generic screen pastes in favor of higher value-added products such as flexo/gravure inks for high volume PV manufacture, nanosilver inkjet inks for thinner PV substrates, and higher conductivity transparent coatings for PV panels. Sales of silver for such inks could reach $165 million by 2015, it added.

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