Anti-Reflective Coatings Find Uses in Automotive and Solar Panel Industries
PORTLAND, OR — Anti-reflective coatings have proven to be effective when used on glass in different applications such as electronics, solar panels and automobiles. The coatings absorb light and prolong the function of glass and other materials on which they are applied. Innovations are being developed to apply coatings to different materials to enhance their efficiency. Acting as a barrier between incident light and the surface of a lens, the coatings vary depending upon application.
According to a report recently published by Allied Market Research, the demand for antireflective coatings has significantly increased for various applications. The study reports that the global antireflective coatings market was valued at $2.8 billion in 2015 and is expected to garner $4.85 billion by 2022, registering a compound annual growth rate of 8.2% during the forecast period of 2016 to 2022. Antireflective coatings are dielectric coatings designed to decrease reflection and increase transmittance through a lens or any other optical surface. These coatings are able to control both transmission and reflection properties with respect to UV rays, visible light and near-IR spectral bands. Antireflective coatings find applications in multiple industries such as eyewear, electronics, solar panels, automotive and others.
The idea to use antireflective coatings comes from nature. A moth’s eyes contain a nano-scale film that enables it to effectively see in the dark. Researchers have since recreated these effects with the help of biomimicry.
Scientists and industry leaders have been innovating with antireflective coating and using them to improve efficiency in applications in solar panels and automobiles. With the help of innovative technology, a new system was developed that can improve the efficiency of solar panels and clean up dirt on the panels without using water or rain. Energy output from these panels has increased considerably. Another application is an external window for LIDAR systems in autonomous vehicles that contains antireflective coatings. The coating enables the window to get heated without deicing and enables ease in cleaning. McLaren has launched an eyewear collection in which anti-reflective coatings and special tints have been included for specific uses such as driving, sailing, skiing and golfing.
Pellucere Technologies is implementing antireflective coatings to improve energy generation and reduce the cleaning of solar panels. This technology offers brilliant light transitivity and high capacity of absorption. It also enhances overall efficiency. The company has developed antireflective solar panel coating that can be installed in the field. Optimization of performance of photovoltaic (PV) power plant panels is essential to gain an internal rate of return and lower the cost of energy. Enhancing the performance of power plants without affecting the current PV panels is a time consuming and costly process. Pellucere developed MoreSun based on research conducted by Oregon State University with the assistance from the National Science Foundation and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI). MoreSun is a coating and application system that adds antireflective and anti-soiling silica coating to any solar panel. Talus Dirt Rejection Technology (Talus DRT) is used in the system to optimize the unique characteristics of the nano-structure of a silica shield. This prevents the buildup of dirt and other particles. The unique properties remove dirt without waiting for it to be cleaned with water or rain. The total energy output was raised by nearly 4.7%. This system also helps solar panels capture more energy from the direct axis light by 3.4% to 4.8%, according to the company.
The automotive industry has used antireflective coating for various benefits. INDYCAR has joined hands with Red Bull Advanced Technologies to design an Aeroscreen for improved protection of the driver cockpit. The design includes a polycarbonate-laminated screen that has an anti-reflective coating on its interior. Additionally, automotive LIDAR is a sensor that can map the surroundings of an autonomous vehicle. Viavi is developing an external window for LIDAR systems that will feature an antireflective coating for the wavelength of the light source. The coating functions over angles ranging from -60° to 60°. This coating will appear black or any color when the visible light falls on it. As the window is opaque, the technical components will be invisible to humans. The front part of the window is coated with oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings that are highly durable and restrict water condensation to allow ease in cleaning. The back part of window consists of a transparent coating that is also conductive, enabling the window to be heated without deicing.
In the report, the global antireflective coatings market is segmented based on technology, geography and application. On the basis of technology, the market is categorized into vacuum deposition, electronic beam evaporation, sputtering and others (ion assisted deposition). Antireflective coatings market applications covered in the study include eyewear, electronics, solar panels, automobile and others (telecommunications, telescope and binocular lenses).
The global antireflective coatings market is mainly driven by developments in the eyewear and photovoltaics industry, with an increase in applications of antireflective coatings in the construction sector. However, high manufacturing costs and lack of awareness about maintenance and appropriate use of these coatings hinder the growth of the market.
The solar panels segment is the top investment pocket of the global antireflective coatings market owing to the rapid adoption of antireflective coatings in the photovoltaics industry. The advantages of using antireflective coatings in solar panels, such as improved efficiency and increase in power output, have fueled the adoption of these coatings in the photovoltaics industry. Moreover, a rise in installation of solar panels is expected to drive the market growth.
Geographically, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and LAMEA. North America accounted for the largest share in 2015, owing to an increase in applications of these coatings in eyeglasses and an increase in their incorporation in solar panels.
For more information about the report, visit https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/anti-reflective-coatings-market.