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ASTM Subcommittee covers glass for solar applications.

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November 11, 2009 - During virtual meeting, a new ASTM International standards developing activity, Subcommittee E44.20 on Glass for Solar Applications, was formed. Scope of subcommittee is development and maintenance of standards for glass and glass coatings for solar applications that include, but are not limited to, photovoltaic, solar thermal, and concentrating applications. Standards will address characteristics that affect performance, durability, and reliability.

Glass for Solar Applications Now Covered in New ASTM Standards Development Activity

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ASTM International
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West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: November 9, 2009

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., November 9, 2009-A new ASTM International standards developing activity, Subcommittee E44.20 on Glass for Solar Applications, was formed during a virtual meeting on Sept. 29. Meeting participants, including government representatives, equipment and product manufacturers and members of ASTM International Committees E44 on Solar, Geothermal and Alternative Energy Sources and C14 on Glass and Glass Products approved the formation of the subcommittee, which will be under the jurisdiction of Committee E44.

"Since glass is so widely used in solar devices, glass standards for solar applications will foster solar industry growth by making the glass of consistent quality and characteristics available from many suppliers," says Glenn Strahs, U.S. Department of Energy and an E44 member.

The scope of the new subcommittee is "the development and maintenance of standards for glass and glass coatings for solar applications that include, but are not limited to, photovoltaic, solar thermal and concentrating applications. The standards will address the characteristics that affect performance, durability and reliability." In agreeing to the scope, virtual meeting participants also noted that the work of the subcommittee would be coordinated with other ASTM committees and outside organizations having mutual interest.

An April 2008 workshop held by the U.S. Department of Energy to explore how the glass and solar industries could best meet each other's needs served as the impetus for the formation of E44.20. During this workshop, it was decided that solar glass standards should be developed so that any solar manufacturer would be able to purchase glass from different suppliers, as long as it met necessary standards for transmissivity, strength, coatings and other characteristics. Following this workshop, the Department of Energy consulted with ASTM International, which ultimately led to the formation of the new subcommittee.

Among the potential topics that may be covered in E44.20 standards are the following:
  • Photovoltaic applications-crystalline and thin film;
  • Glass-strength, characteristics, composition, use in CSP devices and other topics;
  • Coatings-silver coatings; reflective and antireflective; textured glass rating system;
  • Film quality-coating specifications, thickness, optical properties, electrical properties, morphology; and
  • Durability and reliability-mechanical properties, longevity of structure over time.

    All interested parties are invited to participate in the standards developing activities of Subcommittee E44.20. For more information on ASTM Committee E44 activities, visit the ASTM Web site to view a short video.

    ASTM International standards can be purchased from Customer Service (phone: 610-832-9585; ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, visit

    ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions.

    ASTM Staff Contact: Christine DeJong, Phone: 610-832-9736;
    ASTM PR Contact: Barbara Schindler, Phone: 610-832-9603;
    ASTM Committee E44 Next Meeting: Nov. 10-11, Atlanta, GA

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