3M will leverage its wide technology portfolio in a new Renewable Energy Division that will include existing and brand-new technologies. Two business units have been established within the new division: Energy Generation and Energy Management.
"3M's new operation will serve the renewable energy market globally and bring the best products and technologies from a single source to customers worldwide," says Michael Roman, who was named vice president and general manager of the new division. "3M's leadership will spread the company's next-generation products to the global marketplace where customers will reap the benefits of having one face that can provide proven solutions, when the need is of the utmost importance."
Energy Generation will focus on solar energy, wind energy, geothermal and biofuel with product solutions such as films, tapes, coatings, encapsulants, sealants and adhesives that help reduce the cost of renewable energy. These products provide functionality for light management, environmental durability, thermal management and productivity improvement.
The resources include 3M's core technologies in materials science that have already paved the way for breakthroughs in concentrating light. For example, 3M panels concentrate light and are manufactured to match customer specifications. And other next-generation films provide durability and reliability required in solar panels, with added properties for ultraviolet stability, low flammability and self cleaning.
3M has already provided technology in the wind industry for more than a decade. Polyurethane tapes have been used extensively for protecting the leading edge of wind turbine blades, and 3M's abrasives and safety products have been used to enhance manufacturing efficiency and safety.
With the formation of the Renewable Energy Division, 3M will focus its expertise in films, tapes, coatings and adhesives to enhance wind turbine reliability and efficiency. 3M's technologies, for example, may be leveraged to mitigate erosion, fouling and icing of blades, as well as enhanced blade aerodynamics.
In Energy Management, 3M received the very first window film patent in 1966 and continues to be a world leader in window film technology. 3M's window film portfolio has grown to include solar management, safety and security and decorative technology platforms that are sold in the automotive, commercial building and residential markets.
The Prestige Series, one of 3M's lines of window film products, are the first clear and non-metal-based window films to significantly reduce heat and ultraviolet rays entering a building. These films block up to 66 percent of heat penetrating the window, resulting in less stress on air conditioning and lower energy costs. 3M continues to break new ground with innovative products and services in the ever-changing and rapidly expanding energy management market to meet customer needs.