3M Follows Through with Renewable Energy Division

3M has announced the formation of a Renewable Energy Division, part of which includes the window films segment. The new division falls within the St. Paul, Minn.-based company's Industrial and Transportation Business division and will include products centered on Energy Generation and Energy Management. The division's products will be drawn from those the company already offers, but 3M officials say it will also offer newly-developed products, specifically for the renewable energy market.

Michael Roman, currently vice president of Business Development, Optical Systems Division, Asia, will serve as vice president and general manager for the newly formed division. The Energy Generation sector will be headed by business director Tracy Anderson and Energy Management will be led by business director Ranjit Thakur.

In terms of window film, the company has chosen to place its products under the Energy Management heading. 3M credits itself with the first window film patent, awarded in 1966, and cites its Prestige series as one of its flagship offerings. According to 3M officials, this product contributes to energy management by blocking 66 percent of heat gain, resulting in lower energy-related expenses.

No direct mention of window film falls on the Energy Generation side, but the company does list "films" and "coatings" among the products it intends to introduce. Direct examples include the company's mirror films, which officials say demonstrate the potential to provide cost savings over similar glass-based solar systems. Next-generation films are expected to provide durability and reliability required in solar panels, with added properties for ultraviolet stability, low flammability and self-cleaning features.

3M officials say the company plans to draw from its technology-base, including more than 40 core technologies to fuel the new division's offerings. For now, in St. Paul, Minn., window film remains on the energy management side of the equation.

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