Pilkington Sunplus™

Pilkington Sunplus™

Extra clear, patterned low iron glass, with very high solar transmittance for improved solar energy conversion, consistent performance and durability.


Pilkington Sunplus™ is a glass specifically developed for crystalline silicon photovoltaics. Pilkington Sunplus™ is a high performance low-iron glass with very high solar energy transmittance. When toughened, this solar glass' strength and durability make it the ideal choice for crystalline silicon photovoltaics, as well as for solar thermal collectors.

Pilkington Sunplus™ is used extensively as cover plates for crystalline silicon solar cells in photovoltaic modules.

With its very high solar energy transmittance, Pilkington Sunplus™ is the ideal low iron glass cover plate for Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics and Solar Thermal Collectors.


Pilkington Sunplus™ offers following benefits:

  • Ultra high solar energy transmittance and low light reflectance,
  • Consistent lifetime performance following prolonged exposure to the sun (no solarisation),
  • Choice of patterns, either SM or MM to suit the specific application,
  • The pyramidal pattern (S) can assist in the laminating process during module manufacture, but can be used on the external surface if desired,
  • SM product available with Anti-Reflective (AR) coating for optimal solar energy conversion,
  • Available in fully tempered/toughened form to provide excellent strength with resistance to hail, mechanical impact and thermal stress.


Pilkington Sunplus™ Product Range

Our range of patterned low iron glass Pilkington Sunplus™ products includes:
  • Pilkington Sunplus™ SM: ultra high solar energy transmittance and low light reflectance due to a combination of a prismatic pyramidal pattern on one surface (S), and a matt pattern on the other (M) 
  • Pilkington Sunplus™ MM: ultra high solar energy transmittance and low light reflectance due to the matt pattern (M) on both surfaces 
  • Pilkington Sunplus™ SM AR: ultra high solar energy transmittance with Anti-Reflective properties due to the application of an AR coating, designed and optimised for crystalline silicon photovoltaics 
Pilkington Sunplus™ is used extensively for the cover glass in crystalline silicon solar cells.

The properties of our Pilkington Sunplus™ products are summarised in the table below:

 Pilkington Sunplus™

Applications for Sunplus

Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics

Characteristics of crystalline silicon photovoltaics

Crystalline silicon photovoltaics is the most widely used photovoltaic technology. Crystalline silicon photovoltaics are modules built using crystalline silicon solar cells (c-Si), developed from the microelectronics technology industry.

Crystalline silicon solar cells have high efficiency, making crystalline silicon photovoltaics an interesting technology where space is at a premium.

Crystalline silicon solar cells

There are two types of crystalline silicon solar cells used in crystalline silicon photovoltaics:

- Mono-crystalline silicon, produced by slicing wafers from a high-purity single crystal ingot
- Multi-crystalline silicon, made by sawing a cast block of silicon first into bars and then into wafers Mono-crystalline silicon solar cells have higher efficiencies than multi-crystalline silicon solar cells.

In crystalline silicon photovoltaics, solar cells are generally connected together and then laminated under toughened, high transmittance glass to produce reliable, weather resistant photovoltaic modules. The glass type normally used for this technology is rolled low iron glass such as Pilkington Sunplus™, often in toughened form, combined with an anti-reflective coating, to ensure that the maximum solar radiation reaches the crystalline silicon solar cells. It is also possible to use low iron float glass such as Pilkington Optiwhite™.

For more information on our solar glass product range, please read our solar glass literature or stay up-to-date with our latest solar glass news.

Solar Thermal Collectors

Characteristics of solar thermal collectors

Solar water heating systems are generally composed of solar thermal collectors, a water storage tank or interconnecting pipes and a fluid system to move the heat from the collector to the tank. The sun's energy is used to heat water flowing through the interconnecting pipes. The water can be heated for a wide variety of uses, including domestic, commercial and industrial applications.

Flat-plate solar thermal collectors consist of an insulated box which contains a dark absorber plate under a glass cover that hermetically seals the system while maximizing the energy input. The glass cover plate will transmit the sunlight while protecting the system from harsh weather.

Toughened, high transmittance glass is required for this application; our Pilkington Sunplus™ and Pilkington Optiwhite™ are ideal for such applications.

For more information on our solar glass product range, please read our solar glass literature or stay up-to-date with our latest solar glass news.

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