SHORTLIST 2014

PV Materials Enabling

DOW Corning

PV-5802 Electrically Conductive Adhesive

PV-5802 is a high performance, reliable, silicone-bazed, electrically conductive adhesive for back-contact photovoltaic module assembly.

Dow Corning® PV-5802 Electrically Conductive Adhesive is a one-component metal-filled silicone which has been specifically designed for electrical and mechanical bonding between cells and conductive backsheets for back-contact PV modules

The product is considered a reliable enabler for the emerging back-contact module assembly process, permitting automation, high throughput and high yield

Dow Corning®PV-5802 Electrically Conductive Adhesive is a state-of-the-art, proven silicone-based technology which offers superior performance, flexibility and durability. The product features include:

  • Low cell-to-module power loss and low module degradation
  • Appropriate rheological properties for stencil printing
  • An ability to match adhesive cure profile to module lamination process during metallization wrap through
  • (MWT) module manufacturing
  • Minimizes local stress on contact points during thermal cycles and provides superior flexibility once cured
  • Low elastic modulus over the complete operational temperature range
  • Very low surface tension, leading to excellent wetting as a liquid

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DSM Advanced Surface

KhepriCoat®

DSM Advanced Surfaces provides solutions for the development and application of smart coatings. KhepriCoat®, is designed for glass and the company plans to expand this range into smart coatings for plastics and films.

KhepriCoat® enables glass to transmit more light, instead of reflecting it, thus boosting performance across a range of industries and applications including:

KhepriCoat® is a superior performing anti-reflective coating technology for solar cover glass. By reducing the amount of sunlight that is simply reflected back off the panels, KhepriCoat® ensures that more of the sun’s energy is captured – and therefore more energy produced by each solar panel. This is an important sustainability advantage – and a great example of how DSM is using its technology to help address climate change.

Solar energy systems will play an increasingly central role in the energy economy of the future – a role that will become even more critical and valuable as the technology becomes more efficient.

DSM is developing innovative breakthrough technologies to help boost the cost/performance ratio of solar energy systems – technologies such as KhepriCoat®, the anti-reflective coating technology for solar cover glass on the market today. By enabling more light to enter a solar device, KhepriCoat® significantly increases efficiency, and can make a major contribution in the quest for clean energy generation.

Wherever glass meets air, about 4% of the light hitting the glass at a perpendicular angle is reflected. And that percentage rises steeply as the light’s angle of incidence increases. Obviously, for solar energy systems, reflected light is wasted light! KhepriCoat® minimizes the reflection to deliver a record-breaking performance in terms of light transmission- a power gain over uncoated modules of around 3% in flash tests, and an improved additional light gain over the daily cycle of systems in the field exceeding 4% thanks to its outstanding angular effect.

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The Heraeus Photovoltaics Business Unit

SOL9620 Series And SOL9621 Series

The SOL9620 Series and SOL9621 Series represent Heraeus’ latest pastes that enable cell manufacturers to further increase their c-Si cells’ conversion efficiencies to an industry-leading level and beyond. The development of these two products are for customers with slightly different LDE applications and processing; however both pastes provide superior cell efficiencies while lowering customers’ cost per watt.

The SOL9620 Series is outstanding for ultra-lightly doped emitters [ULDE], with surface doping concentrations down to 1xE20/cm3. The SOL9620 Series has demonstrated the highest performance during customer testing, particularly on monocrystalline wafers. Relative to the SOL9610 Series on 110 Ω/sq. monocrystalline wafers, the SOL9620 Series demonstrated an 80% reduction in contact resistance; approximately a 3mV increase in Voc; and up to 0.25% absolute efficiency gains. The unique chemistry of SOL9620 Series also enable the ability to be fired through different combination of passivation layers and at a relative lower peak temperature than standard firing temperatures. This is ideal for PERC applications.

The SOL9621 Series has demonstrated great results for regular emitter and LDE applications. When tested against Heraeus’ SOL9610 Series on 85 Ω/sq. multicrystalline wafers, customers experienced higher electrical performance: a 50% reduction in contact resistance; a 1 – 2 mV increase in Voc; and greater than 0.10% absolute efficiency gains. The SOL9621 Series provides customers with a flexible and robust process window, which aids in providing a lower manufacturing cost. SOL9621 is also highly recommended for the 1st and 2nd layer of double printing applications with customers confirmed efficiency gain greater than 0.10% over the best commercially available double printing pastes.

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KREMPEL GMBH

AKASOL®

AKASOL® backsheet reliability protects PV modules against UV radiation and moisture during their useful life-long service. We offer a combination of polymer films and fluoropolymer films like TEDLAR®-PVF film and KYNAR®-PVDF film for tailored process solution. AKASOL® has convinced manufacturers of PV modules across the globe of its high quality due to excellent mechanical, electrical and chemical properties as well as its exceptional weather resistance.

  • Product family groupings specially developed for photovoltaic engineering from combinations of various polymer films (PVF, PVDF, ETFE, PET, modified PET). Optional with aluminium foil as moisture barrier for thin-layer modules or with copper foil for back-contact solar cells.
  • Long service life and consistently high product quality guaranteed by ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 9001. The requirements of IEC 61730-1 and IEC 60664-1 are well exceeded. Certain types are approved as ”UL Recognized Component“ ( File No. QIHE2. E312459) and are TÜVdotCOM certified (ID 0000033022).
  • Conform to RoHS and REACH.
  • Practice-relevant variety: High-grade economical multi-layer combinations of 4-, 3- and 2-layer design. Numerous film colours to meet different visual requirements. Different thicknesses for different system voltages.
  • Compatible with all relevant encapsulating polymers. Excellent adhesive quality due to specially applied physical surface treatment.
  • Supplied as rolls or sheets for easy handling in customised dimensions. Press-cut structures on request.
  • Labelling for traceability, also permanent marking for the life cycle of a module.

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Thin Film Innovation Award

First Solar

Thin Film Module Technology

Since the company’s inception in 1999 First Solar has demonstrated thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) innovation.

Developed in the United States, First Solar now has the only thin-film module technology that is proven more efficient and less costly than conventional crystalline silicon (C-Si Photovoltaic)PV modules.

First Solar has dedicated research and development toward exponential innovation with multiple records for research cell efficiency increasing from 16.5% to today’s record 20.4% and improving module efficiencies year over year. First Solar currently holds the world record in CdTe research module 17% and research cell efficiency 20.4% using organic and acquired technology. First Solar has demonstrated repeated successful innovation cycles converting these historical technology developments by effectively scaling the advancements into more than 8GW of high volume production.

First Solar’s thin-film technology addresses the global issue of identifying an efficient cost effect and sustainable alternative energy source that competes with traditional energy sources today.

First Solar has lowered the cost of solar electricity by developing utility-scale PV solutions utilizing thin-film technology competitive with conventional energy sources. First Solar has achieved economies of scale through its innovative fully integrated manufacturing process which produces a thin-film PV module from a sheet of glass in less than 2.5 hours while using less energy water and semiconductor material than conventional crystalline PV’s production process. The semiconductor material used has the highest theoretical efficiency of any known PV material. Combined with the lowest inherent manufacturing costs CdTe presents the greatest opportunity for solar electricity to change the way the world is powered.

- Superior spectral response in humid climates - Superior temperature coefficient in hot climates - Industry-leading long-term reliability and durability - Smallest carbon footprint - Lowest life-cycle water use - Fastest energy payback time

First Solar has executed an IP-based innovation strategy using both internal and acquired device technology and has combined it with unique manufacturing technology to achieve over a decade of documented improvements culminating in 17% record PV research module efficiency. First Solar has built on the success of core technology and invests heavily in accelerating research and development.

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Reel Solar

1.5m² Cdte Solar Modules

  • Compared to conventional CdTe modules, RSI modules are almost three times the size, leading to greater power per module and therefore lower manufacturing & installation costs.
  • Modules will be produced at less than 40 cents per Watt in 2015, with a path to less than 25 cents per Watt.
  • RSI provides the option to use conventional solar glass or tempered glass with or without frames.
  • Excellent high temperature and low light performance leading to superior kWh/kWp production.
  • Panel size and output similar to 60 or 72 cell silicon modules, leading to similar balance of system and installation costs.
  • RSI modules are two-thirds the cost for the same module size and energy output as compared to crystalline silicon modules.
  • Industry standard CdTe module architecture with metal back contact, giving proven reliability.

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Semprius

Four-Junction, Four-Terminal Stacked Solar Cell

Semprius, Inc. is an innovator in high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar modules. In April the company announced it has manufactured the first four-junction, four-terminal stacked solar cell using its proprietary micro transfer printing process.

In this effort, Semprius worked in collaboration with Professor John Rogers and his team at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and researchers at Solar Junction, a leading III-V high-efficiency solar cell manufacturer and important Semprius partner. The results of this project will be published this week in the journal Nature Materials.

The new stacked solar cell is comprised of a three-junction microcell that is stacked on top of a single-junction germanium microcell using Semprius’ high-speed micro transfer printing process, which enables the simultaneous formation of thousands of stacked microcells with very high yields. By using four junctions, the stacked cell is able to capture light across a broader portion of the solar spectrum and therefore achieve efficiencies much higher than conventional silicon and thin-film single-junction solar cells. Initial trials yielded solar cells with measured efficiencies up to 43.9 percent. This process is capable of achieving solar cell efficiencies greater than 50 percent in the near future.

A key achievement of this project was the development of a new interfacial material that is placed between the top and bottom cell to minimize optical losses within the stack and thereby optimize overall conversion efficiency. In addition, the new stacked cell has four terminals, rather than the standard two. This reduces the spectral dependence of the solar cell and increases the solar cell’s energy yield under normal operation in the field.

Semprius is a graduate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Incubator Program. “This achievement is notable because it establishes a straight-forward path to significant future increases in conversion efficiency,” said Dan Friedman, manager of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) III-V Multijunction Photovoltaics Group. “Increasing efficiency is critical to reducing the cost of solar energy because it helps drive down not only module costs, but also many other costs, including the cost of land, labor and wiring.”

Semprius has been at the forefront of high-efficiency, HCPV solar module development for the past seven years. In 2012, Semprius announced the first mass-produced photovoltaic module that exceeded 33 percent efficiency. In September 2013, Semprius increased this record to 35.5 percent, as confirmed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Germany.

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Solarion AG

SOL Flex

Solarion AG are the innovators behind SOL45Flex and SOL90Flex: modules in which the cells are encapsulated in a flexible solar film package. The company aims to meet the market demand for lightweight and flexible modules. Solarion use copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) technology in the production of the modules in which the cells are embedded in a flexible solar film composite.

The SOL Flex combines the features of the innovative roll-to-roll deposited CIGS thin-film technology with the market requirements for lightweight, flexible solar modules. The flex modules can be offered with a pressure-sensitive adhesive backing, simplifying installation and reducing installation costs due to the elimination of a mounting structure. These products thus offer the possibility of installation on a variety of roofing surfaces without the need for roof penetration.

With a module weight of 2.5 kg (5.5 lb.) and dimensions of 1350 mm x 875 mm (4.5 ft x 2.9 ft), the SOL90Flex module can be installed on rooftops with weight restrictions that otherwise would not allow for heavy glass-module installations. The modules will be suitable for rooftop installation as well as for camping and outdoor applications as they do not require mounting substructures.

The SOL45Flex, with a format of 1350 x 460 mm (4.5 ft x 1.5 ft), is recommended for camping and outdoor applications and has a weight of 1.2 kg (2.6 lb.) and a power rating of up to 45 Watt. The UV-resistant junction box assemblies are front-side mounted and allows for a simple electrical installation.

Both module formats have been certified by VDE according to IEC/EN 61646 and IEC/EN 67130-1/-2.

Silicon Innovation Award

1366 Technologies

Direct Wafer Technology™

Current wafer manufacturing is a multi-step, energy- and capital-intensive process that limits cell efficiency potential for manufacturers due to bulk quality defects that emerge in the wafer growth process.

Direct Wafer Process

About the Process

1366 Technologies of Lexington, Mass., is a startup with VC funding and a DOE loan guarantee. The company's technology falls in the "kerfless wafer" category. The aim is to disrupt the traditional way that silicon-based photovoltaic wafers are fabricated.

Direct Wafer™ is a one-step, kerfless wafer-making process that has the potential to revolutionize wafer manufacturing. By delivering higher quality “drop-in” replacement multi-crystalline wafers with unique surface features, 1366’s Direct Wafer technology forms a standard, 156mm multi-crystalline wafer directly from molten silicon.

The semi-continuous, high-throughput process eliminates silicon waste, resulting in a more powerful, low-cost wafer.

Uniformly Better Wafers

HIGHER QUALITY WAFERS

Direct Wafer™ produces one wafer at a time so each wafer sees identical processing conditions, enabling more spatially uniform wafers with lower dislocation densities and impurities.

This unique feature offers a roadmap for cell efficiencies above those offered by the conventional ingot casting and sawing wafer process.

TIGHTER SPECIFICATION

Direct Wafer™ produces wafers in a controlled, environment, reducing wafer-to-wafer quality variations.

The tighter distribution simplifies manufacturing operations and product offerings, reducing inventory costs and sales challenges.

BETTER AESTHETICS, ADDED FEATURES

1366 has an advanced texturing process for Direct Wafers™ that can be customized to meet customer needs for optimal front and back surfaces. Direct Wafers™ can be produced with a smooth back for better surface passivation and an advanced front texture for lower reflectance and a uniform, dark appearance.

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Manz AG

PERC Production Solutions

To meet global market’s soaring demand for high-efficiency solar cells and lower manufacturing costs, Manz AG offers industry-leading solutions for crystalline solar-cell (cSi) production which yields high conversion efficiencies of up to 20.5%. The new-generation production technology deploys Manz's VCS 1200 vertical vacuum coating system to deposit dielectric passivation layers on the rear of cells, together with the firm's LAS 2400 laser ablation technology, enabling cell manufacturers to achieve large-scale production of high-efficiency cSi solar cells at lowest Cost of Ownership. The fully automated and maintenance-friendly tools boast a smaller footprint and improved efficiency over competitors' systems. They can be used for both mono- and multi-crystalline solar cells.

Manz offers customers the necessary equipment and processing technology to convert standard cell production lines to manufacture the higher-efficiency PERC cells. Manz's VCS 1200 system uses a completely new technology for vertical processing, with a throughput of 1,200 wafers/hour. Thanks to its powerful plasma source and a new carrier system, the coating process leaves no pin marks or flakes on the wafers – a problem of many competitors' systems. In addition, VCS 1200 enables single-side deposition of PECVD-layers without wrap-around of deposition on the other side. Manz's high performance PECVD process technology achieves optimum reproducibility and the industry's highest degree of cell efficiency and uniformity.

Alongside the VCS 1200 system, Manz's LAS 2400 laser ablation system provides a simple, precise and high-throughput solution for local contact opening of rear side passivation layers. Being a one-stop process, laser ablation offers the lowest cost of ownership for this step in cell production and offers safe wafer handling with the industry's lowest breakage rates.

VCS 1200 system

LAS 2400 laser ablation system

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MEI LLC

PuraTM Wet Processing System For Polysilicon

Remove Organic Contamination of Polysilicon Chunks, Clean Oxide Growth, Eliminate Metal Contamination of Silicon Chunks

The Pura wet processing system is a fully automated, robotic  closed-loop system that combines an energy- and space-efficient etch and rinse system with our new FlashDry cold dry system. FlashDry uses no thermal energy for drying. MEI’s Pura wet processing system is a self-cleaning, inline, configurable, automated, linear batch system made for high throughput at low cost. The Pura wet processing system is designed for dry-in and dry-out polysilicon processing.

The MEI Pura silicon chunk cleaning system is designed for removal of organic and metallic contamination found on silicon chunks, granular (FBR) or fines from the manufacturing process. Cleaning or etching silicon fines, granular polysilicon or chunks requires a high throughput wet etch system with good process control and outstanding drying capabilities to achieve optimal purity. MEI’s automated system for chunk polysilicon cleaning removes silicon-chunk surface contaminants and offers exceptional drying capability. MEI’s Pura for Silicon finishing has significant advantages inherent in the carefully thought out design that considers not only operation, but resource use, safety, maintainability, control and flexibility.

Pura- Poly Silicon Chunk Etching, Cleaning & Drying Made Efficient

Etch

  • Good etch uniformity
  • Reduces metallic contamination
  • Removes organic contamination

Rinse

  • Excellent dust and powder removal
  • Cleans rods, chunks, granular and fines
  • Thorough removal of etch chemistry

Dry FlashDryTM Drying- Patent Pending Drying Breakthrough

  • Able to dry granular (FBR), fine, chunk and rod sections, as well as tips and tails.
  • Patented Process enables 3 minute dry time using less energy
  • Achieves 100% DRY (no weighable moisture)

Throughput

  • Polysilicon chunks are loaded into 20kg baskets for rapid (6 min cycle time) processing
  • Provides contamination free chunks at 200 Kg/Hr.
  • Input and output modules for the polysilicon chunk cleaning are expandable for any throughput requirements.

Process Control

IDX Automation Software provides superior process control capabilities along with the highest degree of maintenance flexibility compared with a PLC control based system.

  • Touch screen interface, flexible tank parameter and recipe editors and the option of using multiple robots for higher throughput are made possible by using MEI proprietary IDX Automation Software.

Download PuraTM and FlashDry Data Sheet

Efficient with Low Cost of Ownership

  • Reduced DI water consumption (11.3 liters per minute)
  • Uses 20% of the energy compared to conventional processing
  • Efficient chemistry removal and chips & fines control
  • Recycles DI water through each rinse tank
  • Reduced chemical use through efficient chip and chunk contact and removal
  • MEI’s unique exhaust systems reduce exhaust requirements and allow for both top or rear connections.
  • Power consumption and footprint are reduced through efficient drying

Safe and Reliable

Safe decontamination of polysilicon chips or chunks.

  • MEI controls the exothermic reaction of the HNA tanks while keeping throughput high.
  • Fail safe interlocks to prevent operator access
  • Break away end effectors
  • Designed for reliability with our 20 years of production experience

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Silicor Materials

Solar Silicon

Silicor Materials has developed and proved a proprietary solar-grade silicon manufacturing process that serves as an alternative to the over-engineered electronic-grade (EG) silicon commonly used throughout the PV industry, and without sacrificing performance. The Silicor process yields a material that delivers a consistent purity; regularly achieving in-line conversion efficiencies comparable to cells manufactured using primarily EG silicon.

With a production cost of less than $9/kg, Silicor’s solar silicon can increase cell and module manufacturers’ profit margins, whether it is utilized as a drop-in replacement for EG silicon or as part of a blend. The standard method of polysilicon manufacturing—the Siemens process—has remained largely the same since the 1960s. The Silicor process holds numerous advantages over the Siemens process. Silicor’s manufacturing process only requires between 10 and 25 kWh per kilogram of silicon produced, far less than the 75 and 125 kWh per kg of silicon produced required by the Siemens process.

The reduction in energy required derives from two factors. First, by eliminating the use of silane gases, Silicor is able to simplify their process to employ only two phase changes: solid to liquid, and liquid to solid. The Siemens process employs four phase changes: solid to liquid, liquid to gas, gas to liquid, liquid to solid. Second, by using molten aluminum, Silicor can melt MG-Si at temperatures far lower than those required to melt MG-Si alone, resulting in reduced energy demand. In addition to improved energy efficiency, the elimination of hazardous gases makes the Silicor process far safer and more environmentally friendly. Most importantly, Silicor’s solar silicon is proven. Silicor has produced more than 700 MT of silicon to date, which has been used to manufacture approximately 20 million solar cells that are currently in modules worldwide.

As global PV demand grows and equipment prices fall, module manufacturers are operating on increasingly tight margins. New research from NPD Solarbuzz projects global polysilicon demand will rise 25 percent in 2014, which would result in a price hike for the industry’s core feedstock. As manufacturers look to navigate these challenges and boost their bottom lines, they are turning to a part of the supply chain that has lacked meaningful innovation for several decades: silicon production. However, the challenge lies in finding a solar-grade silicon alternative capable of lowering production costs without compromising product performance.

Silicor’s solar-grade silicon is able to offer the industry’s lowest production costs while maintaining high material quality. With a production cost roughly half that of standard EG silicon offerings, Silicor enables cell and module manufacturers to, for the first time, improve profitability without performance tradeoffs.

Silicor’s solar silicon represents a major upstream innovation. While numerous companies have attempted to manufacture solar-grade silicon in recent years, none have been able to sustain both consistent performance and a compelling cost structure.

Silicor’s process addresses these challenges simultaneously, with exceptional results. As previously outlined, Silicor’s process also holds distinct advantages over the industry-standard Siemens process. Because it eliminates certain environmental consequences of the Siemens process, Silicor can uniquely locate its manufacturing facilities in light industrial parks. Additionally, Silicor’s slashed energy requirements offer greater potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving the cost-effectiveness of silicon production. Technology

Our Process

PV cells made with Silicor’s solar silicon regularly achieve in-line conversion efficiencies greater than 17 percent—at roughly half the production cost. Here’s an in-depth look at our process, and how we’re different than the status quo.

Step 1

Metallurgical-grade silicon—with impurities such as boron and phosphorous—is dissolved in an aluminum smelt at a temperature of nearly 800 C.

This material has a purity of 97% or higher.

Step 2

As the liquid aluminum-silicon alloy crystallizes, the silicon hardens into flakes. The impurities remain in the aluminum, which represents the first stage in the purification process.

Notice how the silicon has been “drawn” together and has an aluminum coating.

Step 3

The mixture cools, and the silicon solidifies. The liquid aluminum is then poured out.

Because the aluminum now contains traces of silicon, it can be used as an aluminum-based master alloy.

Step 4

Acid is poured onto the silicon flakes to remove the remaining layer of aluminum.

Step 5

In the acid bath, the aluminum layer separates from the surface of the silicon flakes; this provides an additional layer of purification.

Step 6

The bath is drained. The liquid—polyaluminum chloride—is used commercially by wastewater treatment facilities.

Step 7

The remaining silicon flakes, which still contain traces of aluminum, are melted.

The heat causes the remaining aluminum atoms to separate and migrate to the surface.

Step 8

The combination of aluminum and silicon cools. The remaining aluminum atoms form a thin layer on the surface.

Removing this layer from the silicon is the final purification stage, and the resulting material is solar silicon.

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System Integration Award

Multi Contact AG

PV Junction Box Westlake PV-JB/WL-H

Junction box for electrical connection of horizontal ribbon conductors on crystalline modules

The low profile construction of the box allows it to be installed directly under the module frame. This saves valuable time in the installation process by eliminating the need to bend the connecting ribbons.

Ribbon termination is achieved by welding, soldering, or, optionally, by terminal clips.

The box is fixed to the panel with silicone RTV. Additional protection given by the projecting cover, which prevents kinking of the cables at the point where they emerge from the cable gland.

  • Fully NEC 2011 compliant requiring the special tool PV-MS-PLS to disconnect the cable couplers.
  • Compatible with MC4
  • Custom versions on request:
  • Individual lead lengths
  • Equipped with MC3 and MC4 connectors
  • Cable colours red or blue (only TÜV types)
  • Can be produced on request with alternative bypass diode of type Diotec SBX3040 12A.

With double-certification 1500 VDC IEC and 1000 VDC UL, Multi-Contacts PV junction box Westlake (PV-JB/WL-H) is suited for global use on high performance PV modules.

The Westlake is a particularly flat-built box, which can be installed directly underneath the module frame. This eliminates the need to bend the connecting ribbons, saving valuable time in the installation process.

Ribbon termination is achieved by clamping, welding or soldering.

The junction box fulfils protection class IP65 and is suited for the use in salty air.

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Papendorf Software Engineering GmbH

SOL.Connect® Monitoring

Papendorf Software Engineering stands for Monitoring, Metering and Management of energy producing systems.

Under the label SOL.Connect® or as OEM parts they deliver products and services to many well-known system providers and manufacturers of photovoltaics.

PV Monitoring

SOL.Connect® Monitoring Systems for Solar Plants Management

Professional system monitoring and visualisation of large-scale plants and control systems, large displays, web portals as well as OEM branded products and development services

PV plants supper from many disturbance variables and often produce only a fraction of the desired yield. Constant control and permanent monitoring are absolutely essential to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Over the last few years products and solutions for every plant size have been created which today provide to operators more transparency and insight into their expensive investment.

The SOL.Connect Center, collects data from inverters via RS485-, RS232- or LAN interfaces. Additional measureands like e.g. directed irradiation, module temperature, feed of power into the public grid etc. are being collected with the external sensor module SOL.Connect MultiScan and SOL.Connect MultiIO module. SOL.Connect Web Portal und SOL.Connect Power Manager for grid security management of photovoltaic plants of more than 100 kW peak enhance the SOL.Connect product range. For all requirements the adequate product is available.

Thus a complex system is being built to validate the PV plant from local irradiation conditions up to feed parameter. Network problems as well as errors within the plant are not only being collected but also validated and selectively distributed.

Customers are suppliers: manufacturers, system provider and fitters.

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skylog® Data Logger System

skylog® is a powerful data acquisition system for large-scale photovoltaic power plants using high-performance industrial grade components. skylog® has been designed with robustness and versatility in mind. Furthermore skylog® is a highly modular system allowing a wide choice of applications.

Communicating with string and central inverters as well as measurement units like energy meters, weather sensors, etc., using any of the standard bus technologies (CAN, RS422, RS485, Ethernet, Modbus, SunSpec), skylog® can read and save one-minute data values from a variety of terminal devices, irrespective of make. skylog’s unmatched close connection path to the inverters is fully utilized by skytron’s comprehensive plant control algorithms especially for the unique frequency support by providing balancing power feature which uses a one second bidirectional data exchange to the PV plant’s actuating elements.

skylog’s integrated uninterruptable power supply (UPS) provides power to all other monitoring components supplied by the CAN bus cable, ensuring dependable operation even in the event of a power failure. In locations having unreliable internet connections, local data storage is secured up to 4 weeks by skylog®’s substantial data buffering capacity.

Besides skylog® is equipped with an industrial router. This allows the use of DSL, UMTS or satellite communication in order to forward current plant information to the plant supervision platform PVGuard® or to other performance analysis tools.

skylog® therefore forms an indispensable component as it is an elementary part of the skytron® real-time monitoring, control and supervision system for utility-scale PV installations.

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SolarSNAP Wireless Monitoring Tool

Shoals Technologies Group, a manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) Balance of Systems (BoS) components, and Synapse Wireless, an emerging innovator in wireless solutions that empower the Internet of Things (IoT), have built on their long partnership in the field of solar energy, and introduced SolarSNAP, an innovative monitoring tool that provides live-access monitoring of the installation of solar technology fields.

Solar Energy technology is defined in two parts, photovoltaic modules and “Balance of Systems.” The Balance of Systems includes a combination of components, labour, assembly and installation.

As PV module pricing continues to decline, the solar energy industry is focused on reducing costs in the Balance of Systems, in order to better compete with other types of energy production. The ability to more closely monitor and measure the installation of solar technology contributes to these savings by bringing solar energy on-line faster and more cost effectively than ever.

SolarSNAP is a monitoring tool created by Shoals and Synapse Wireless to increase speed-to-revenue for solar field owners by providing real-time data as the solar technology is installed.

SolarSNAP monitors and gives owners visibility into labour costs and contractor effectiveness, increasing the accuracy of time-to-commissioning forecasts. It provides information on the entire solar energy commissioning process, down to the string level (between PV modules). With integration into Synapse’s cloud-based SNAPShot platform, and a choice of fixed or mobile solutions, SolarSNAP provides live access to installation data from anywhere, at any time.

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PV Tool Award

DEK Solar

HouYi Cell Metallization Platform

Since its inception in 2008, DEK Solar has set out to be a solar process pioneer.

The company, already market-leading suppliers of screen printing equipment worldwide, recognised that its decades of global print process expertise gave it a strategic advantage, providing the company with the know-how to develop a complete range of solutions to help photovoltaic manufacturers boost cell efficiency and reduce the total cost of ownership of their lines.

HouYi a 1350 wafers per hour, highly reliable metallization platform with a small footprint is DEK Solar’s latest innovation. It builds on the performance of DEK’s PV 1200 platform, with innovations that have delivered even greater reliability, enhanced print quality and further improved throughput. As a result of these enhancements, no other metallization platform on the market is now able to provide the same levels of reliability, print quality, and throughput, delivering lowest cost of ownership within as small a footprint as HouYi

HouYi has been specifically designed to meet the most pressing needs of today’s PV firms.

Given recent and future fluctuations in the solar market, we know that PV manufacturers are looking for highly reliable machines that keep their manufacturing costs to a minimum. Furthermore, these manufacturers are seeking technology that is easily scalable and future proofed, enabling them to quickly take advantage of upswings in the solar market, or game-changing technological developments.

To reduce the total cost of ownership, Houyi is highly reliable, delivers optimal throughput, maximum yield, minimum waste, and has a compact design to reduce the space it occupies on the factory floor. Houyi’s modular platform design also means the technology is easily scalable and future proofed.

Houyi is unique as it brings together many of the attributes today’s PV firms are looking for, in one metallization platform. It is a complete solution where space is at a premium. Offering lowest cost of ownership.

Changes to the sensors and hardware and an overhaul of the machine control software have resulted in a more reliable platform, with greater uptime. Enhanced central pivoting squeegee mechanisms and squeegee profile improvements have also produced a machine capable of better quality prints. Furthermore, software architecture developments have delivered a platform with improved throughput.

HouYi possesses the following attributes:

  • HouYi s specifically designed to reduce the total costs of ownership; it is perfectly balanced to operate at optimal throughput and to deliver maximum yield and minimum waste. HouYi compact design also reduces necessary floor space
  • Throughput of 1350 wafers per hour
  • Breakage rate <0.3% (integrated air knife technology minimises platen area contamination, helping to reduce wafer breakage)
  • Compact footprint – 15870mm x 1200mm , and a single lane configuration
  • Greater uptime – modular unload design, flexible input buffer, and no line stop during cassette or box exchange
  • With robust machine control software and advanced sensor technology, HouYi optimises reliable metallization performance
  • A new squeegee mechanism supports both trialling and diamond blade designs, delivering proven print quality over many thousands of prints
  • Integrated air knife technology minimises platen area contamination, and therefore, helps reduce wafer breakage
  • The module design of the platform also means that it is easily scalable for future growth
  • HouYi is also capable of additional functions, for example, dedicated thin wafer handling

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ILM-2 Laser Machine

Increasing cell efficiency is the most effective way to reduce the cost of solar power, and PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact) is one of the technologies that meet the balance between manufacturing cost and efficiency.

InnoLas used its 15 years of experience in laser processing for the PV industry to design the cost effective ILM-2 production platform for lowest maintenance costs and best Cost of Ownership in the market. The ILM-2 platform is further optimized for easy integration into existing production lines and reduces handling steps if integrated e.g. via conveyor interface prior to a screen printer line or directly after a passivation tool. Alternatively, it can be combined with an InnoLas high speed automation system and operated as a stand-alone tool. The output can be adjusted between 1,600 and 3,600 wafers per hour at an excellent uptime of >96%.

InnoLas Solutions sees increasing demand for PERC solutions that can be adapted flexibly to current and future production line designs and requirements. The company designed the ILM-2 as a modular machine concept that can be used as a stand-alone or in-line system, with the option to use different laser sources. The ILM-2 offers our customers a future-proof 24/7 production solution with an excellent uptime.

This high volume production machine to open the passivation coating of PERC cells by a laser lift off process.

A local BSF and rear contacts are formed by controlling the interaction of the laser beam and the Si material at high process speed. The optimized laser and optical parameters of the system together with a new innovative dash pattern layout lead to a higher efficiency of solar cells compared to state of the art PERC process schemes.

Previous laser processes suffered from low throughputs and high cost due to limited process speeds as well as imperfect passivation layer openings.

The ILM-2 comprises an improved laser and optical setup which allows perfect control of the contact opening at the highest process speed. It enables a dashed line pattern layout enhancing the cell efficiency.

For the first time a novel dashed line pattern layout was enabled at high process speed. Such the cell efficiency can be increased at lowest cost of ownership.

A new high volume production machine to open the passivation coating of PERC cells by a laser lift off process. A local BSF and rear contacts are formed by controlling the interaction of the laser beam and the Si material at high process speed. The optimized laser and optical parameters of the system together with a new innovative dash pattern layout lead to a higher efficiency of solar cells compared to state of the art PERC process schemes.

For the first time a novel dashed line pattern layout was enabled at high process speed. Such the cell efficiency can be increased at lowest cost of ownership.

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Meyer Burger Technology Ltd.

GridTOUCH

The patent pending GridTOUCH contacting system is a unique solution that addresses the new market need of contacting busbarless cells for IV/EL performance measurements. This innovative system is a measurement jig consisting of an upper frame and a bottom plate. Both the plate and frame have a grid of wires. These grids are aligned perpendicularly to each other thus ensuring an optimum connection of all fingers on the front side of the solar cell and a highly accurate evaluation of the fill factor (FF and other key IV parameters.

The GridTOUCH also ensures that the shadowing on the cell is minimised and that the IV measurement is both precise and highly reproducible. The system enables customers to perform the most accurate sorting of busbarless cells at lowest costs.

The challenges faced are threefold. The first one is to ensure proper contacting of the fingers to minimise the contact resistance and obtain a reproducible evaluation of the FF. The bowing difference between 2 cells as well as the discontinuous finger’s height of a single cell is a real challenge. The second was to answer the market need of providing a solution suitable for various types of printing patterns rear side fully metallised perpendicular fingers etc. The last challenge was to develop an industrial and cost effective unit that could be used to sort cells with highest precision.

The GridTOUCH has overcome all of these challenges through creative engineering design the convex bottom plate and the strength given to the upper wires maximise the number of fingers contacted while limiting the pressure on the cell and thus allowing measurement of really thin cells 120 µm. In order to minimise the maintenance costs and downtime the system has been designed to maximise the number of contacts that exceed 3 million cycles. The replacement of the frame can be done within a few minutes.

  • Capability of contacting busbarless cells to measure their characteristics (IV EL • Low TCO due to a number of contacting cycles that exceed 3 million and an easy exchange of the wires/frames
  • Compatibility with standard and ultra-thin solar cells with different printing patterns
  • Combination of bowed bottom plate and the right tension on the top grid of wires ensures best possible contact of fingers. This also ensures compatibility with various finger heights down to only a few microns of silver paste.
  • The design ensures that the pressure on the cell is distributed uniformly thus reducing the risks of cell damage even for ultra-thin solar cells
  • The number of wires on the upper and lower grids has been optimised to yield the best possible measurement of busbarless cells

The patent pending GridTOUCH contacting system is a unique solution that addresses the new market need of contacting busbarless cells for IV/EL performance measurements. The GridTOUCH delivers a completely new approach with 2 grids of wires that are suitable for all current technologies and do not need to be adjusted. The small diameter of the wires also guarantees a very limited shadowing on the cell and no distortion of the spectrum of the light source. The design of the unit insures an accurate evaluation of the key parameters of the cell even if this one is not perfectly aligned while this will result to inaccurate measurements with existing solutions. Additionally the number of contact cycles of the unit exceeds by far all current contacting units on the market including systems for cells with busbars.

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Unisim Compact Solar Simulator

The 'Unisim Compact' solar simulator provides the close-match spectra of our standard dual source 'Unisim' solar simulators in a low cost and compact form for bench top applications. The system provides a stand-alone instrument including front panel controls, a complete IV measurement system as well as a pneumatically controlled shutter and enclosure mechanism for easy, tool-less maintenance. This instrument is the first of its kind, allowing a whole group of researchers, who were previously limited to basic instruments, access to a high quality solar simulator to advance their research.

With high efficiency multi junction solar cells requiring a close match spectrum in order to achieve the most accurate calibration and results some research laboratories have been forced to use crude single source instruments for small scale research applications where only a relatively small beam size is required. Many research groups are also limited by physical floor space or budget which means our larger solar simulators such as our standard Unisim range are not an option. The Unisim Compact makes the world leading close-match spectrum which TS-Space Systems is known for available in a bench top form and at a low cost whilst retaining all the salient features our customers love about our standard Unisim range. This opens up a world class instrument to a range of researchers who were previously limited to basic single source simulators.

The Unisim Compact comes as a stand alone instrument with a full IV measurement system and built-in source meter. The dual source optics features our pioneering highly stable metal halide arc lamp and standard quartz halogen lamps which can be controlled and shuttered via the front panel. An intensity indicator is also built into the system in order to monitor lamp light levels. The easy maintenance of the lamps and optics is aided by a pneumatically controlled enclosure lift mechanism providing full 360 degree access to the simulator optics without any tools or physical effort. The system is also designed to take additional drop-in filter units which quickly and easily convert the close-match AM0 spectrum to AM1.5. We are the first and only company to produce not only a dual source solar simulator of this type but also in a form factor suited to smaller laboratory applications.

The requirement of a close-match spectrum for accurate measurement of multi junction solar cells is well known [1]. TS-Space Systems has pioneered not only the close-match multi source solar simulator, but the first ever quad-source solar simulator [2] and the use of metal halide arc sources for a highly stable, continuous beam. The previously award winning 'Unisim' range of solar simulators is used in both research and development work as well as 24/7 production facilities and are regularly cited in the latest photovoltaic research literature. The 'Unisim Compact' takes the salient features of these proven and popular simulators and packs them into a convenient bench top form factor for use in University or small research applications. The pneumatically operated, easy-maintenance enclosure houses a dual source, 2-zone solar simulator which combines metal halide and incandescent sources via a proprietary filter system to give an AM0 close-match spectrum (AM1.5 drop-in filter sets are available). The standard system includes an embedded source meter with complete IV measurement system (Computer, comms interface, IV software, MS Excel), relative irradiance indicator for monitoring lamp intensity and a pneumatic shutter. [1] Wilkinson, V. A.; Goodbody, C.; Williams, W. G., "Measurement of multijunction cells under close-match conditions," Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 1997., Conference Record of the Twenty-Sixth IEEE , vol., no., pp.947,950, 29 Sep-3 Oct 1997 doi: 10.1109/PVSC.1997.654244 [2] Montgomery, Kyle H.; Wilt, David M.; Howard, Alex; Williams, Bill; Williams, Bill; , "Characterization of a TS-Space quad-source solar simulator," Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), 2012 38th IEEE , vol., no., pp.001517-001522, 3-8 June 2012

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PV Process Award

k-Space Associates, Inc.

kSA BandiT PV

k-Space manufactures state-of-the-art in-situ, real-time thin-film deposition monitoring tools, and has over 20 years of experience in the thin-film metrology field.

Today’s solar power generation industry is quickly evolving with a new breed of compound semiconductor materials leading the charge.

These new, thin-film based materials have already surpassed performance requirements needed for global deployment. However, mass production and yield problems have limited broad commercialization of these promising thin-film PV materials.

A key factor in producing the highest efficiency cells at the lowest cost will be the successful deployment of automated high-volume production with tight process control.

To achieve this goal, it is essential that monitoring methodologies be implemented for higher conversion efficiency and reduced manufacturing costs.

This includes implementing in-line metrology tools that monitor the performance metrics of the thin-film photovoltaic materials being produced so that the manufacturing process variables can be controlled and optimized in real-time.k-Space has directly addressed this important in-line metrology need with our kSA BandiT PV system. This revolutionary system directly measures key parameters such as surface roughness, layer thickness, optical band gap, temperature, and other thin-film properties critical to PV device performance.

kSA BandiT PV spectrally analyzes diffusely reflected light via solid state electronics to enable measurements over a wide spectral range. Modular designs and flexible geometries allow for rapid measurement at multiple locations across either glass panel or flexible substrate processing lines.

http://www.k-space.com/wp-content/uploads/BandiT_PV_Data_Sheet.pdf

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Meyer Burger Technology Ltd.

Diamond Wire Management System (DWMS)

Diamond Wire Management System (DWMS) is an enhanced wire winding system uniquely designed and available for Meyer Burger diamond wire saws. The DWMS is marketed under the name of DW288 as an integrated option of the successful DW288 platform for mono and multi silicone wafering in the PV industry. During cutting the wire is wound and unwound on spools on each side of the wire web respectively. Without DWMS the aggressive wire is wound directly onto the storage spool on overlapping windings and can therefore damage itself. The innovative DWMS design separates the spool into a supplier (storage part and a working part. On the working part the wire is wound in non-overlapping windings with a minimal pitch. This completely eliminates wire to wire contact and keeps the wire sharp.

Diamond Wire Management System (DWMS completely eliminates wire to wire contact and therefore maintains the critical sharpness of the wire. The DWMS extends the lifetime of the diamond wire because it eliminates the wear of the diamond wire which only occurs in the work piece itself. As a consequence the wire consumption which is the most important cost driver within the wafer slicing process is lowered tremendously.

The wire winding system of the diamond wire saws is enhanced by dividing the spools on both sides of the wire web into a supplier (storage and a working part. Before starting the cutting/pilgrim mode fresh diamond wire is transferred from the storage part via the wire web onto the working part of the spool (on the wire supplying side of the web. During the wafering process itself the wire is wound back and forth in non-overlapping windings without wire to wire contact.

The wire management systems of all wire saw suppliers are direct derivatives of wire management systems for slurry based cutting. Wires for slurry based systems are non-aggressive bare wires. Such wires can be wound and unwound onto conventional spools in overlapping windings with no harm occurring to the wire itself. With the DIAMOND WIRE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (DWMS) wire to wire contact is avoided and the diamond wire wears only in contact with the silicon it is cutting. The Diamond Wire Management System (DWMS) is the first wire management system developed for the specific requirements of diamond wire based wafering.

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Rudolph Technologies

Discover Solar® Data Management Software Tool

Discover Solar® data management software tool helps photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturers reduce manufacturing costs and increase average cell efficiencies.

The system is designed for both high volume c-Si cell production as well as thin films. Discover Solar provides a wealth of capabilities useful for manufacturing to control the line and engineering to optimize the performance of the line.

  • Automatically pin points tool issues impacting cell efficiencies
  • Fast and comprehensive "drill-down analysis"
  • Automated reports
  • Equipment performance and history tracking
  • Comprehensive charting, correlation analysis, advanced filtering
  • One-click data export to Microsoft® Excel
  • "Real-time" health of line monitor
  • Identify incoming material issues
  • Advanced SPC alarming specifically designed for PV manufacturing
  • Identify second order effects between tools, process, steps or recipe settings

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PV Balance of System

Horizontal Single-axis Solar Tracker Exotrack HZ

Exosun’s Exotrack® HZ is a horizontal single-axis tracker for utility-scale PV applications.

Exotrack® HZ boosts system output by as much as 25 percent in comparison to fixed-tilt systems and its unique design mitigates maintenance costs for 25 years at minimum.

Solar trackers are an increasingly popular balance of system component installed to optimize yield in utility-scale systems. Exosun’s Exotrack® HZ is a horizontal single-axis tracker for utility-scale PV applications that offers customers a more cost-effective and reliable tracking solution than competing technologies. Exotrack® HZ increases system output up to 25 percent verses fixed-tilt systems and is designed to mitigate maintenance costs for at least 25 years. The technology features an east-west tracking range of ±50 degrees and a tracking precision of 1 degree.

At the heart of the Exotrack® HZ is the Exobox a centralized monitoring and control system that supports up to 4 MW of trackers per unit.

Operators can now further optimize Exotrack® HZ equipped solar plants by implementing Exosun’s unique patented backtracking program, called SMARTracking™. Going beyond simple backtracking – shifting tables’ positions in order to avoid panel on panel shading during periods of low solar height, like the early morning and late afternoon – SMARTracking™ takes into account a plant’s field irregularities (3D site topography). SMARTracking is finely tuned for each solar project based on each tracker's real positioning and height. As a result, up to 5 percent more energy yield can be generated annually, maximizing plant ROI beyond other traditional single-axis trackers or fixed-tilt structures.

Today Exotrack® HZ trackers can be found at project sites around the world with customers including major utilities and renewable energy developers from La Compagnie du Vent (GDF SUEZ Group to EDP Renewables and Abengoa.

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SolarEdge Technologies, Inc.

Module-level Optimization By Power Optimizers

Module-level optimization of DC solar power harvesting is an innovative concept developed by SolarEdge which leads this market segment with 70% market share. The unique SolarEdge topology separates the two functions traditionally managed by the solar inverter so that DC/AC conversion is still carried out in the string level keeping system costs low while Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT is handled on the module level by power optimizers guaranteeing maximum power production from each module individually.

Power optimizers eliminate all power losses that result from MPP mismatch between modules (due to shading soiling temperature mismatch uneven aging manufacturing tolerance and many other reasons. Module-level power optimizers track the Maximum Power Point (MPP per module guaranteeing that it is producing the maximum possible power while not affecting the rest of the modules in the string.

SolarEdge power optimizers also measure the performance of the modules and transmit performance data to the module-level monitoring portal. This enables cost effective maintenance of the PV system due to pinpointed alerts on any underperformance issue. Additionally power optimizers keep a safe DC voltage during installation maintenance firefighting and any other emergency. Whenever the inverter or the AC power are shut down power optimizers will automatically reduce modules voltage to 1V to prevent electrocution and fire. Finally the module-level MPPT and fixed string voltage features of the SolarEdge solution eliminate all design limitations of traditional inverters allowing quick and easy system design with parallel strings of unequal length multiple orientations in one string modules with different power ratings in one string and full roof utilization for larger system capacity.

SolarEdge has so far shipped over 3.3 million power optimizers and 120000 inverter to more than 60 countries worldwide.

The SolarEdge module-level optimization solution eliminates all module-mismatch related power losses. Module-mismatch is any state in which modules are subject to different temperatures irradiance levels (due to shade dust leaves snow bird droppings etc. or inherent characteristics (manufacturing tolerance aging and therefore require different current and voltage to produce maximum power (P = I x V. In traditional systems modules are connected in a string to a traditional inerter so that all the panels in the string are working on the same current. Therefore any source of module-mismatch will result in modules working out of their MPP and losing energy.

SolarEdge power optimizers track the MPP per module making sure each module is working on the right current and voltage to produce maximum power without affecting or being affected by the rest of the modules in the string. This enables elimination of all mismatch-related power losses and 5%-25% more energy from any PV system. Additionally the SolarEdge solution enables enhanced maintenance capabilities through module-level monitoring a quick and simple design and superior safety solution eliminating electrocution and fire hazards in PV systems.

SolarEdge has established the DC power optimization segment of the PV market. It is the first company to provide such a solution and leading this market with 70% share. The MLPE segment (module level power electronics i.e. power optimizers and microinverters was recently predicted by GTM to account for 5GW of the PV market by 2017. According to the same report in the US more than 50% of residential installations are using either power optimizers or microinverters. With over 3.3 million power optimizers and 120000 inverters installed in more than 60 countries SolarEdge represents 49% of the global MLPE market.

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VarioString: Isolated Dual Channel High Voltage MPPT

VarioString is a high power, isolated, dual channel MPPT solar charge controller for off-grid systems and battery based energy management systems up to 105kW. It is compatible with all battery technologies (lead-acid, lithium-ion, NiCd, etc.) due to its programming options for the charge cycle. Its fast and accurate algorithm ensures an MPPT efficiency of more than 99%. The ability to arrange the dual MPPT inputs independently or in parallel (with max 600Voc) or in series (with max 900Voc) allows the VarioString to be used in a wide variety of PV configurations. While battery based MPPT solar charge controllers are typically used for off-grid applications, increasingly the DC-coupling of PV is used in battery based energy management systems with connection to the grid to increase system stability and system efficiency for energy consumed when the sun is not shining.

The VarioString responds to the need to decrease BOS costs, increase flexibility and modularity of BOS components and at the same time increases system performance and overall energy yield.

The VarioString has been designed to meet the needs of battery based management systems. The high voltage DC input allows for longer strings of PV modules, much like is common with standard grid-tie inverters, which decreases the BOS costs and greatly simplifies installation. The fully programmable 4-step battery charger extends the life of batteries which reduces O&M costs and the amount of batteries being disposed of. The VarioString makes it possible to create flexible residential PV systems with only one device. Studer had the forethought to create a product with high power and high efficiency for different PV arrays.

The VarioString allows for up to 900 Vdc maximum open circuit voltage with the dual MPPT inputs in series, which is the highest PV voltage allowable of any device in its class.

The VarioString responds to the toughest requirements in efficiency in solar installations. It also reduces the system costs by accepting PV strings up to 600 or 900Vdc. This allows for a more simple installation and reduces the installation time and material costs: reduction in cable cross-section and length, absence of junction box and string fuses.

  • Highest efficiency in class (>98%)
  • Simplified safety rules by full isolation between PV and battery and between MPPT inputs
  • Flexible PV configuration: independent or parallel (600Voc), or series (900Voc)
  • 7kW per unit and up to 15 in parallel for 105kW total PV power
  • Low self-consumption: <1,2W in night mode
  • Multi-step charger that is fully programmable for longer battery life
  • Optimal usage in an Xtender system with synchronized battery management between VarioString and Xtender inverter/charger
  • Remote monitoring and datalogging via Internet support.
  • Web access through Xcom-LAN or Xcom-GSM (optional)
  • Reduces BOS costs (eliminates expensive wiring for parallel strings, saving wires, connectors, junction boxes, fuses, space, time, etc.)
  • Isolation between the PV and battery allow for the use of any type of PV module (including some that require PV+ grounding to prevent Potential Induced Degradation (PID)) and non-standard battery grounding such as is sometimes required in telecommunication systems. In addition, isolation makes PV module reverse current impossible, therefore a disconnection relay is unnecessary.

The VarioString contains dual MPPT inputs for a total flexibility in PV array configuration (in series, in parallel or independent). It allows for up to 900 Vdc maximum open circuit voltage with the dual MPPT inputs in series, which is the highest PV voltage allowable of any device in its class. The VarioString has 120A max battery charge current. It has the capability of connecting up to 15 PV panels in parallel on the same battery bank for a total PV array capacity of up to 105 kWp. The full isolation between PV and battery allows for any grounding scheme.

oString contains dual MPPT inputs for a total flexibility in PV array configuration (in series in parallel or independent. It allows for up to 900 Vdc maximum open circuit voltage with the dual MPPT inputs in series which is the highest PV voltage allowable of any device in its class. The VarioString has 120A max battery charge current. It has the capability of connecting up to 15 PV panels in parallel on the same battery bank for a total PV array capacity of up to 105 kWp. The full isolation between PV and battery allows for any grounding scheme.

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Energy Usage Enabling Award

Locus Energy

Virtual Irradiance Tool

Locus Energy’s Virtual Irradiance™ (VI tool provides fleet managers with a much-needed means of measuring the amount of sunlight that is striking the ground at a particular time and location. Using historical and real-time data from weather stations and satellite imagery Locus Energy’s proprietary algorithms provide high quality data on solar irradiance for any location in the continental United States. VI provides a truly accurate assessment of how much energy a system should be producing based on the amount of sunlight that is available to the panels. When used with other modelling data such as the type of panel or inverter such data is invaluable — not only for system stakeholders who can use it to identify and rectify problems but also for financial institutions which can use the data as a means of ranking the value of solar PV assets. Another advantage of VI is that it reduces the need for on-site sensors which may be prohibitively expensive for small- to medium-sized systems. For larger systems at which on-site sensors are installed VI validates sensor data which can become skewed due to soiling or have gaps due to downtime or other site problems. As solar becomes increasingly common VI is also expected to become an important tool in helping utilities integrate solar into the electricity grid. VI is part of a suite of analytics tools that Locus is developing called PVIQ.

Without knowing how much sunlight is available to solar panels at a particular time and location it’s impossible to know if a PV system is performing up to expectations – it would be like trying to calculate a car’s mileage without knowing how much gas goes into the tank. The lack of access to accurate ground-level irradiance data poses a problem for fleet operators and managers who want to ensure they are maximizing the performance of their solar PV systems and for financial investors who want to know that they’re getting a maximum return on their investment.

VI uses empirical models and proprietary algorithms to model the amount ground-level solar irradiance in near real-time and with high geospatial resolution across the continental US. VI may be used with existing system software or as an add-on to Locus Energy’s SolarNOC™ (Network Operations Centre software a cloud-based software application providing enterprise-class tools for fleet managers to collect organize and assess performance data from a diverse set of solar PV assets. When used with VI SolarNOC’s customized dashboard helps drive down operations and maintenance costs by allowing fleet operators and managers to easily see which systems are not meeting performance expectations.

VI allows system stakeholders to do something previously seen as impossible -- quickly simply and efficiently measure system performance for a single system or across an entire fleet. With VI system stakeholders can quickly and easily identify which systems are failing to meet performance expectations assess how much value was lost as a result of a system’s failure to meet those expectations and troubleshoot problems. Further Locus’ VI tool offers unparalleled granularity providing data with a level of geographical specificity (one square kilometre and frequency (15-minute intervals that is unique in the industry. Locus is also the only provider capable of immediately scaling its VI offering for large fleets of PV systems.

Locus Energy has implemented a near real-time satellite- driven irradiance modelling system to power monitoring and analytics products which remotely identify potentially underperforming systems and determine probable causes of system underperformance. The underlying engine uses a statistical model utilized to calculate surface irradiance estimates. This model leverage the observation that clouds in satellite images typically appear brighter than the ground underneath them in order to derive an estimate of cloudiness which can be used to derate a clear sky irradiance estimate to predict ground-level irradiance. The primary input into the system is satellite imagery from the GOES 13 14 and 15 satellites. These images are available via a public FTP site hosted by NASA. Both visible and infrared spectrum imagery are incorporated into the model. The current generation of GOES satellites generate images roughly once every 15 minutes. The images are typically available online within 10-15 minutes of being generated on the satellite. The next generation GOES-R satellite is expected to image the continental US every 5 minutes and will thus triple the temporal resolution achievable by satellite irradiance models. Other inputs required by the system include daily estimates of snow cover turbidity estimates and elevation data. Estimates of irradiance are generated for each of the 40000 locations of residential and commercial PV systems that Locus Energy monitors in the continental United States. Irradiance estimates are calculated for all locations for each image that is generated by the satellites. Image acquisition and processing takes approximately 10 minutes. Adding this to the 10-15 minute lag between when the image is generated and when it is posted to the public FTP irradiance estimates are typically available to Locus clients 20-25 minutes behind real time. The estimates are available as an irregular time series with the same time stamps as the time stamps of the images from the satellite i.e. roughly every 15 minutes. The irradiance estimates are then usable by clients via bulk fleet analysis reports in the SolarOS web platform’s charting tool and via an external API for custom analysis.

Virtual Irradiance is novel in two respects. First it is designed to operate at scale for every square kilometre in the Continental US. Second it is integrated with the PVIQ Analytics platform to provide this irradiance data seamlessly for quick fleet-wide analyses. The conventional approach has been to offer irradiance data for monitoring a small number of large PV sites. Under this paradigm an approach of calculating an irradiance estimate for specific locations along with a simple API for requesting time series data individually from the small number of sites is sufficient. Virtual irradiance turns this assumption on its head and assumes we will soon have solar PV everywhere across the Continental US. The data calculation engine and ability to serve up data was designed around this new paradigm. The integration with PVIQ Analytics is essential since it allows users to leverage the scale capabilities of analysing all the data in place.

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Reuniwatt

Soleka

Soleka is a decision-making tool, intended to ease the introduction of renewable energies in the energy mix as it will enable to forecast the production of solar power plants at three time scales:

  • 1 day ahead forecasting in order to convey to the distribution network operators the next day’s production capacity enabling them to plan their means of production.
  • 4 hours ahead, or intra-day forecasting which allows the photovoltaic electricity storage operators to confirm or invalidate their production commitments without risking penalties.
  • 30 minutes ahead, or shortcasting which enables the electricity suppliers to securely provide their energy and to optimize their means of production inside the grid. Soleka is a solution that can be used by all the smart-grid key stakeholders (TSOs, DSOs, energy suppliers, power system and component manufacturers, electricity service providers, grid regulators...).

PV power production relies on the amount of sunshine that hits solar plants’ solar modules: it makes it highly dependable on the weather and its intensity significantly varies whenever there is cloud coverage. This intermittency presents an impediment to the massive injection of photovoltaic on electricity grids. Indeed, the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources (RES) is voluntarily limited so as to maintain network stability: to deliver a guaranteed electricity, power production must equal power consumption at all times. The most appropriate solution to turn PV from an intermittent energy into a guaranteed one is solar power forecasting.

By giving predictions to PV plant managers and electricity grid operators, we can help them better plan their solar storage and their use of other energies. The integration of PV in the grid is therefore eased and optimized. Soleka is a decision-making tool enabling a massive and secure injection of photovoltaic on the electricity grid thanks to its solar energy forecasts.

Soleka is a unique and patented solution which brings a new dimension to classical weather forecasts through Big Data by exploiting: - Reuniwatt’s own instrumental high-frequency irradiation measures, - Reuniwatt’s clients’ PV production data, - Environmental and climatic open data, - Massive satellite and meteorological observation data, - The evolution of electricity grids towards smart-grids, enabling a better observability of new consumption and production habits. Thanks to the availability of these great volumes of data, it is now possible to precisely simulate the missing link between the forecasted weather tendencies and the actual PV electrical production. In today’s context of global PV growth and fight against climate change, Soleka appears as the Big Data solution for electrical grids’ resistance against solar power’s intermittency.

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SolarEdge

Smart Energy Management Solution

The SolarEdge Smart Energy Management solution includes a feed-in limitation feature that enables PV system owners to maximize self-consumption while maintaining compliance with local grid regulations and installation standards.

The average size of a PV system is trending upward allowing owners to minimize grid consumption throughout the day. However this boom in PV generation has also altered the structure of grid operations prompting a number of countries to put in place regulations that limit the amount of PV power that can be delivered to the grid – some have even banned PV systems from feeding into the grid altogether. In many cases customers cannot justify the economics of a PV system purely for self-consumption or are forced to reduce the size of their desired system to avoid exceeding the local feed-in limit.

By enabling customers to dynamically manage the amount of PV power produced so that the power fed into the grid never exceeds the limit the SolarEdge feed-in limitation unlocks a new level of operational flexibility for system owners. SolarEdge’s feed-in limitation is integrated directly into the inverter firmware ensuring it maintains the output power limit set forth by the utility at all times.

What is particularly novel or noteworthy about the product / process or innovation?

For the first time PV system owners can easily maximize self-consumption when loads are high then feed into the grid when the loads are low without violating local regulations and procedures.

SolarEdge’s feed-in limitation feature dynamically adjusts PV power production ensuring that power output to the grid does not exceed the pre-set limit thus enabling larger installations and increasing the potential of PV power for self-consumption. The feed-in limitation feature quickly and precisely adjusts PV power output to the grid even during rapid changes in load consumption and power production.

SolarEdge’s Smart Energy Management system can be easily retrofitted into previously installed SolarEdge inverters and is fully compatible with both single- and multi-inverter systems.

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Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC)

Solar Ware® Samurai 1.667 MW Inverter

The Solar Ware® Samurai is an outdoor PCS with a stand-alone capacity of 1,667kW. It’s highly advanced cooling system offers fanless operation up to 50 percent of the output power rating, and maintains high reliability while reducing energy costs.

The inverter also boasts the ability to operate efficiently under the harshest of environments, such as deserts where large-scale mega solar facilities are frequently installed.

Revolutionary new PV Central Inverter for the Solar Industry

  • New cooling system for desert environments
  • Advanced multilevel inverter - 56% of switching loss reduction
  • Maximized and optimized efficiency at high load
  • Wide MPPT range allowing for best-in-class DC/AC ratios
  • Flexible DC-input configuration to meet complex array configuration

 Grid Connection Features

TMEIC sets the standard of utility-scale installation with its own proprietary design.  Features include:

  • Power factor control
  • Reactive/Active power control
  • Fault ride through
  • Voltage ride through (low voltage ride through)
  • Frequency ride through
  • TMIEC's proprietary anti-islanding technique utilizes a slip mode
  • Frequency shift method

http://www.tmeic.com/Repository/Others/Solar_Ware_Samurai_data_sheet_rev_July_2014.pdf

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Trojan Battery Company LLC

Smart Carbon™

To address the impact of Partial State of Charge (PSOC on cycling batteries in renewable energy (RE inverter backup and telecom applications Trojan Battery Co recently announced the addition of Smart Carbon as a standard feature to its Industrial and Premium flooded battery lines.

Smart Carbon is a proprietary Trojan formula which provides improved performance when the batteries operate in PSOC enhancing overall battery life in off-grid and unstable grid applications where the batteries are under charged on a regular basis. Along with increased life in a partial state of charge Trojan’s Smart Carbon proprietary formula also provides improved charge acceptance and faster recharge in PSOC applications.

Trojan understands that batteries used in harsh RE telecom and inverter backup systems are regularly cycled at PSOC due to the intermittency of solar generation an unstable grid or to minimize operating costs of a hybrid Charge-Discharge-Cycle (CDC system. Operating at PSOC can quickly diminish the overall life of a lead acid battery which results in frequent and costly battery replacements.

With batteries now being one of the most expensive components of these systems it is critical to maximize the life of the battery bank in order to reduce total cost of ownership. To address the issue of PSOC Trojan’s engineering team developed the Smart Carbon advanced lead acid formula to enhance life and performance of Trojan batteries operating in PSOC.

Trojan chose to add Smart Carbon first to its deep-cycle flooded batteries because flooded technology is the most widely used in off-grid and unstable grid applications globally due to its cycling performance ability to withstand harsh conditions widespread availability and economical price point.

Project Development Award

Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL)

Gujarat Solar Park

Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) is the Nodal Agency for the development of "Solar Park" in Gujarat.

Govt of Gujarat is admired for taking bold and proactive initiative in the Projects of Renewable energy to harness Clean and Green Energy. GPCL commissioned, Asia’s largest "Gujarat Solar Park" to mitigate impact of Climate Change and to protect environment for our future generation, making Solar Sector vibrant and viable not only in our Nation but also across the Globe

590 MW capacity of "Solar Park" is located at village Charanka, District Patan in Gujarat spread across 5,384 acres of unused land. The integrated "Solar Park" has state of art infrastructure with provision to harness rain water besides power evacuation at the door steps. Installed capacity of 224MW Solar Project have been commissioned by 20 developers. The capacity will be enhanced by another 50MW by the end of this year, thus putting the installed capacity as 274MW., accounting to 25% of total Solar generation developed India. Solar Park has also capacity to generate 100 MW of Wind Power and already two Wind Mills, each of 2.1 MW has been commissioned making the Park, biggest solar-wind hybrid Park in the world. "Solar Park” also accounts for 3,42,400 tons Carbon Emission Reductions (CERs) which is one of the largest CERs contributing Project in the Renewable Energy Sector.

Development cost of "Solar Park" was Rs. 4500 Crores, which includes Rs. 550 Crores for infrastructure and land acquisition and Rs. 3,996 crores for Solar Power Plant (Developers investment), besides creating an Employment for more than 1,000 people on permanent basis. Project was launched on 30.12.2010 and commissioned on 31.12.2011 and formally dedicated to the Nation by Hon'ble Chief Minister on 19.04.2012.

"Gujarat Solar Park" has been one of the most innovative projects in the Solar Energy Sector having large concentration/cluster of Solar Power generating units at single location, thereby reducing cost substantially (40%), and bringing down lower Solar Tariff to pave way for large scale development of Solar Power Projects.

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Grid Parity With IKEA

Innovative Park commissioned by GPCL demonstrates its skills in implementation of a high value and complicated Project in short time, in spite of several challenges and complications. The Project has truly contributed in transformation of Solar Power Landscape in the Nation and making India Solar Capital of the World, in its true sense and making Gujarat proud.

Martifer Solar has delivered one of the first unsubsidized solar power plants in Italy for the Ikea Group on the rooftop of a new commercial store in Pisa Tuscany. The project has a total capacity of 696.15 kW and has been structured without relying on any government subsidies or feed-in-tariff approach. The power generation from this PV project will be at a Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE which is equal to or less than the price of electricity being sold from the grid. Martifer Solar was responsible for the EPC (engineering procurement and construction of this solar plant and will be responsible for the subsequent Operation and Maintenance (O&M service. The grid parity project with approximately 2700 modules installed on fixed structures will produce the equivalent amount of electricity for nearly 800 inhabitants and will avoid 373 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

This innovation addresses the challenge facing solar power when compared to existing electricity and other renewable energy sources. Affordability and the competitiveness of solar energy has always been an issue raised by those hesitant to invest in or support the industry. With this recently installed PV project for IKEA Martifer Solar is showing that grid parity is a reality and will be a growing trend in the future of maturing markets such as Italy Spain and Germany.

This unsubsidized rooftop PV plant built for IKEA proves the competitiveness and affordability of solar energy when compared with existing energy sources. The Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE for this 696.15 kW project is less than or equal to the price of electricity being sold from the grid. This particular project provides a model for not only IKEA but also other industrial giants looking to a more sustainable and “green” future for their company.

This realization is a breakthrough in terms of a solar PV business model because it provides Italy with the possibility to build a stable solar industry without the reliance on government incentives. In more mature European markets the governments are pulling back in monetary support for solar however due to the downward trend in pricing for system components and increased costs of electricity from the grid solar energy continues to be a strong viable option.

Martifer Solar has delivered one of the first unsubsidized solar power plants for the IKEA Group in Italy. The project is located in the region of Tuscany on the rooftop of a new commercial store in Pisa Italy. The PV plant represents IKEA’s largest single solar installation in Italy to date with a total capacity of 696.15 kW. The project is unique in that it has been structured and built without relying on any government subsidies or feed-in-tariff approach as has been typical for deal structures in the Italian market thus far. The rooftop plant has been built at grid parity which means that the power generation from this project will be at a Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE equal to or less than the price of electricity being sold from the grid. IKEA has been heralded as a leader among non-cleantech companies in its support and implementation of renewable energy projects around the world. The company has publicly stated a target to achieve 100% of its power generation from renewable energy sources by 2020. Martifer Solar is helping the industrial giant to accomplish this goal while lending its engineering and project structure expertise in order to attain this innovative achievement of one of the first grid parity projects in the country of Italy. Martifer Solar was responsible for the EPC (engineering procurement and construction of this solar plant and will be responsible for the subsequent O&M (Operation and Maintenance service. The 696.15 kW grid parity project was built using approximately 2700 polycrystalline modules installed on fixed structures on the rooftop of the new IKEA store. The installation will produce the equivalent amount of electricity for nearly 800 inhabitants in the surrounding Pisa area and will avoid 373 tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide emissions per year. The entire solar industry has been working diligently towards the goal of grid parity which will help to ensure the viable and sustainable future of the technology in comparison to other energy sources. Martifer Solar’s installation for IKEA is a breakthrough model that can be used as an example for future projects within Italy and other countries which have reached or are moving towards grid parity such as Spain and Germany. It will also help to instill greater confidence in the technology and future of the industry for investors looking for more reliable and bankable assets to include within their portfolios.

Martifer Solar’s unsubsidized solar project for IKEA is one of the first larger commercial installations within the country of Italy to achieve a cost less than or equal to that of the electricity being sold from the grid. This project is breakthrough in terms of the size of the installation which has achieved grid parity—it represents IKEA’s largest project in Italy and its first with polycrystalline technology. IKEA is a clear leader in renewable energy on a global basis and this project with Martifer Solar serves as a milestone example for how they can replicate this model to implement solar PV in other global locations where grid parity is becoming a possibility.

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Power Clouds Project

Power Clouds Pte Ltd introduces an innovative solution for the development of photovoltaic through the direct and bottom-up involvement of the people. Anyone is free to buy a solar panel (Power Units and rent it out to the company contributing to the production of green energy that protects the planet. The same company carries out the plants and ensure through an extensive network of activities including energy production a fixed monthly income for 20 years for those who take part in the project.

The concept behind Power Clouds is seen as an alternative to traditional financing ways for the photovoltaic stations construction and at the same time leads to the direct involvement of a large number of people (40000 participants in the first year.

Through the collective participation the project redistribute equitably costs and gains on the participants related to the development of solar projects and makes people protagonists of the climate change challenge

We are the only company which develops and manufactures large photovoltaic projects involving ordinary people who care for the environment and through the initiative they are able to get a fair economic benefit.

The projects cornerstone is the Power Clouds innovative vision of the developments possibilities of the photovoltaic systems. Ordinary people from all over the world are directly involved buying a solar panel (Power Unit and give it for rent to the Company. The latter plans design and build large photovoltaic plants (ground localizing them where the economic environmental and social issues are more favourable for the purpose of achieving results.

The new Power Clouds conceptual proposal arises as a viable alternative to traditional financing ways for the construction of photovoltaic stations. Power Clouds at the same time contributes to spread renewable energy in the world.

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Scatec Solar

South Africa Project - 75 MW PV Plant Kalkbult

South Africans are now beginning to use renewable energy from the national grid.

The Kalkbult plant, situated in the Northern Cape region, is currently the largest solar plant in Africa. Connected three months ahead of schedule, it was the first REIPPPP project to be grid connected and operational in South Africa. The solar power plant built by global energy provider Scatec Solar and local partners and became the first utility-scale renewable energy facility to supply electricity to Eskom after connecting to the grid three months ahead of schedule.

Officially opened on Tuesday 12 November 2013, the 75 megawatt (MW) Kalkbult solar photovoltaic (PV) plant near Petrusville in the sun-drenched Northern Cape will generate 135 million kilowatt hours a year, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 33 000 households. It has been fully commissioned in 10 months, with construction commencing in late November 2012 and electricity delivery to the grid starting on September 27 2013.

“Today we are extremely proud to have been awarded this project under the ambitious South African REIPPP programme, and proud that we are the first renewable energy plant to come on-line,” said Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Norway-based Scatec Solar at the inauguration ceremony. “Our teams worked literally day and night to make this happen. Suppliers made a huge effort to deliver their services and equipment, and local people who worked on the project were quick to learn despite the fact that many did not have previous experience in this kind of work.”

The plant is among 47 solar, wind and mini-hydro projects awarded 20-year contracts to generate electricity under government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). Total investment is estimated at R74 billion, which will climb above the R100bn mark following government’s recent acceptance of 17 new bids. 

Introduced by the Department of Energy three years ago, the REIPPPP supports South Africa’s international commitments to combat climate change by reducing its near-total dependence on coal-based electricity and its high greenhouse gas emissions. The Kalkbult plant will avoid annual greenhouse gas emissions of 115 000 tons that would have been emitted by a fossil-fuelled plant, such as a coal-fired power station.

The project also gives momentum to the Green Economy Accord signed three years ago by government, business and labour with a goal to create 300 000 new jobs based on renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, biofuel production, manufacturing of equipment to support “green” projects, and natural resource conservation and rehabilitation.

“Access to energy is a prerequisite for increased standard of living. The only way we will be able to provide energy in a sustainable way to an increasing global population is by utilizing renewable energy sources,” said Dr Alf Bjorseth, Chairman and founder of Scatec Solar. “South Africa is showing the way, and we are looking forward to develop more solar projects with our partners here. I am convinced that the Kalkbult plant will benefit South Africa, both regionally and nationally,” said Dr Bjorseth. 

Equity in the project has been provided by Scatec Solar, which is the largest shareholder, Norfund, Simacel, Stanlib/Standard Bank, and Old Mutual Life Assurance Company. Capital investment has been financed through Standard Bank. A certain part of the revenue from the Kalkbult facility and a portion of dividends has been earmarked to support social and economic development initiatives in communities within a 50 kilometre radius.

The Norwegian government also congratulated South Africa and Scatec Solar on the realization of this important project, both in terms of energy supply and the need for more clean energy. “This is a great example of what can be achieved when the private sector and government work together to find solutions to pressing issues such as energy shortage and climate change,” said State Secretary Paal Arne Davidesen at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “This solar plant is only the beginning. Hopefully we will see solar power being introduced on a major scale throughout Africa in the coming years.” 

The Kalkbult plant covers 105 hectares of a working sheep farm and includes 312 000 solar panels mounted on 156 kilometres of substructure linked to inverters, transformers and a high voltage sub-station.
During peak construction periods, more than 600 employees - the majority from the local community – worked at the Kalkbult construction site, achieving more than 750 000 accident free hours. Some 16% of employees were women, who participated at all levels, from management and administration to construction activities.

The number of people employed will decline to between 10 and 15 during operations and maintenance, but this phase will be accompanied by “a 20-year collaboration with local communities and the development of social and economic initiatives in areas such as education and health” explains Carlsen.

The nearest town to the project is Petrusville, about 100 kilometres north east of De Aar on the N1. Land for the project has been leased from a sheep farmer who will continue to run his business alongside the solar PV facility.

“The fact that renewable energy can work in harmony with the environment and without disrupting surrounding activities is often overlooked,” said Carlsen. “After 20 years, we can upgrade the project with the latest technology and continue operations for many years or we can dismantle it and leave the environment in its original natural state.”

Two other projects being developed by Scatec Solar and South African partners will improve on the Kalkbult plant’s electricity generation performance, which is based on solar panels mounted at a fixed angle to the sun. A 40MW plant near Hannover, also in the Northern Cape, and a 75MW plant near Burgersdorp in the Eastern Cape will have panels mounted on single axes, enabling them to track the sun and optimise electricity generation. Carlsen says the new plants, scheduled for commissioning during 2014, will be able to generate about 20% more electricity than fixed-panel plants.

Of the 47 renewable energy facilities contracted during the first two phases of the REIPPPP, 27 are solar PV plants that will have combined installed capacity of 1 048MW, with Scatec Solar providing 190MW. Scatec Solar has installed about 300MW of solar PV capacity worldwide.

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Turnkey Supplier Award

Centrotherm

Integrated Production Solution

centrotherm is not only the pioneering supplier of turnkey production lines, but with a track record of more than 50 completed projects around the globe a major provider of integrated production solutions for the manufacturing of mono and multi-crystalline solar cells.

The company commands comprehensive process know-how on all levels of the value chain, including everything from the raw wafer through to the finished module. As your experienced partner we will support you well beyond the ramp-up of production, providing a wealth of engineering and consulting services as well as training programs.

centrotherm offer integrated production solutions based on customers-specific requirements, enabling you to manufacture high performance solar cells competitively in combination with the respective processing, technology and service packages.

centrotherm’s sustainable concept of integrated production solutions is ready for the future and offers solar cell manufacturers maximum flexibility: innovative technologies and systems can be integrated into existing production lines; production capacities and the level of automation can be boosted at any time. Consequently, we give you the tools you need to be able to manufacture state-of-the-art solar cells cost effectively for years to come, while you will also be in a position to flexibly respond to the changing needs of the markets.

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Enrich Energy Pvt. Ltd.

Solar PV Turnkey Intergator

Enrich Energy is pioneer in India to develop large scale private Solar PV Park and provides turnkey solution including Radiation Mapping Land Acquisition Design & Engineering Infrastructure Development Power Evacuation Supply Chain Management Installation Erection and Commissioning and completing the chain with operations & maintenance services. The company has developed 40 MW Solar PV Park at site Mandrup in state of Maharashtra India and are in process of setting 60 MW Solar PV Park in state of Andhra Pradesh. Further the company is building infrastructure of more than 150 MW to create new Solar Parks in India.

The Solar PV Parks developed by Enrich Energy provides hassle free opportunity and one stop solution to various investors for investment in MW scale Solar Power Projects with minimum gestation period and committed time frame.

The investors eying for owing few MWs of Solar Power Project does not have to look into project nitty-gritties project execution nor they have to monitor day to day operations of the project. The Project Developer Enrich Energy provides all services on turnkey basis for the Solar PV Project helping investors to make quick and reliable decision on investment into Solar PV Project.

The 40 MW Solar PV Park at Mandrup in state of Maharashtra is first private Solar Park in India and have more than 26 investors owing Solar Project ranging from 0.6 MW to 6.65 MW. The Solar Park is spread in 200 acres of land and have provided significant boost to development of Solar Energy sector in India.

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End-to-end Solar Solution

There’s no question about it studies have proven most Americans agree that renewable energy is crucial to our future. In addition while electricity rates across the country continue to increase solar panels become more affordable and viable than ever. Yet at a time when green technology is gaining popularity and prices are decreasing many remain hesitant to take the first step toward solar energy fearing a complex time consuming and expensive process awaits. To avoid the headache of dealing with multiple vendors sustainability officers facility owners developers and power purchasers can simply join forces with a trusted partner – Panasonic Eco Solutions. Panasonic has developed a comprehensive integrated end-to-end solution that brings solar projects from concept and finance to installation and maintenance under one roof simplifying the process of going solar. As a “one stop shop” for going solar this solution helps organizations attain renewable energy – effectively and efficiently.

Traditional solar models often require the involvement of different third-party vendors at each phase of development. From the start facility managers and Sustainability Officers must engage with one firm for concept another for financing yet another for installation and the list goes on. Partnering with multiple vendors causes solar projects to become disjointed and inefficient resulting in cost increases missed deadlines and frustration. In addition dealing with multiple contracts production guarantees and product warranties can cause worry about reputation and brand image.

Sustainability officers facility owners developers and power purchasers don’t have to be burdened by the aggravation of dealing with multiple parties at each step of the solar process. The Panasonic Eco team facilitates solar projects at every phase of development streamlining the entire process and serving as a viable strategic partnership for a wide range of organizations. With Panasonic’s comprehensive integrated turnkey model organizations ensure solar success avoid unnecessary stress and save time and money. For a wide range of organizations Panasonic provides the solution they need to fulfill social responsibility goals and reduce utility costs.

We are the only company to bring all phases of solar project development from finance to design installation to maintenance under one roof backed by a production guarantee. And because of its reputation of reliability and financial stability Panasonic alleviates a customer’s worries about dealing with multiple vendors of questionable reliability stability and ability to cooperate with one another to complete projects on schedule and on budget.

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Schiller Automation

TF Solar Module FAB Automation

Since being set up in 1978, SCHILLER AUTOMATION has become one of the leading, global suppliers of automation and systems solutions. The focus is on production and handling systems for manufacturing microelectronics products, modules, crystalline solar cells and on complete fab automation for the production of thin-film solar cells. With comprehensive expertise and a sound grasp of what is feasible, a holistic approach to its task is important to SCHILLER AUTOMATION: the company assists customers from the idea, planning, selection of efficient techniques and process equipment to design and production, and right through to the industry-suited solution. The company has its head office in Sonnenbühl on the Swabian Alb, while also maintaining service branches in Thalheim (Saxony-Anhalt) and Suzhou (China).

TF Solar Module FAB automation by SCHILLER AUTOMATION is a complete automation and logistics solution precisely tailored to the respective customer requirement. It dovetails the individual components and handling elements in an optimized process flow. We offer manufacturers of thin film-solar cells a flexible modular system solution from one source.

A key component of FAB automation is the accurate and smart SCHILLER LC host computer system which is tailored to the process, communicates with existing control systems, coordinates processes, and manages and processes the most important product data and states. Productivity and quality result from the smooth interplay of all components.

The manufacture of thin-film solar cells on glass substrates is a demanding, multi-layered task. The carrier material passes through a number of production and process stations en route to becoming a finished photovoltaic cell. The demands in terms of logistics, automation and control technology are great. For example, the fragile substrates, which are some one and a half square metres in area but only about three millimetres thick, have to be transported and transferred from station to station gently and smoothly, but at the same time rapidly and precisely. The process management software is expected to product efficient workflows, collect relevant product-related data and monitor every work- piece and all quality standards. SCHILLER AUTOMATION resolves these tasks and challenges with its sound, integrated expertise.

Complete one-stop know-how SCHILLER AUTOMATION offers manufacturers of thin-film solar cells a complete integrated automation concept: from concept to project management to successful commissioning. It includes optimally matched logistics and handling components and the intelligent

SCHILLER Line Controller (SCHILLER LC) master computer system with comprehensive process co-ordination and data management. The company specialises in handling technology and automation and has many years of experience in microelectronics and photovoltaics.

»Customer oriented, flexible, innovative SCHILLER AUTOMATION demonstrates its competence by means of individual total solutions precisely tailored to the respective customer’s requirements. TF Solar Cell Fab Automation is a modular, flexible system solution which can be expanded whenever required in the future.

SCHILLER AUTOMATION has an ongoing development process for each segment of the TF Solar Cell Fab. The company also uses new materials which retain a high level of rigidity even at temperatures in excess of 200 degrees Celsius.

The choice of handling system in TF solar cell fab automation depends on the particular task: the higher-level connection between the individual process stations is provided by the SCHILLER central handler. The axial, rail-mounted conveyor module moves the standardised substrate cassettes from station to station. Integrated lift and rotation units move them into pockets on two levels.

When handling the individual substrates, both off-the-shelf systems and bespoke solutions from SCHILLER AUTOMATION are used:six-axis robots with specially developed vacuum end effectors or SCHILLER ProLoad TF handle the loading, unloading and transfer of the glass substrates. The ProLoad TF runs on linear tracks of varying length and accelerates up to three metres per second. All the handling systems are designed to permit operation under cleanroom conditions.

Co-ordination of the complex workflows places rigorous demands on the production control system: SCHILLER LC monitors whether all the components are operating trouble-free and at optimum capacity.

The intelligent master computer system communicates with all the automation system control units, co-ordinates workflows, and collates, processes and manages the key process and all substrate data. It monitors the substrates through the entire production process. Intelligent measurement systems

can be incorporated in the system and quality controls carried out as optional extras. With reference to cassettes and singulated substrates, SCHILLER LC also takes responsibility for concisely visualising process status data and clearly displaying the current production status. The user is always informed of the current status of operations.

SCHILLER AUTOMATION clearly shows that performance, usability and safety are not mutually exclusive. The safety system used, developed by the company, offers uncompromising safety for people and machines. It guarantees smooth production workflows, with not every fault resulting in shutdown of the entire production unit: the safety concept permits an operator to enter the protected area of one particular handling zone safely without impeding the production workflow of adjacent areas as a result.

TF Solar Cell Fab Automation and SCHILLER LC: together they offer a leading-edge, holistic and modular complete solution guaranteeing a high level of productivity, flexibility and reliability in fully automated day-to-day operations.

Benefits, capabilities:

  • Integrated logistics and automation solution
  • Optimally matched individual components
  • Handling systems developed in-house for special tasks
  • Comprehensive process and substrate data management
  • Intelligent safety concept
  • Cleanroom-compatible concepts
  • Sound know-how from concept to implementation
  • Modular, flexible, expandable
  • High productivity, availability and profitability

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Industry Development Award

Komax

GX6 String Layup

The GX6 is the latest generation Komax Solar layup system. It was completely redesigned to improve ease of use, performance, and feasibility for downstream automation.

A single robot facilitates pick and place from stringer to glass, with tab trimming and bend options. The active vision system provides industry leading string placement accuracy.

String quality monitoring options include optical and electroluminescence (EL) inspection.

Machine Highlights

Design – The GX6 was completely redesigned to improve reliability, performance and operator ergonomics.

Patent Pending Technology – Strings are accurately placed on glass using a patent pending advanced vision system (AVS).

String Quality Monitoring – Two different inspection systems are available to inspect, reject and remove defective product from the process flow.

Operation Efficiency – An optimized layout with conveniently located dual HMI(s), enable a single user to operate both string systems and the GX6 layup system.

User Friendly – A completely redesigned multilingual HMI and controls architecture to improve usability.

Integrated Safety – Safety guarding and control circuitry monitor the work cell during operation to maintain a safe working environment.

Changeover Friendly – Full product changeover by one user is easily accomplished in less than 20 minutes.

Machine Description

The GX6 layup system supports two Xcell solar cell interconnection machines.

The conveyor system incorporates glass input and output buffers to minimize glass exchange times and improve performance.

Glass with pre-assembled EVA is presented to the input conveyor with short side leading. 

The conveyor incorporates a patented slip torque technology to optimize product flow across both the input buffer and layup zones. 

The system incorporates a single articulated robot for string pickup and placement to glass. 

Strings are picked to match the module layup polarity requirements, and accurately placed on glass front (blue) side down using a patent pending active vision system (AVS).

Integrated  string buffer and reject trays maintain productivity when glass is unavailable or strings are defective.

An optimized layout includes conveniently located dual HMI(s) with redesigned multilingual HMI software and controls architecture to improve usability and operator ergonomics.

String quality monitoring options include optical and electroluminescence testing (EL).  

Integrated ribbon tab trimming and bending options are also available.

Options

  • Electroluminescence (EL) inspection to detect: Micro cracks, printing defects, unsoldered ribbons, thermal stress, and inactive cells.
  • Optical inspection with back lighting to detect gross cell defects, dimensional string issues.
  • Integrated ribbon tab trimming and bending.

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Panasonic

HIT Solar Cell

Panasonic has achieved a conversion efficiency of 25.6% in its HIT® solar cells a world record for crystalline silicon-based solar cells of a practical size.

The achievement of this new record was made possible by further research into Panasonic’s proprietary heterojunction technology to effect: - Reduction in recombination loss - Reduction in optical loss -Minimizing resistance loss

Photovoltaics is an efficient and emission free way of producing energy for free. To achieve wider audiences though cell efficiency is crucial to meet the upfront costs and make best use of available space.

This development is pointing the way to cheaper solar power that can compete widely with fossil fuels. The result reflects a new surge forward for silicon solar cells the type that account for almost all solar cells on the market.

Panasonic is the first company to push the efficiency level above the 25% benchmark for practical-size cells.

Outline of the core technologies behind the record conversion efficiency

1. Reduction in recombination loss A key feature of HIT technology is its ability to reduce the recombination loss*7 of charge carriers particles of electricity generated by light through laminating layers of high-quality amorphous silicon on the surface of the monocrystalline silicon substrate where power is generated. By utilizing the technology to form a high quality amorphous silicon film on the monocrystalline substrate while minimizing damage to the surface of the substrate it has been possible to realize a high temperature coefficient*9 of -0.25% per degree Celsius which is able to maintain a high conversion efficiency even with high open circuit voltage (Voc and at high temperatures.

2. Reduction in optical loss In order to increase the current in a solar cell it is necessary to lead the sunlight which arrive at the cells surface to the monocrystalline silicon substrate which is the layer which generates the power with less loss. Placing the electrodes on the reverse as back contacts allows the light to reach the substrate more efficiently. This has led to a marked improvement in short circuit current density (Jsc to 41.8mA/cm² over Panasonics previous figure of 39.5mA/cm2 (in the case of a cell with a conversion efficiency of 24.7%.

3. Minimizing resistance loss In solar cells the generated electrical current is accumulated in the surface grid electrodes and output externally. Previously the grid electrodes on the light-receiving side were optimized by balancing the thickness of the grid electrodes (thinning the grid electrodes to reduce the amount of light blocked and the reduction of electrical resistance loss but by placing the electrodes on the reverse side it has become possible to reduce the resistive loss when the current is fed to the grid electrodes. In addition a high fill factor (FF of 0.827 has been achieved even at a practical cell size by improving resistance loss in the amorphous silicon layer.

Panasonic applies improvements on front-contact shading to its own high-efficiency HIT cell structure: Imperfections at or near the surface of the crystalline silicon wafers used in the cells can trap electrons decreasing current and voltage. By applying thin films of silicon to the front and back of the silicon wafer this effect is countered.

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Solar Energeasy is a global program launched by Rexel to raise awareness and understanding of solar PV and make the installation of solar panels hassle-free for both the consumer and the electrical installer via a user-friendly online platform adapted to smartphones and tablets.

For the first time consumers also have a guarantee on the generation potential of their installation and the assurance that if the difference in the real energy output of the PV installation is more than 10% below the original estimate within the first 5 years, Rexel will pay them back the difference. This is not only reassuring for the customer but also provides a compelling sales argument for the electrical installer. The consumer portal of the Solar Energeasy platform allows consumers to simulate the generation potential of their future installation online, translate it into revenue, calculate their CO2 emission savings and even find the equivalent in the number of trees planted. They can also use the site to find a trustworthy installer close to home and request a quote online. Through the professional portal electrical installers can also make clients aware of dedicated financing solutions that have been made available via Rexel’s trusted financing partner as well as offer additional services such as the cleaning and maintenance of solar panels. These additional services allow installers to offer an end-to-end comprehensive package to their clients making the installation of solar ‘easy’. Installers who subscribe to the platform are added to a Solar Energeasy database to receive requests for quotation from potential customers living in their local area. They also have access to e-learning modules keeping them up-to-date on the latest techniques and are provided with administrative assistance to help them manage the complete process.

Why is this solution needed?

Confidence in the industry has yo-yoed in recent years. Energy prices have been rising but they are still not high enough to compensate for the drop-off in solar PV subsidies in many markets and awareness of solar PV, its suitability over other renewable/energy saving solutions and the financial help available to consumers remains low. Unfortunately, stories of poorly installed solar panels and inferior quality solar panels have also been detrimental to the industry at large and the upfront cost is still a barrier to entry particularly when the return on investment is not known or not explained very well. Yet, we had seen first-hand the difference that solar can make not only in terms of energy generated but also in terms of changing attitudes. Anecdotal evidence suggests that occupants of a building where solar PV has been installed manage their energy consumption more responsibly than before the installation took place.

Another barrier is the lack of awareness and knowledge among consumers, leading them to the conviction that solar PV is not for them. Without really knowing the answer, some consumers will assume their roof is not suitable or that the cost of solar is prohibitive, they may be unaware of the financial incentives available to them, while others may have heard horror stories about poorly fitted installations and cowboy installers.

Why is this solution different?

With Solar Energeasy, for the first time ever, consumers have a guarantee on the energy generation potential of their installation - or their money back! - creating confidence in the sector. The online portal also makes solar energy ‘easy’ to understand for the consumer answering questions such as: Is my rooftop suitable? How much energy will my solar installation generate? What does this mean in CO2 emissions? Where can i find a trusted installer local to me? It also offers installers the tools to provide a complete end-to-end package that includes financing solutions, cleaning and maintenance as well as a guarantee on the generation potential of their client’s installation. The solution also gives consumers access to a bone fide list of professional installers that have been vetted by Rexel.

This is the first time a company is offering an end-to-end Solar PV package for both the installer and the consumer through an extremely user friendly and intuitive online platform, bringing both the installer and consumer a user experience more often associated with purely consumer-facing retail brands. This is the Apple IPhone equivalent of a solar installation package!

Why is Rexel behind this solution?

Rexel has been a distributer of quality Solar PV panels from a range of leading European and international manufacturers for many years. However, in recognition of our unique position in the market between the manufacturers on the one hand and electrical installers on the other, we have been evolving from the traditional “box moving” model to that of an energy solutions provider. This means that today not only do we have the capability to sell a wide range of innovative products but as the “ears” of the industry we are also able to better understand what installers and the end-user want and tailor solutions to their needs. We decided to launch Solar Energeasy because we recognized the potential for growth in solar PV and we were acutely aware of the need for a solution that would boost confidence in the industry among both installers and end-users.

By creating a solar ecosystem that packs all the advantages of solar into a single neat online offering for both the end-user and the installer, we believe Solar Energeasy has the potential to do just that. However, having a user friendly platform was not enough and we decided that if we really wanted to create confidence in the industry we had to put our money where our mouth is and offer a guarantee in the form of compensation if the Solar PV offering did not do “what it said on the tin”. This to our knowledge has never been offered before, but as distributers with access to the latest innovations in solar PV from a wide variety of manufacturers and an unwavering conviction in the quality of the solar panels they supply, we knew the solar panels we offer will perform well. We also believe that our installer and consumer platform is among the most intuitive and comprehensive solar PV platforms today and our database of bone fide professional contractors will give consumers the confidence that their solar PV installation is in safe hands.

We launched Solar Energeasy in Belgium in June with planned roll-outs in both the UK and the Netherlands in October and the potential for further roll-outs across the other 38 countries in which Rexel has a presence. Visit the Belgian website: http://www.solar-energeasy.com/be/fr

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SwissINSO

Kromatix

Colour treated glass for Photovoltaic and Thermal panel applications involves the application of highly efficient and environmentally friendly nanotechnology surface treatments optimized for PV and Thermal panels.

Kromatix technology offers vast new opportunities combining full architectural design flexibility and unparalleled panel aesthetics with optimum panel performance for solar building integration.

Description of Kromatix™ coloured technology:

The coloured glass is obtained by combining two different surface treatments:

  • The deposition by vacuum plasma process of a coloured nano-scaled multi-layered treatment applied to the inner side of the glass.
  • The modification of the glazing outer surface.

The multi-layered treatment is designed:

  • to reflect a narrow spectral band of the visible light, in order to provide a colour, the rest of the solar spectrum being transmitted to the solar device and converted into energy
  • to guarantee limited or negligible (depending on colour) loss of efficiency of the solar devices
  • to ensure a high angular colour stability

    The outer treatment provides diffused reflection:

  • To reinforce the masking effect of the solar device technical parts
  • To prevent glare effects

Colour Principle

In simplified terms, the colour shade is given by the position of the reflection peaks of the  reflectance curve. A good compromise has to be found, as the higher the reflectance, the lower the transmittance and the energetic performance of the solar device on which the coloured glass cover is installed.

Solar Thermal collector

Solar PV Collector

Virtually no effect or compromise in panel performance and efficiency with Kromatix coloured glass versus standard solar glass.

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Module Manufacturing Innovation Award

ET Solar

Cell Optimiser Module "COM"

As an innovator that adopts maximum power point tracking chips, ET Solar developed COM that offers maximum power tracking of individual solar cell string on real-time basis and thus achieves cell string-level power optimization.

The product represents a significant enhancement from the conventional solution that is based on bypass diodes and offers power optimization only at the module-level. Therefore, PV systems using COM would not have module mismatch problems and could increase electricity output by up to 20%.

ET Solar's stringent raw materials selection and robust production control ensure the product's highly reliable performance, minimize hot spot induced system failures and extend system life. With excellent environmental adaptability, the product substantially decreases power loss caused by shading and soiling on module surfaces.

Furthermore, COM would also enable higher density for constrained installation space, and reduce cost of installation, operation & maintenance of the PV system.

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JinkoSolar

JinkoSolar Smart Module

Smart Modules which increase the energy yield by limiting the common power loss caused by shadowing.

Critical module temperatures can be achieved if one solar cell operates in reverse bios of its IV curve. In such cases a power loss drop can be attained at the shaded cell which is followed by temperature increase. The temperature increases by operating the cell in reverse bios is defined as a hotspot. The hotspot is the maijor failor mechanism of solar PV modules.

Thanks to integrated solar cell optimizers hotspots are eliminated in JinkoSolar Smart Modules- that increases energy yields up to 20% compared to standard modules due to shadowing. We are the only company offering 3 smart modules so our customers can choose which technology they prefer: Tigo Solaredge or Maxim- the described anti hot spot technology.

Shadowed modules produce less energy. As it is impossible to avoid shadows completely,clouds can always appear they are a big problem. Our Smart Modules reduce this effect and can increase the energy yields up to 20 % in comparison to regular modules.

Since shading is not a problem for smart modules it is possible to place more modules in a space. For example you dont have to work widely around chimneys. It is more efficient and looks better. The monitoring tools offer security.

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LG Electronics Deutschland GmbH

MonoX ACe

The MonoX ACe from LG Electronics is a breakthrough by combining solar module and inverter for an alternating current (AC) power output (220 V). 1. The high-efficiency solar module rated 300 W has included an inverter/micro-inverter which is permanently installed at the back side of the module. This inverter directly converts the direct-current (DC) power from the solar module into alternating current (AC) power. 2. With the inverter on the backside the known junction box with the bypass diodes is also included and can be saved in production. 3. The usual installation of an external micro-inverter is not necessary any more as it is already integrated in the junction box of LG’s AC module

The innovative approach of the new LG Electronics AC Solar Module differentiates in 3 topics. a) For the string inverter design the solar module with the lowest current determines the performance of the string. With the micro-inverter each solar module contributes its own maximum performance to the system. b) With the micro-inverter there is no need to spend material, costs, and time to install the individual inverter for the module as it is already permanently installed at the module. c) The micro-inverter of the LG Electronics AC Solar Module can deliver from the DC input power (280 W) the same amount of AC output power (280 W), the world best output power. d) LG Electronics provides the total solution (i.e. module + integrated microinverter) and fully warrants the total system. This reduces purchasing complexity for LG Electronics customers as a “one stop shop.

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UAB -Viasolis

Glass-Glass PV Module

In the past and currently, the standard photovoltaic module has been manufactured using 3.2 -4mm glass on the front and a polymer-based insulating back sheet. Despite well known disadvantages of such concept many years has been no real changes to improve technology of manufacturing PV modules.

PV industrial machinery and glass processing technologies limited ability to step-out of using polymer-based backsheet in large scale of PV module production.

Significant step further of glass tempering technology made possible to substitute polimer-based back sheet for ultra thin- 2 mm glass. And ViaSolis is a pioneer of using Glass-Glass PV module manufacturing technology.

Durability of this solution has been proved by production of isolating-glass units more then 50 years, all of us can satisfy in it day after day.

This module provides important advantages incorporate the following features:

More then 6% increased of the module efficiency, determinate by:

  • use of thin glass that increases light transmission. This corresponds to 4% increase in yield (kWh per kWp) or in other words to a reduction of all optical losses in a solar module by 40%
  • anti-reflective glass coating reduces light reflection effect adversely
  • lamination foil specially developed to glass-glass PV industry (PVB) increase a spectrum of use of light waves from 280 nano-meters in length. Standard modules used only on the EVA-320 nano-meters in length that almost 20% shorter
  • ViaSolis PV cell surface specifically designed for the structure of lamination foil, which reduces banding losses up to 60 % (0.8% versus standard module - up to 5%)
  • the PVB film used in the back is extremely bright white (ultra White), which increases the light reflection in the glass top, and the flow cell
  • glass-glass module has better cooling properties. The 1 C° decrease of module temperature increases the p-CI module efficiency of 0.42%
  • Improved life time performance up to 35-40 years/ Durability
  • longer duration of exposure time is achieved by changing the insulating polymer sheet into UV-resistant glass
  • perimeter of the module in 100% is covered with thermoplastic insulation (Butyl), which eliminates access of moisture to the PV cells. The durability tests of PV modules show that the main reason of the fall of the efficiency of the modules is influenced of the penetration of the moisture
  • using the same thickness of material in ViaSolis module creates an ideal module design in terms of mechanical strength. The structure of same thickness glass (top and bottom) determinate the zero-force in the PV cell despite external load forces (wind, snow) that influence PV module during lifetime of it.
  • low vacuum based technology used by ViaSolis for PV module lamination does not create stress to the PV cells. The prismatic structure of PV cell surface is a key factor determining the efficiency of the module. Assurance of stability of prismatic structure of PV cell- essential factor for stability of lifetime efficiency of the module.
  • 25% reduction in PV module weight provide wider utilization (in comparison with standard Glass-Glass modules)
  • The module manufacturing process reduces energy consumption by 59.5%.
  • This factor solves the environmental dispute, which is based on the fact that the most of the electricity used in Asian origin PV module production is produced in the most environmentally harmful way (coal-power plants)

Enhanced usability options

Innovative approach as a optimal weight of the PV module provides extensive product’s integration in to construction and architectural solutions. Via Solis photovoltaic modules can be manufactured according to the needs of individual clients by exploiting the possibilities of the colour spectrum, size, desirable shape, different light transmission or insulating characteristics.

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Rural Electrification Development Award

Phaesun GmbH

BOSS - Business Opportunities With Solar Systems

Off-Grid solar power systems can be an important factor to support rural development in areas that are not connected to the electricity grid. Most projects and concepts for rural electrification target the basic infrastructure needs such as the electrification of hospitals schools local administrations and private households. But the commercial sector is another very important area of activity since prospering commercial activities are essential for the economic development of rural communities and therefore also contribute to social development.

Common names for energy solutions for the commercial sector are productive use of energy or Business Opportunities with Solar Systems (BOSS. As a system integrator the company Phaesun in cooperation with local partners and component manufacturer is developing and implementing different complete solar kits that can be used for income generation in rural non-electrified areas. These solar powered systems for commercial use range from solar powered systems for daily services such as hair cutting TV and cinema mobile phone charging cooling and freezing of food and drinks to food processing such as juice squeezing and grain milling.

Services in rural areas in developing countries are often poorly developed due to the lack of electricity access. The processing trade is often concentrated on urban areas. Off-Grid solar power systems offer a unique opportunity to implement new services in non-electrified rural areas and ensure that further process units will remain in the hands of locals.

These are examples how Phaesun BOSS-Kits are used: Solar phone charging station to enable shop-owners to recharge mobile phones for a fee in areas without grid power= Income for the shop owner. Savings in time and money for mobile phone owners. Solar refrigeration kit to offer cool drinks and to preserve food at grocery stores restaurants etc= Additional income for the entrepreneur and better service for customers. Solar grain mill to mill the grain at the place of production = Higher margin for farmers. By combining many different off-grid solar systems a solar market place can be created that can influence the daily life and prosper of entire communities.

The concept only makes sense if the technical solutions are designed with high quality components and are well adjusted to local needs and climatic conditions. Therefore Phaesun cooperates with local partners in the target areas on the one side for the adjustment of the sets and with component manufacturers on the other hand to select and apply the best fitting components. Phaesun brings in its expertise in the design of complete Off-Grid PV Kits including all components such as high quality solar modules batteries and electronics in combination with the most efficient loads.

The BOSS concept includes a range of different somplete yolar systems for income generation that is being extended continously. IN the following part we describe three single BOSS-systems. The further development of the BOSS concept is the creation of a Solar Market Place. By combining many different off-grid solar systems a solar market place can be created that can influence the daily life and prosper of entire communities. The BOSS Phone Charging Station enables shop-owners to recharge mobile phones for a fee in areas without grid power. 18 plugs make it possible to charge 18 mobile phones at the same time. Optionally an inverter could be integrated to supply an AC-plug. PV-modules recharge the system - the integrated battery makes business activities independent from daytime and weather. Plugs electronics and battery are integrated into one enclosure. The BOSS Refrigeration Kits are the best solution for reliable cooling or freezing needs far from the electricity grid. These kits include the solar fridge Steca PF 166 as well as the entire equipment for charging and installation material. The kits are best suitable for the use in grocery stores restaurants etc. The BOSS Grain Mill is ideal for the milling of all cereals and maize. The milling stones are made out of granite and can be adjusted which makes it possible to produce various meal qualities out of all common types of cereals. The mill is available as complete kit with high efficient AC motor directly served by a solar generator via a control unit.

Rural electrification concepts normally focus the energy supply for private households and public institutions. The Phaesun BOSS-solutions target specifically the commercial sector in non-electrified areas. Single BOSS solutions serve to develop businesses of single entrepreneurs generate income for families and offer jobs independent from an existing infrastructure. Therefore rural development is started from the commercial sector. By offering income sources to people in rural areas the purchasing power can be increased and the value added stays in the rural communities. The combination of several BOSS systems on a village square can influence the development of the commercial and social sectors of entire communities! Daily live in many communities concentrates on village squares. The more opportunities are offered for commercial activities leisure activities and festivities the more lively becomes the village square while the quality of life in rural areas is improved at the same time. Solar power can make a significant contribution to change the village square into the vivacious living centre of a community for activities by day and by night. 

SolarAid

SunnyMoney

International development charity SolarAid established SunnyMoney a visionary social enterprise to revolutionise solar light ownership in Africa by catalysing a market for solar amongst off-grid communities. SolarAid identified the market barriers werent just lack of quality products but one of trust distribution and scale. Solar power was not accessible to the majority markets in Africa those with low incomes living far from the national grid. With this insight SunnyMoney focused its distribution on small portable pico-solar products and took on the challenge of making them affordable available and trusted in rural areas with little infrastructure and poor retail networks. This has been done to great success with over a million solar lights distributed by March 2014 60% of which were sold in that financial year. SunnyMoney has achieved this by developing a community distribution model to raise awareness of solar products in partnership with Ministries of Education in Kenya Zambia Malawi Tanzania and Senegal. As trusted figures in the community teachers play a crucial role in encouraging the adoption of solar technology. They also act as an initial distribution network for early sales by SunnyMoney. As demand grows in the community SunnyMoney then trains and equips local agents to sell solar lights so that they become permanently available and so that the local economy can benefit from the growing solar market. Through this model sales of solar lights have increased exponentially in the last 18 months and SunnyMoney is the lead retailer of solar lights across Africa. SolarAid are utilising this business based approach to catalyse the market for solar on the continent. By proving the potential for and supporting the growth of this market SolarAid aim to tackle both poverty and climate change by providing clean energy for all.

The overall aim of the innovative distribution model is to eradicate the kerosene lamp from Africa by 2020. This requires stimulating a market for solar products that will provide rural low income families the opportunity to invest in them. Kerosene is dangerous and unhealthy but most notably is cripplingly expensive locking families into a cycle of poverty. Kerosene is purchased in small amounts regularly and is readily available. Solar lights are unfamiliar require an upfront substantial investment and are not permanently available in local shops. Availability affordability and most importantly trust in solar are the challenges SunnyMoney aims to address.

SunnyMoney’s community distribution model addresses these challenges by working with education authorities to stimulate demand in communities and build bottom-up distribution networks. Teachers are trusted figures who leading by example encourage communities to invest in solar power. When there is sufficient trust demand and market momentum for local solar light sellers to make a living SunnyMoney sets up agent networks so that products become permanently available in local communities. By proving the commercial viability of solar light distribution the model also encourages other businesses and investors to enter the market spurring further and faster growth.

The community distribution model that is reaching remote rural places is noteworthy because trust is a key barrier to solar adoption. SunnyMoney has achieved the sale of over one million solar lights through its unique partnership with education authorities and by equipping teachers as solar ambassadors. SunnyMoney is the lead retailer of solar lights in Africa and no other solar company has worked at this scale on the continent. Furthermore 90% of SunnyMoney customers live below the poverty line of $1.25 per day. Rural low income families make up the majority population of Africa and SunnyMoney is switching these people to renewable energy. Following the purchase of a $10 solar light they begin to trust solar and aspire to own bigger systems. It is the first step of an energy ladder that will help people break the cycle of poverty and lay the foundations for a successful solar market.

The breakthrough for the SunnyMoney model occurred during an unusually successful sales day at a school on Mafia island off the coast of Tanzania in 2010. On this day SunnyMoney learnt that teachers could play a crucial role in advocating solar technology in their communities. However this learning did not present an economically efficient distribution idea because visiting and supplying solar lights to every school in Africa would be a hugely expensive and time-consuming challenge. But these insights led to the development of a community distribution model that involves collaborating with education authorities to bring school head teachers of regional districts together. At these meetings teachers are educated about the educational health economic and environmental benefits of solar in comparison to kerosene. They are given their own solar light and information to take back to their communities. Equipped as solar advocates the teachers demonstrate the solar light to students parents and elders within their own communities. They act as a point of communication in their village and people place orders for solar lights through the school. A few weeks later the teachers will meet with SunnyMoney again in an agreed location in the district and collect the solar lights ordered by members of their community. The time frame is important for enabling families with a low income to save the $10 needed to invest. By bringing head teachers together training them and incentivising them SunnyMoney reaches huge numbers of people without the need to visit every village. Once the first few solar lights have been bought they begin to shine bright in the village attracting the attention of relatives and neighbours. Word spreads about income saved from no-longer purchasing kerosene improved family health from reduced indoor smoke and the extra study time available to children in the evening. The solar lights become more popular and SunnyMoney continues to make deliveries through the school. This continues until there is enough demand for local entrepreneurs to see the business opportunity in their region and begin to sell solar products locally. SunnyMoney supports these solar agents with marketing materials and training. As families save money and their trust grows the new solar customers choose to invest in bigger better models such as those that charge mobile phones. In this way the solar market continues to grow. The head teachers play a vital role in this process. They receive their own solar light as an incentive but are also motivated by the improved school performance of their students. This innovative distribution model developed from SolarAids’ experiences and insight into community behaviours and needs. Refining the model to bring teachers together rather than sending SunnyMoney to each and every school ensures that the enterprise operates efficiently and benefits from the teachers respected position in society. Equipping local entrepreneurs to benefit from increasing demand is crucial to ensuring a sustainable solution to energy access for remote rural areas. In this way the kerosene lamp will be eradicated from the continent by 2020 and the millions currently living without power will gain access to electricity for the first time.

There are many charities and companies creating solar products for Africa. The challenge is making them available at scale. This requires an economically viable solution. The market conditions of rural areas (where 91% of sub-Saharan Africa live without power are currently too challenging for commercial interest. As a social enterprise founded by SolarAid the overheads of the business are funded by the charity. This enables SunnyMoney to undertake the necessary steps to catalysing a market that will become economically viable. This year SunnyMoney’s operations in two of its programme countries Kenya and Tanzania will become financially self-sustaining and no-longer reliant on charitable funding - thus proving the commercial opportunity for solar products. This will attract other companies to enter the market and spur growth. 100% of excess revenue generated by SunnyMoney in Kenya and Tanzania will be recycled back into the charity as SolarAid and SunnyMoney expand into new countries and increase their policy and advocacy work for off-grid renewable solutions across the continent. This breaks with convention because of the sheer ambition of the goal and the unique charitable model that is using charitable funding to catalyse a market that will support local economies and attract the investment that will encourage further product development availability and competition. Its community distribution model and partnership with education authorities makes it unique capitalising on teacher and parent interest to improve their childrens education in order to inspire solar light ownership in rural places. The sales growth demonstrates more than marginal improvement. In 2011 SunnyMoney had sold just 11000 solar lights (less than 1000 per month it is now selling 65000 per month and continuing to grow.

Victron Energy B.V.

EasySolar

Victron Energy, a Dutch power solutions provider behind EasySolar, all-in-one solar power solution; combining an ultra-fast MPPT solar charge controller, an inverter/charger and AC distribution, all in one enclosure

EasySolar, is an integrated, smart, total power solution. All that is needed to reap the full benefit of solar energy is EasySolar, some solar panels and batteries. EasySolar takes power solutions one stage further; by combining an Ultra fast BlueSolar charge controller (MPPT), an inverter/charger and AC distribution all in one enclosure.

With an extensive reduction in wiring EasySolar provides ease of use combined with a maximum return on investment. When using the 24V model, it is possible to use up to 1400 Watt of solar power and with 1600VA continuous inverter power, even peaks of 3000 Watt can behandled without any problems.

EasySolar features:

  • Solar charge control with the BlueSolar MPPT 75/50
  • Up to three strings of solar panels can be connected with three sets of PV connectors.
  • The MPPT charge controller controls the voltage for the consumer and the batteries.
  • Inverter/charger providing 1600VA continuous inverter power
  • The MPPT charge controller and the inverter/charger share the DC battery cables so no additional wiring is needed.
  • The batteries can be charged with solar power and/or with AC power from the utility grid or a genset.
  • The inverter/charger can provide 1600 VA continuous inverter power, so even peaks of 3000 Watt can be handled by

The AC distribution consists of an RCD and four AC outputs protected by circuit breakers. One output is controlled by the AC input and will switch on only when AC is available.

No additional fuse box is needed any more; EasySolar provides an easy to use, cost efficient and safe solution for AC distribution at for example a holiday home.

Added to all this, unique PowerAssist technology protects the utility or generator supply from being overloaded, by adding extra inverter power when needed.

Key Dates

Nominations open 1st March 2016
Nominations close 6th May 2016
Voting opens 19th May 2016
Voting closes 14th June 2016
Winners informed 15th June 2016
Awards ceremony 22nd June 2016