The Global Journal for Solar and PV Manufacturing Professionals
Volume 3 Number 6 June 2010
Increasing the efficiency of solar panel production, test and inspection processes Measuring power output of solar cells using standard test equipment The economic manufacturing of semitransparent BIPV modules Solar production to become greener
NEW PRODUCTS INDUSTRY NEWS INTERNATIONAL DIARY
Increase Cell Efficiency RD
T E C H N OL O G
N NER 200
rofiler SunKIC P ermal process th e Spectrum n softwar io optimizat
Ingrediee-nClipse - the award w 1 each 1 each 1 each
C attach inning T
seconds) na ler and ru ) fi r waf o u r o p y e IC d K li 1. S to the Sun rnace (1-2 minutes e s p li C e fu t the ation 2. Connec your metallization ss optimiz e c o r p e h t in rnace profile ance of ery best fu nds) g perform v n e li h k t r s a t p c s the lly sele 30 seco 3. Watch utomatica rnative recipes (10a it s a nd e r softwa ew setup a ns of alte n o e li h t il t m a e m c furna he case setup fro ells in the iencies (0.51% in t er) c r u o y e r pap ffic actu 4. Manuf he increase in cell e KIC for the research t t e ontac measur ction s study. C u e a r e our produ cess H y e e h r u s of t e k a ro sary to m e sweet spot of the p s e c e n s a 5. Repeat always stay in th furnaces ) r monthly o ly k e e w (
s: n o pse (10-20 i t li c C e u r e t h t s o In er int
KIC World Headquarters 858.673.6050 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kicthermal.com
KIC International Sales - Europe +39.06.4547.3670 email@example.com www.kicthermal.com
KIC International Sales - Singapore +65.6744.4998 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kicthermal.com
KIC International Sales - China +86.512.6763.5171 email@example.com www.kic.cn
Global Solar Technology is distributed by controlled circulation to qualified personnel. For all others, subscriptions are available at a cost of £110/US $220/€165 for the current volume (6 issues).
There’s a real gulf between us and a vibrant solar industry! Alan Rae
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise— without the prior written consent of the publisher. No responsibility is accepted for the accuracy of information contained in the text, illustrations or advertisements. The opinions expressed in the articles are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher.
© Trafalgar Publications Ltd.
18 Solar production to become greener 22 Show Preview: Intersolar North America 28 Show report: Intersolar Europe climbs to new heights
Designed and Published by Trafalgar Publications, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Volume 3, Number 6 June 2010
Increasing the efficiency of solar panel production, test and inspection processes Jason Goerges, ACS Motion Control
10 Measuring power output of solar cells using standard test equipment Bob Zollo, Agilent Technologies Inc., Santa Clara, California, USA
14 The economic manufacturing of semi-transparent BIPV modules Jürg Zahnd and Ronald F.M. Lange, 3S Swiss Solar Systems AG, Lyss, Switzerland Special Features
14 EVA I
4 24 26 36
Industry News Analyst Buzz New Products Events Calendar
Visit the website for more news & content: www.globalsolartechnology.com.
Not made for manual handling: Brazing individual solar cells to form strings is a hot topic: many brazing metals contain poisonous lead. (Photo: Aleo Solar)
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 1
Europe Global Solar Technology Trafalgar Publications Ltd Unit 18, 2 Lansdowne Crescent Bournemouth Dorset, BH1 1SA United Kingdom Tel: +44 7766 951665 firstname.lastname@example.org www.globalsolartechnology.com United States Global Solar Technology PO Box 7579 Naples, FL 34102, USA Tel: +1 (239) 245-9264 email@example.com China Global Solar Technology Electronics Second Research Institute No.159, Hepin South Road Taiyuan City, PO Box 115, Shanxi, Province 030024, China Tel: +86 (351) 652 3813 Editor-in-Chief—Trevor Galbraith Mobile: +1 (239) 245-9264 x101 firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor—Heather Lackey email@example.com Technical Editor—Dr. Alan Rae firstname.lastname@example.org Editor—Debasish Choudhury email@example.com Circulation and Subscriptions Tel:+1 (239) 245-9264 x106 firstname.lastname@example.org
Print & Digital - Europe Adela Ploner +49 08131/3669920 email@example.com (UK & Ireland): Donal McDonald Tel: +353 86 2485842 firstname.lastname@example.org
Print - North America Ron Friedman Tel:+1 (239) 245-9264 x103 email@example.com Digital - North America Sandy Daneau Tel: +1 (239) 245-9264 x104 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Alan Rae
Technical Editor, Global Solar Technology
There’s a real gulf between us and a vibrant solar industry! The gulf is the difference between the cost of electricity generated by solar and the price generated by conventional energy sources. Will the catastrophe in the other Gulf—the Gulf of Mexico—help to close the first gulf? The firm answer is—it depends. Consider the following: The Gulf produces 30% of the USA’s oil and gas. BP is one of the largest operators in the area. Despite other oil companies testifying that this a BP problem and not an inherent deep drilling problem, we have a government-imposed moratorium in this and other areas, which means that we will have a shortage of domestic oil from the gulf and a lack of new continental shelf oil. Will this cause a dramatic spike in gas prices? Probably not…until US demand starts to pick up (no sign of that as summer gas consumption is the lowest for several years and public sector layoffs are only just starting), or Europe starts to pick up (no sign of that with the austerity measures in Germany and the crises in Greece and elsewhere). Asian manufacturers despite growing internal market still need the export market to keep their economies humming. What has changed is the public perception of energy, the huge role played by fossil fuels and their risks. Natural gas is being portrayed as a clean fuel (it does have a lower carbon footprint than either oil or coal) but coal is being dragged down by its image. “Clean coal” isn’t here yet, and the costs and environmental impact of CO2 sequestration are uncertain.
The role of water (the next crisis) in energy production is not well known. Almost 50% of our water consumption is used in thermal electricity generation in the USA—higher even than agriculture— according to The US Geological Service. The only non-water intensive power generation routes are wind and solar. We are continuing to see strong growth in wind power—moving offshore as well as onshore. Nuclear is also a beneficiary of the current sentiment early on, but it is a big water user (you’ve seen the cooling towers). On solar, our prices are coming downward rapidly, and the number of technical solutions is increasing. We are getting much more competitive and our industry is growing. The really big growth will happen only if governments have an integrated energy policy that recognizes the actual cost of different energy sources and adjusts policies accordingly. Will that happen in a climate of high unemployment, financial uncertainty, political bitterness and ballooning deficits? The jury is still out. In this issue, we’ll learn about making BIPV more efficient as well as pleasing to the eye, and focus on test and measurement to improve our effectiveness and efficiency even more! Our industry has a really compelling story to tell, and the public will now be more inclined to listen. —Alan Rae, PhD
Asia/Pacific Print - Debasish Choudhury Tel: +91 120 6453260 email@example.com 2 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
of your success
Silver pastes for a solar powered future Heraeus Photovoltaic Materials Group is a world leader in developing front and back cell silver pastes for crystalline solar cells. Our frontside pastes offer higher efficiencies and greater aspect ratios to create optimum electrical performance. Our backside bus bar silver pastes are lead-free and offer industry-leading adhesion and coverage. We also offer customizable formulations to meet the exact requirements you need to support your silicon PV cell manufacturing. We have production plants and application labs in Asia, Europe and North America so we can respond quickly to your business needs. Our dedicated personnel provide unmatched local technical and sales support. Call us, and we will help you improve your output and process and provide more information on how we can precisely produce the material and technology you need.
Learn more. Visit our website or contact us today.
Heraeus Materials Technology LLC Photovoltaic Group West Conshohocken, PA 19428 USA +1 610-825-6050 www.pvsilverpaste.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Industry News news Industry
Industry news SunPower and Flextronics deal presages boom in solar cell contract manufacturing An announced deal between SunPower Corp. and Flextronics International Ltd. represents the early stages of a boom in solar panel contract manufacturing driven by a rapid expansion in demand, according to iSuppli Corp. SunPower said it has partnered with Flextronics to begin manufacturing solar panels in Milpitas, Calif. by the end of 2010. The company said the California location will allow it to quickly and cost-effectively supply solar panels to solar installations at homes, power plants and commercial and public facilities throughout the Western United States. Flextronics is expected to produce 75 megawatts worth of SunPower solar panels annually. “iSuppli believes SunPower’s move is part of an emerging trend in the solar market that closely parallels the situation in the electronics market in early 1990s,” said Greg Sheppard, chief research officer for iSuppli. “Faced with rapidly exploding demand, the need to produce products close to end markets and the requirement to obtain sufficient capital, electronic OEMs in the early 1990s turned to electronics manufacturing services (EMS) companies like Flextronics for help. This led to a massive boom in electronics outsourcing and explosive growth in the EMS business. In the early 2010s, a new EMSboom is starting up, this time in the solar panel business.” Contract manufacturers in 2010 will manufacture 1.1 gigawatts (GW) worth of solar panels, up 200 percent from 369 megawatts (MW) in 2009. The remainder of production will be accounted for by dedicated solar panel makers and other firms. By 2014, contract manufacturing of solar panels will nearly quadruple, rising to 4.1GW. The attached figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of global contract manufacturing of solar panels in terms of Gigawatts. One major factor causing solar panel makers to turn to EMS providers is the rapid expansion of the market. iSuppli predicts solar installations will rise to 13.6GW in 2010, up 93.6 percent from 7.0GW in 2009. “Solar panel makers now are running their factories at 90 percent of capacity, straining their capability to meet demand,” Sheppard said. “Additional production capacity is in critical need right now. Outsourcing of manufacturing provides access to that essential capacity.” The SunPower/Flextronics deal and other solar contract manufacturing work also allows for localized production. “Panel production conducted close to the endmarket can minimize logistics costs associated with shipping, breakage and inventory,” Sheppard observed. “In a market where every penny per megawatt counts, this can help tremendously.” Sheppard also noted that access to capital to invest in production is challenging for panel suppliers to obtain. Outsourcing mitigates this challenge. Finally, working with EMS providers reduces risk for companies entering the solar value chain. For example, leading solar cell maker Q-Cells SE now is working with Flextronics also as it diversifies into the panel business. www.isuppli.com Heraeus names Dr. Weiming Zhang VP, technology, photovoltaic business unit Dr. Weiming Zhang has been promoted to the new post of vice president, technology, for Heraeus’ Photovoltaic Business Unit. Dr. Zhang has spent 11 years at Heraeus Conshohocken, most recently as the global technology manager for Photovoltaic materials. Dr. Zhang graduated from Missouri Rolla with a PhD in ceramic engineering. www.heraeus.com
4 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
SOLEXEL licenses methods for thinfilm solar cell technology Imec has agreed to grant SOLEXEL a non-exclusive license on selected patents related to thin-film solar cell technology. These licenses will help SOLEXEL Inc. in the development and commercialization of next-generation high-efficiency thin-film photovoltaic arrays and solar modules. Imec has an extended patent portfolio relating to solar technology, which it makes available for licensing to the photovoltaics industry. The technology that SOLEXEL licenses from imec relates to a method to deposit a thin film of monocrystalline material on a substrate. To increase the efficiency of the resulting solar device, the method advocated depositing a porous Si layer between the substrate and the thin film. This porous Si layer has both lightreflecting and light-diffusing properties, which helps confining the incoming light in the thin-film layer, thereby improving the efficiency of the cell. imec.be SoloPower achieves record flexible module efficiency
The National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, have confirmed that SoloPower’s flexible solar panels have achieved an aperture efficiency of 11%. The modules, manufactured using the company’s proprietary low cost electroplated copper indium gallium di-selenide (CIGS) process, were submitted to NREL for verification earlier this year. The CIGS devices are laminated in an encapsulation system that provides a moisture barrier and environmental integrity. The rugged lowcost, high-efficiency module is expected to address the rapidly expanding commercial and industrial rooftop and distributed solar power generation market. Also using SoloPower’s patented electroplating process, the company had previously demonstrated 13.4% efficiency on 11.8cm2 lab cells (verified by NREL). SoloPower
has submitted its flexible module for independent laboratory certification to standard UL1703 following successful internal verification including damp-heat testing. Internal results demonstrated minimal power degradation (<5% Pmax) with over 1000 hours at 85 percent humidity and 85°C temperature. www.SoloPower.com Innovalight establishes new record with Silicon Ink solar cells Innovalight, Inc., achieved a new record of 19 percent conversion efficiency with silicon ink processed solar cells. The conversion efficiency of a solar cell is the proportion of sunlight energy that a cell converts to electrical energy. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Germany, an official independent solar cell testing center, also measured the results on industry standard size cells made by Innovalight. Dr. Homer Antoniadis, chief technology officer at Innovalight, presented the results at 2010 SNEC in Shanghai. www.innovalight.com, www.ise.fraunhofer.de LDK Solar reaches 2.0 GW wafer production capacity LDK Solar Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers and PV products, reached the milestone of 2.0 gigawatts (GW) annualized capacity at its wafer plant. Mr. Xiaofeng Peng, founder, Chairman and CEO hosted a ceremony to celebrate the achievement at the company’s facilities in Xinyu City, China in conjunction with its previously announced Investor Day. www.ldksolar.com Bloo Solar selects CVD Equipment Corporation to design and manufacture equipment for TCO coatings CVD Equipment Corporation provides unique transparent conductive oxide (TCO) coating equipment designs and manufacturing capabilities for a key process step in large scale thin film solar cell manufacturing. Bloo Solar, a West Sacramento renewable solar energy company, has selected CVD Equipment Corporation to develop and manufacture the equipment for its unique 3rd generation 3D architecture, thin film solar module. Bloo Solar has started its “Solar Brush” wafer development production run, which it plans to bring to market with initial commercial modules in 2012. Bloo Solar’s “Solar Brush” is a 3rd generation technology that has many fundamental advantages over existing PV
technologies that rely on traditional planar solar cells. The three dimensional single junction architecture provides more surface area, superior light trapping and minimum recombination to provide higher efficiency and a total power output up to 1.5 to 3 times higher than current technologies. www.bloosolar.com, www.CVDequipment.com Oerlikon Solar receives new technology certifications for thin film PV Oerlikon Solar has received several key technology certifications that will help its customers bring thin film PV to market even more quickly. The certifications include a UL(R) Master Certificate for solar PV and an expanded TUV Rheinland IEC certification for a new 130 Watt-peak (Wp) highly efficient module design. Oerlikon Solar’s R&D efforts are focused on lowering the module manufacturing cost of thin film silicon PV below $0.70 per watt by the end of 2010. These new technology certifications validate Oerlikon’s ability to provide not only lower cost, but the highest quality and reliability. www.oerlikon.com/solar Dow Corning Solar and Krayden sign distribution agreement to support industry growth Krayden, Inc., a leading silicone supplier that specializes in technical knowledge and support for high tech-based applications, signed a distribution agreement with Dow Corning Solar Solutions, a global leader in silicones and silicone-based technology, to address growing industry needs in solar manufacturing. Krayden, Inc. is now an authorized distributor of Dow Corning Solar Solutions’ PV-based silicone materials. Krayden, Inc. offers manufacturetrained representatives for both established and new silicone materials being developed by Dow Corning to increase efficiency in the solar panel and photovoltaic manufacturing industries. Many new materials are being produced by Dow Corning aimed at significantly increasing production rate and lowering the watt of solar power. Some silicone products in demand include encapsulants, PV cell and module coatings, PV junction box potting agents, PV rail bond adhesives, PV frame sealants and PV junction box adhesives. These products, along with technical support in applications, will be more accessible to a broader spectrum in the solar panel industry with the distribution services now offered by Krayden, Inc. www.krayden.com, www.dowcorning.com/solar
OPEL Solar expands North American manufacturing OPEL Solar, Inc., is qualifying a number of manufacturing companies to build its product line in North America. Company officials say the manufacture of its HCPV panels and tracker products, with the support of local industry in the United States and Canada, will not only ensure expeditious and cost-effective delivery of North American orders but contribute to the growth of jobs and the green economy. OPEL Solar is qualifying U.S. manufacturers in nine states across the United States. In Canada, the company is ready with a number of suppliers in the Toronto area. www.opelinc.com Siemens to expand competence in solar business Siemens Energy is to acquire a 28 percent stake in the Italian solar company Archimede Solar Energy S.p.A. and thus expand its competencies for solar thermal power plants. ASE is the sole producer of solar receivers operating with molten salt as the heat transfer fluid. Siemens is market leader in steam turbine-generators for solar thermal power plants. By combining these two technologies Siemens wants to enhance the efficiency of these plants and further reduce the production costs for solar power. The two companies did not disclose the purchase price of the shares. Siemens will provide capital for fast expansion of production capacities, with the possibility to acquire a majority stake in the solar company in the midterm. Construction of a new factory for the production of solar receivers, which is scheduled to be up and running in 2010, will begin before the end of this year. www.siemens.com/energy, www.angelantoni.it Day4 Energy announces agreement to acquire ACI-ecotec GmbH & Co. KG Day4 Energy Inc. has entered into an agreement in principle to acquire ACIecotec GmbH & Co. KG, a privately owned specialized photovoltaic (PV) equipment design and manufacturing company based in Germany. Day4 will acquire 100% of ACI in an all-stock transaction of up to 10.8 million shares of Day4 subject to post closing adjustment. The acquisition is subject to the completion of definitive documentation, approval of these documents by Day4’s directors and obtaining all required consents and approvals, including the Continued on page 29
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 5
Increasing the efficiency of solar panel production, test and inspection processes
Increasing the efficiency of solar panel production, test and inspection processes Jason Goerges, ACS Motion Control
A consistent challenge for system and production engineers of solar panel manufacturing companies is to design production line machines that provide the high level of motion control coordination and sub-micron positioning necessary for laser scribing, automated vision and optical inspection, material handling, etc., while keeping the control system easy to develop, maintain, interface with and reproduce. By selecting a control system that is both fully integrated—combining motion controller, motor drives, power supplies and I/O control all in one enclosure—and dedicated to multi-axis motion control, the machine designer can reduce the footprint and cost, improve motion performance and allow production engineers to increase the efficiency of their production, test and inspection processes.
Keywords: Control Systems, Panel Production, Multi-Axis Motion Control
6 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
Figure 1. Example gantry stage.
Many machines, from the front end to the back end of a panel production line, rely heavily on tightly coordinated high-speed motion. Tasks of these machines often include laser scribing, photovoltaic cell and scribe line inspection, panel printing, IV mapping and more. In terms of motion performance, these types of machines have some of the most demanding requirements in any field of automated production, easily rivaling the more traditionally well-known high-end motion control seen in the semiconductor, flat panel display and hard disk drive industries. Because of this, PLCs, PACs and even many general-purpose motion controllers and servo drive networks that are more than adequate for a large range of automation processes cannot not provide the ultra-fast multi-axis servo update rates and motion trajectory synchronization speeds required to efficiently produce the latest solar panel designs.
For example, many laser-scribing machines require a gantry style mechanical stage to transport the laser heads over a stationary panel, or to transport the panel over stationary laser heads, at sufficiently high speeds during the panel scribing process (Figure 1). To achieve the best possible control of such a system, the actuators and position sensors involved should be treated as one single multiinput multi-output (MIMO) servo system, comprised of multiple electromechanically coupled axes, instead of being treated as independent servo axes. With a PLC or general purpose motion controller that communicates to multiple independent servo drives, this MIMO servo approach is impossible to implement, ultimately limiting the motion performance of the system. In fact, a multi-axis motion controller that cannot provide high servo and coordinated motion trajectory update rates at well under 100 microseconds for
Increasing the efficiency of solar panel production, test and inspection processes
all axes in the system will not be able to achieve the needed motion performance. To reach the uniquely high levels of coordination and control required for many panel production processes, a truly dedicated multi-axis motion control platform must be employed. As mentioned above, a PLC based platform or inferior ‘independent axis based’ motion control platform can ultimately limit acheivable throughput, accuracy and precision in the production processes. Until recently, many multi-axis control systems have been relatively expensive and complex to design and maintain. In general, a dedicated multi-axis motion controller must be utilized along with high performance drives, and a corresponding power distribution network must be designed, with close attention paid to minimizing EMI and electrical noise and crosstalk. A control panel or chassis must then be designed to house all of the components, and either through a common backplane or through manual wiring, all of the components must be electrically interfaced. Such a design task can take months or years to complete, and is expensive to reproduce in mass quantities. Also, if a new machine model is designed with new mechanics or actuators, the control system must be redesigned to potentially accommodate new control, drive and power distribution components. Because of these significant expenses and design considerations, many solar panel manufacturers have been slow to employ production machines based on multi-axis motion control platforms. Instead, control systems designed for general automation are often used. When the semiconductor manufacturing sector was in a more adolescent state, similar to the solar panel manufacturing market of today, similar considerations limited the rate at which multi-axis control platforms entered the production tool landscape. Eventually, however, the need for advanced, higher performance motion, in direct correlation with Moore’s Law, dictated the emergence of dedicated motion control platform-based machines that have dominated much of the semiconductor manufacturing market in recent decades. To reiterate, the benefits of high-end multi-axis motion controller products in terms of added motion performance have been often outweighed by significant design and integration effort and expense. The need to resolve such barriers and employ dedicated motion controllers has led to the development of one of the latest
advances in the motion control industry, a fully integrated modular motion control system. Such a platform takes all of the devices typically associated with a motion control system—motion controller, PLC, motor drives/amplifiers, power supplies and distribution—which generally each have their own hardware footprint and software interface requiring integration effort, and integrates them all into one neat, compact enclosure. This approach to machine control alleviates a great deal responsibility of the electrical design engineer staff, and saves countless hours of integration and maintenance. The burden of designing the power supply distribution, the logical signal distribution and connectivity of signals is taken from the machine builder and/or integrator and given to the control platform vendor. Instead of designing a new, custom control system for every machine, the fully integrated modular motion control system allows the designer to standardize an entire line of machines on a single platform with common hardware and software support. This allows for greater reliability and scalability for large volume production lines requiring many machines. Case study One company that has taken advantage of such an approach is a rapidly growing leader in the global solar panel market with large volume production based in the US. This company has recently standardized the machine control of their production line tools on a fully integrated, modular motion control platform, namely the MC4U from ACS Motion Control.
“Until recently, many multi-axis control systems have been relatively expensive and complex to design and maintain.” Control system engineers have benefited from the integrated control platform in several respects (Figure 2). Reduced machine footprint First, the high level of integration of a fully integrated, modular motion control system allowed a tremendous reduction in machine footprint. By selecting a control system with an 8-axis motion controller, eight axes of universal electric motor drives and internal power supply distribution was completely integrated into a single enclosure. In addition, wiring between controllers and drives and breakout terminals for logic signals was completely eliminated. This reduced footprint significantly but also greatly reduced time for installation and maintenance. Flexibility and interchangeability Second, design engineers utilized the universal multi-axis servo drives of the fully integrated, modular motion control platform. These drives are universal in that the same drive can run all types of electric, including DC brush, DC brushless (two or three phase), voice coil, two-phase stepper
Figure 2. MC4U modular motion control platform.
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 7
Increasing the efficiency of solar panel production, test and inspection processes
(open loop mode or closed loop servo mode), five-phase stepper (open loop mode or closed loop servo mode), and AC induction. This flexibility allowed the exact same modular control system to control a variety of machines on the production line and employed various motor technologies according to the specific needs of the given machine axes. Modularity of the drives as simple plug in cards allows components from one machine to be available for use on other machines during testing and debugging exercises as well, minimizing the spare parts material list for the entire line.
“Without a dedicated servo analysis and design environment, the motion control system will never be able to reach full potential in terms of motion performance.” Custom FPGA boards not needed Third, control engineers were able to utilize specialized features inherent to the MC4U platform for panel production specific processes. Multi-axis true gantry control enabled a performance unachievable with networked independent axis servo drives. High-speed position dependent I/Os allow the triggering of cameras and lasers at very exact positions with sub-microsecond delays. Without such features available on the control system, custom FPGA boards must be designed to handle special high-speed signals and integrated into the overall control system. High-resolution onboard controller encoder interpolation hardware circuits and software algorithms allow for moving linear motors using high precision encoders on the order of meters per second, while still maintaining position resolutions on the order of nanometers. Best possible motion performance Fourth, the use of a single off-the-shelf modular platform across the entire production line allowed for standardization on a common setup and analysis environment. Though the hardware design and architecture is critical in determining motion performance capability of a motion control platform, just as important is the
8 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
Figure 3. FRF analyzer.
Figure 4. Scope.
availability of user-friendly software tools for setup, configuration, system tuning and software code editing and debugging. A soft scope for viewing motion related parameters such as motion, velocity, following error; and frequency response based analysis and design tools allow control engineers to optimize servo loops and adjust system responses to achieve the best possible motion performance (Figures 2 and 3). Without a dedicated
servo analysis and design environment, the motion control system will never be able to reach full potential in terms of motion performance. Common control platform Fifth, a single software interface to production host equipment was utilized with the fully integrated modular motion control system. Passing crucial information between the central production host
Increasing the efficiency of solar panel production, test and inspection processes
network and all of the machines on the production floor required the motion devices to interface to the host. With a fully integrated machine control system, the host interfaced to a single entity on each machine. With a non-integrated control system, the host may have to interface with several different devices, complicating the user interface software immensely. The MC4U platform software package included libraries necessary for communications with a host in Visual Basic, C#, LabView, .NET, C++, etc. With all machines on the line utilizing a common control platform, the host program used the same source code syntax for all data transfers, where the low level calls simply are sent to appropriate IP addresses corresponding to the different machines. Conclusion As panel features and thicknesses shrink and desired efficiencies grow, new designs of solar panels are putting more aggressive demands on the motion control systems of the machines that manufacture
them. Many of these machines require a specialized motion controller to handle the extremely high processing speeds and specialized algorithms required for complex multi-axis coordinated motion; however the intense effort required for integration of such specialized controllers has been a limiting factor in their use in the solar panel manufacturing arena. General automation and programmable logic controllers are often easily scalable to incorporate motion control and are ideal for lower precision automation and manufacturing but cannot provide the motion performance required to improve certain panel production processes. The fully integrated modular motion control platform has allowed panel manufacturers and design engineers to eliminate much of the integration effort associated with a traditional motion control platform. Standardizing on such a platform has provided additional benefits, including footprint and cost reduction, an offthe-shelf dedicated multi-axis motion software interface, and access to specialized hardware and software that can be directly
“As panel features and thicknesses shrink and efficiencies grow, new designs are putting more aggressive demands on motion control systems.” used for panel production processes including laser scribing, cell inspection and quantitative efficiency measurements. Jason Goerges is an account manager and application engineer with ACS Motion Control.
World Leaders in Photovoltaic Sealants & Potting Compounds • Superior Long term Performance • Excellent resistance to Environmental and UV Exposure • Superior Bond Strength and Integrity Tonsan sealants and dispensing systems are world leaders in quality and performance. Tonsan, Asia’s leading manufacturer of PV sealants and potting compounds, have applied their experience in chemistry, materials engineering, and photovoltaic manufacturing in order to optimize the performance of dispensing
systems for several applications. Tonsan’s dispensing systems provide significantly reduced materials costs, less waste, more efficient application, and reduced maintenance and cleaning. For further information www.tonsan.com www.christopherweb.com
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 9
Measuring power output of solar cells using standard test equipment
Measuring power output of solar cells using standard test equipment Bob Zollo, Agilent Technologies Inc., Santa Clara, California, USA
This article covers three subject areas. The first, solar cell test requirements, covers the different kinds of power test instrumentation, the differences between cells and modules, and the impact of those differences on testing. Next up is selecting the right test equipment, which looks at the differences and benefits of standard, off-theshelf test equipment vs. turnkey systems. Thirdly, the area of making measurements will be covered. The article will describe how to characterize the output voltage/current curve and how to determine key parameters: open circuit voltage, short circuit current, max power output, voltage at max power, current at max power and fill factor. It will then look at approaches to capture measurements during flash testing. Finally, the article will cover considerations for testing outdoors in real sunlight. Keywords: Testing, Cells, Modules, Testing Outdoors, Loads
10 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
Figure 1. Solar cell I-V curve.
Introduction In a world dealing with environmental issues and energy shortages, the promise of clean, renewable energy from solar power is driving development of solar cell technologies. This growth in the solar industry has intensified the need for solar cell (and solar module) test and measurement solutions. Typical measurements There are several key parameters that are typically measured on solar cells. • Open-circuit voltage (Voc)—The cell voltage at which point there is zero current flow • Short-circuit current (Isc)—The current flowing out of the cell when the load resistance is zero • Maximum power output of the cell (Pmax)—The voltage and current point where the cell is generating its
maximum power. The Pmax point on an I-V curve is often referred to as the maximum power point (MPP). • Voltage at Pmax (Vmax)—The cell’s voltage level at Pmax • Current at Pmax (Imax)—The cell’s current level at Pmax • Conversion efficiency of the device (η)—The percentage of power converted (from absorbed light to electrical energy) and collected when a solar cell is connected to an electrical circuit. This term is calculated using the ratio of the maximum power point, Pmax, divided by the input light irradiance (E, in W/m²) under standard test conditions (STC) and the surface area of the solar cell (Ac in m²).
Measuring power output of solar cells using standard test equipment
“ This maximum current and power may be acceptable for testing smaller individual cells, but as cell technology pushes for higher efficiency, higher current density and larger cell sizes, the power output could quickly exceed the maximum ratings of these 4-quadrant supplies.” Figure 2. Measuring I-V curve using an electronic load in CV mode.
• Fill factor (FF)—The ratio of the maximum power point, Pmax, divided by the open circuit voltage (Voc) and the short circuit current (Isc):
• Cell diode properties • Cell series resistance • Cell shunt resistance (or parallel resistance) Common solutions Today, solar cell test solutions come in two main forms: complete turnkey systems and general-purpose test instruments. Complete turnkey systems work well for validation and manufacturing, where these systems ensure test repeatability, as they are programmed to perform a specific battery of tests on the solar cell. Researchers will often turn to generalpurpose test instruments found in semiconductor design labs. Researchers use semiconductor device parameter analyzers for measuring diode device characteristics and LCR meters for measuring material/ device inductance, capacitance, and resistance. When testing at full solar cell output power is needed, many research labs will have low power 4-quadrant power supplies (sometimes called an SMU) that can: • Accurately source positive and negative voltages. Sourcing is also called forcing. • Accurately source positive and negative
currents. Sourcing negative current is also known as sinking current into the supply. • Accurately measure the voltage and current at the DUT. Measuring is also called sensing. While these 4-quadrant supplies are highly versatile, they are limited in range of maximum current and power that can be delivered to the DUT. Most accurate 4-quadrant supplies are limited to 3 A or 20 W continuous power. This maximum current and power may be acceptable for testing smaller individual cells, but as cell technology pushes for higher efficiency, higher current density and larger cell sizes, the power output could quickly exceed the maximum ratings of these 4-quadrant supplies. Solar modules often exceed 50 W output and can climb as high as 300 W or more, meaning many of the tests on modules can’t be done with a 4-quadrant supply. In these cases, engineers should to turn to standard-off-the-shelf electronic loads, dc power supplies, and DMMs, data acquisition equipment, including temperature measurement, scanning, switching, and data logging to give them the flexibility they need to conduct unique tests over a wide operating range and with the desired measurement accuracy. For example, you can use a data acquisition system to scan temperature of ambient, temperature of DUT, voltage of calibrated reference cell, and various other test
parameters that need to be captured during the test. Testing outdoors Some engineers will run tests using turnkey solar cell testers that employ a solar simulator, which is a standardized light source where they can control the light energy into the solar cell. When the solar cells or modules become very large, solar simulators are not able produce adequate light. For example, the solar module being tested might be part of large outdoor solar collection system. In this case, the sun itself would be the only practical light source for the test. Since it is not practical to transport a full turnkey tester—sans solar simulator—outdoors, this test would need to be moved off of the turnkey system and replaced by some other test solution built up from standard test instruments. Another consideration when testing outdoors is temperature. Since cell performance is impacted by temperature, it will be necessary to monitor the temperature during test with some form of data acquisition or temperature measurement system. Not only is cell performance temperature dependent, but so is the performance of the test equipment. Many instrument vendors do not specify the performance of their test equipment outside of a narrow range near room temperature, such as 25˚ C +/- 5˚C. Vendors of high quality test equipment will provide a temperature coefficient specification, which allows you
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 11
Measuring power output of solar cells using standard test equipment
“Because this is done as a fast sweep, the whole test can be conducted in approximately one second before the cell heats up and changes temperature due to heating effects of intense light sources” to adjust the accuracy specifications of the test equipment to correct for operation in temperatures outside of its specified operating range. Therefore, to properly use test equipment outdoors where it is operated at an uncontrolled temperature, you need to know the temperature and adjust for the change in accuracy as dictated by the temperature coefficient specification. Loads for higher power testing For higher power applications, a standard electronic load can be used to test solar cells. Many engineers will not think of an electronic load for testing solar cells, as they are accustomed to either turnkey systems or 4-quadrant supplies. Given that a solar cell produces energy, when it is tested with a 4-quadrant supply, the supply is actually operating in a mode where it has a positive voltage being forced by the solar cell onto the supply’s terminals. At the same time, current is flowing from the solar cell into the 4-quadrant supply’s terminals, meaning the 4-quadrant supply is seeing negative current (with respect to its terminals). Under these conditions, it is also correct to say that the 4-quadrant supply is sinking current. Electrically speaking, an instrument that has positive voltage forced onto its terminals and current flowing into itself (i.e., sinking current) is called an electronic load. Therefore, for most solar cell tests where light is shining on the solar cell and the solar cell is generating power, the 4-quadrant supply is actually acting like an electronic load. The advantage to using an electronic load is that they are available in all current and power levels, so the limitation of 3 A, 20 W on the 4-quadrant supply is easily overcome using electronic loads rated at 50 W and higher, up to thousands of watts and hundreds of amperes.
12 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
Figure 3. Configuring an electronic load and offset supply for solar cell testing.
Electronic loads can operate in constant voltage, or CV, mode. In CV mode, the load will adjust the current flow through itself to regulate voltage across its terminals to hold a constant voltage value. Thus, CV mode can be used to create a voltage sweep where you use the load control the voltage across the output of the solar cell and then you measure the resultant current flow as shown in Figure 2. Some loads, such as the Agilent N3300 series, can quickly execute a list of CV setpoints to sweep the output voltage in CV mode, thus quickly tracing the I-V curve. At the same time, the load can digitize the current waveform that flows out of the solar cell into the load, similar to capturing a scope trace. By plotting the swept controlled CV voltage vs the digitized actual current, you can create an I-V curve. And because this is done as a fast sweep, the whole test can be conducted in approximately one second before the cell heats up and changes temperature due to heating effects of intense light sources. Many electronic loads, though, suffer from a low voltage operating limitation. Most electronic loads are based on FETs. To conduct current properly, the FETs need a minimum voltage across the FET. This translates to a minimum operating voltage across the load’s + and – input terminals. The minimum input voltage for a typical electronic load is 2 to 3 volts. To overcome this limitation, a DC power supply can be put in series with the electronic load (Figure 3). This DC power supply is called an offset supply, as it provides an offset voltage to the electronic load. Typically, the offset supply is set to 3 volts to ensure that the minimum voltage requirement of the electronic load is always met. The voltage from dc source will have no impact on the solar cell, which is a floating device; it merely biases the solar cell up by 3 V.
Conclusion…and for more info The global need for clean, renewable energy is driving research advances in solar cell technology. As solar cell size and efficiency grow, cell testing involves managing higher current and power levels, thus creating the need for more flexible test equipment. Off-the-shelf electronic loads can be used to test solar cells when turnkey solutions are not flexible enough. When configured and applied properly, electronic loads can be used make all power related measurements on the output of the solar cell or solar module. Today’s electronic loads are available in a wide range of voltage, current, power and measurement accuracy. By using loads, along with DMM and data acquisition equipment, your measurement needs can be covered when your turnkey system isn’t flexible enough to make the required tests. For more information on testing solar cells and modules using standard test instrumentation, Agilent Technologies offers “Solar Cell and Module Testing: How to decrease costs and increase flexibility in a rapidly changing test environment,” publication number 59903262EN. This 12-page application note can be downloaded from www.agilent.com by simply entering the publication number “5990-3262EN” in the search box at the top of Agilent’s home page.
Bob Zollo is power product manager for Agilent.
Achieving thermal uniformity in photovoltaic applications
Will your module last? Put it to the test. Your company may be a market leader, but are your products ready for the long haul? One sure way to know is to employ Atlas testing products and services designed specifically for the solar energy market. With our proprietary Atlas 25PLUS Comprehensive Test Program, we can determine how PV modules will stand up to UV, salt spray corrosion, moisture, heat, freezing temperatures and extreme outdoor conditions. Put the elements to work for you and gain a reputation for reliability and durability. Visit www.solardurability.com today to request a free white paper on the Atlas 25PLUS program.
Introducing the new Atlas XR360 PV Module Weather Durability Testing System Combining the advancements in environmental chamber and xenon solar simulation technology, the XR360 comes in three models with capacity to test more than 90% of current PV modules. • Chamber is equipped with four high performance water-cooled xenon arc lamps • Full climatic functionality • Expanded capability to run IEC environmental tests
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 13
The economic manufacturing of semi-transparent BIPV modules
The economic manufacturing of semitransparent BIPV modules Jürg Zahnd and Ronald F.M. Lange, 3S Swiss Solar Systems AG, Lyss, Switzerland A)
Mankind has always been fascinated by nature and is taking nature often as an example for its technical developments. One characteristic aspect of nature is the multifunctionality of its structures. Architects try to use this multifunctionality aspect more and more in the design of modern buildings. One example is building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) modules where the photovoltaic, or PV, modules are not mounted as a separate item on the building’s roof or façade but replace conventional building materials in (part of) the structural envelop. The advantages of using BIPV are obvious. The electricity is generated where it is needed, making the transportation of energy obsolete, the use of land to generate electricity is avoided, and a new aesthetic instrument is added to the architect’s tool box. Keywords: BIPV, Module Production, Semi-Transparent PV, String Shifting, Shrinkage
Private home Langenthal (CH)
Water and life museum in Hemet California (USA)
Figure 1. Examples of semi-transparent BIPV applications: a) 3S PV installation private house, Switzerland b) 3S PV installation Water and Life Museum, Hemet, California.
Currently, more and more semi-transparent BIPV modules are being developed and introduced (Figure 1). Aesthetic aspects play an important role, but probably the main advantage of these semi-transparent PV modules compared to traditional lightfiltering systems is that high-quality natural light is provided inside the building. Semi-transparent PV modules can be obtained using both crystalline silicone as well as thin film PV techniques. As transparent support material, glass or plastics can be used, and the various encapsulants, such as EVA, PVB or silicone, are applicable. In this contribution, we focus on semitransparent glass-glass and glass-backsheet modules based on crystalline silicon cells and EVA as an encapsulant. An advantage of using crystalline silicon cell based
modules is, next to its higher efficiency compared to thin film technologies, that architects can make use of distinctive shadow patterns. However, the commercial application of semi-transparent PV modules follows the general economical rules: regardless of the beauty, a broad market penetration is hampered by a relative high cost. Intrinsic aspects of semi-transparent PV modules are a reduction of the surface area available to generate electricity as well as an additional aesthetic quality control requirement. Both aspects contribute to an increase of the cost price of these PV modules and hamper a broader market penetration. Here, we describe our experience obtained in manufacturing semi-transparent c-Si and EVA based BIPV modules focusing on aesthetic aspects dealing with
b) Figure 2. Schematic representation of string shifting. Due to the pronounced ability of the human brain to see straight lines, a shift of about 2 mm is already detected (unfortunately the string shifting can not be clearly depicted on a photograph of a complete PV module).
14 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
The economic manufacturing of semi-transparent BIPV modules
b) EVA I
Figure 3. a) Simplified schematic representation of the hysteresis effect; b) Visualization of the hysteresis effect by treating a commercially available EVA foil on an 80ºC water bath; c) Graphical presentation of the hysteresis shown by several commercially available EVA types. The dimensional stability is defined as [1-shrinkage].
string shifting during the lamination process. The origin of the string shifting will be explained as well as several methods to eliminate this string shifting, leading to less out-of-spec production and hence a lower cost price and potential higher market penetration of semi-transparent PV modules. The production of PV modules generally includes a lamination step, necessary to ensure an efficient guiding of the sunlight and protecting the active PV materials from the harsh environment. In a commonly used lamination step, the various components of the module, such as the two glass plates and the encapsulant embedding the interconnected PV cells, are (irreversibly) assembled to a PV module by a thermal treatment. During this thermal treatment, the encapsulant foil, here EVA, shows a hysteresis effect that can result in the shifting of the cell-strings. This shifting is normally reduced to 3-5 mm and does generally not result in a physical contact between two neighbouring cells. Hence, this shifting effect does not influence the
electrical output of the PV module and is solely an aesthetic aspect (Figure 2). The EVA used for the PV module application is in general produced as a foil. In the production of the EVA foil, the EVA granules, as obtained from the polymerisation step of ethylene and vinyl acetate, are molten in an extruder and homogeneously mixed with additives like the cross-linking agent (normally organic peroxides), the glass adhesion promoter (e.g. methacrylate functionalized methoxy silanes), UV stabilizers (generally HALS compounds) and other processing aids. At the end of the extrusion step, the molten polymeric compound is pressed through a slit dye, cooled using rolls and post-processed to obtain the ready-to-use foil. The origin of the hysteresis effect is at the point where the molten polymeric compound is pressed through the slit dye. The relatively long polymeric chains, present as a random coil in the melt, are elongated going through the relative narrow slit dye, and this elongated conformation is “frozen in” during the cooling step, and hence in the foil.
When the foil is heated, as is done in the lamination step, the ethylene rich phase of the EVA starts to melt and the polymeric chains can relax from the elongated conformation back to the energetic more favorable random coil. This transition is accompanied by the observed shrinking effect and named hysteresis (referring to systems that have memory). The hysteresis process is schematically summarized in Figure 3. Looking at Figure 3c, the differences between several commercially available EVA types is striking. A well-known technique to prevent hysteresis, and hence the string shifting, is to apply a suitable thermal gradient combined with an optimized stress-strain profile after the compounded EVA leaves the extruder and before the EVA is completely solidified on the winding roll. The dramatic effect of this post-treatment step is visualized in the difference between EVA II and EVA VI, where EVA VI is the untreated version of EVA II. The producers of EVA compound II and III clearly apply such a kind of
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 15
The economic manufacturing of semi-transparent BIPV modules
30s @ 30ºC
30s @ 40ºC
30s @ 50ºC
30s @ 60ºC
30s @ 70ºC
30s @ 80ºC
Figure 4. EVA shrinkage behavior as a function of the temperature.
post-treatment step successfully, whereas the producer of EVA I seems not to apply a post-treatment step. The producers of EVA IV and V obviously balance the effect and the costs. It is obvious that the post-treatment of the molten polymeric compound to prevent hysteresis comes not for free, but the pay back is less out-of-spec PV module production due to string shifting in the lamination step. The string shifting is in general noticed at the quality control step after lamination. Hence, laminator producers have been confronted frequently with this issue and often have to provide solutions to deal with the hysteresis phenomena if there is no ability to change the EVA type in the PV module production. The basic rules that have to be followed are the production in a climatised production environment, the use of sufficient EVA and the application of the EVA parallel to the extrusion direction. In a parallel application of the EVA, the ribbons connecting the cells in a string can cope with the highest shrinkage force, and the string shifting is mostly visible as depicted in Figure 2: the strings are drifting to the edges. A climatised production environment is of advantage due to the nature of the glass adhesion promoter, mostly a methacrylate functionalized methoxy silane. The mode of action of this glass adhesion promoter is a condensation of the methoxy silane with the hydroxyl functionality of the glass on one side and a radical reaction of the methacrylate functionality with the EVA on the other side. The condensation reaction of the methoxy silane with the glass is hampered by water, which is hydrolyzing the reactive methoxy silane functionality. This explains the often encountered effect that the string shifting issue is enhanced at higher humidity levels and/or at longer module layup handling times. The easiest and a frequently applied solution to prevent string shifting is adhesive tape. The tape is applied on two neighboring cells of two strings to fixate the distance between these cells and hence
16 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
the strings. However, several disadvantages exist. Not only do the fracgile cells undergo an additional handling step, there are also additional interfaces are introduced between the EVA and the tape, as well as between the tape and the cell. These interfaces are in general not advantageous since interfaces are often the origin of delamination and also lower the yield of the cell due to the (slightly) different refractive indices and additional reflections. Regarding delamination, care should be taking selecting a thermally stable tape, and in a highly automated process the application of tape is no sinecure. Furthermore, the tapes are visible, especially when used with semitransparent glass-glass PV modules. An alternative solution to the use of adhesive tape is the fixation of the strings by thermal treatment of the metal crossconnectors or ribbons in the lay-up. Mostly performed using the soldering device, the metal cross-connectors or ribbons are “glued” to the EVA, and the EVA movement is hampered by the rigidity of the cell lay-up. Potential draw-backs of this solution are the (more or less uncontrolled) heat treatment of the EVA, which could lead to an inhomogeneous cross-linking pattern or even yellowing of the EVA, and the introduction of an additional handling step during the preparation of the lay-up (although this step does not result in too many complications in a fully automated process). The introduction of a fleece or a nonwoven can also prevent or reduce the string shifting. Applied behind the PV cells, this fleece gives an enhanced rigidity, counteracting the force applied by the shrinking EVA foil. Although in general effective, visibility issues prevent the use of a fleece in high-quality semi-transparent PV modules. The most elegant strategy to counteract the shrinkage of the EVA foil is to apply a force on the PV module during the heating step in the laminator. However, this is a delicate approach in the way that a balance has to be found between the evacuation of the module (bubbles) and the shrink-
age. Simply applying a weight on the PV module does not result in the aimed effect. Looking in more detail to the shrinkage behavior as a function of the temperature it is noticed that the shrinkage starts already at a temperature of 40˚C and becomes significant at 70˚C (Figure 4). Applying the pressure used in the curing step of the lamination process at 40 to 60˚C will most definitely result in the inclusion of air and hence unwanted bubble formation in the laminate whereas, in general, the application of this pressure at these relative low temperatures will also result in a damage of the cells (micro-crack growth and eventually breakage). An additional complicated factor is the temperature homogeneity combined with the glass warping in the first minute(s) of the lamination process. In summary, applying this method, significant process knowledge is needed to obtain a reduction in out-of-spec modules and to come to high-quality semi-transparent BIPV modules. Conclusion The manufacturing of semi-transparent building integrated photovoltaic modules has to become more economic to ensure a more widespread application. For crystalline silicon based modules, string shifting is one of the major reason of outof-spec production and hence an increase in the production costs. A more economic fabrication of semi-transparent BIPV modules can be realized by the correct choice of the EVA encapsulant material as well as the application of the correct encapsulation or lamination process. Acknowledgement The authors acknowledge various colleagues at 3S Swiss Solar Systems, the PVLab of the IMT—EPFL in Neuchâtel, NovoPolymers and various PV module producers for their fruitful discussions
High-performance labels for the solar photovoltaic installation industry
July 13–15, 2010 North America’s Premier Exhibition and Conference for the Solar Industry San Francisco | Moscone Center
700 Exhibitors 1,600 Conference Attendees 20,000 Visitors Co-located with
w w w. i n t e rs o l a r. u s www.globalsolartechnology.com
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 17
Solar production to become greener
Solar production to become greener A special report from solarpeq “Triple Green” is the new motto in photovoltaics, for modules that generate clean energy, are recycled and are— what’s more—ecologically produced. This is how the solar power industry can build its image and sustainably cut costs. However, this perfect triad is difficult to implement because “green factories” require high initial investment. This time the innovation does not originate from China or the USA but from Osterweddingen in Saxony-Anhalt: the Malibu company that manufactures modules from thin-film silicon in this little town near Magdeburg now cleans its process chambers with fluorine rather than the hazardous greenhouse gas nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). This does not sound too spectacular but affords major ecological benefits. “It allows us to avoid any emission risks,” says Malibu production manager Antje Bönisch. If inadvertently released
into the atmosphere, NF3 is 17,200 times more dangerous for global warming than carbon dioxide. By comparison, fluorine, she says, has no greenhouse gas potential. This turn towards ecological processes only becomes really attractive for the company through falling operating costs. “We are saving a six-digit sum every year,” says Bönisch and adds that it is giving Malibu a competitive edge on the extremely competitive thin-film market. The key to more efficient manufacturing is a so-called fluorine-
on-site-generator made by the Linde company and connected to the supply lines of the plant. Malibu’s modules are made by vapour-depositing silicon onto glass in vacuum chambers. Since plenty of material ends up on the chamber walls in this process, these need to be purified after each coating cycle. The generator introduces the fluorine, which then reacts with the silicon to form gaseous silicon tetrafluoride, which is pumped off, captured and reacted off. The new method reduces climate risks
Ökowerk: The power required for module production is obtained by the Freiburg-based company Solar-Fabrik from cells on the façade and roof of its own factory. (Photo: Solar-Fabrik)
18 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
Solar production to become greener
Gas for PV: The solar system producers are now among the key customers of gas specialist Linde. (Photo: Linde)
and is fast: usually cleaning accounts for more than 10% of the total process time in a vacuum chamber, but fluorine reduces this time by half thanks to its high avidity, explains Linde-Manager Andreas Weisheit. This improves the line throughput and cuts costs. Plenty of chemistry and energy This makes Malibu one of the pioneers in the industry, seeking not only rapid but also clean growth. Triple Green ideally means factories built using organic materials and supplied with energy from regenerative sources producing silicon, wafers, cells and modules while emitting scarcely any carbon dioxide or waste materials anymore and consuming minimum energy, gas, acid and water. The ambitious green motivation of the solar industry goes back to one reason in particular: its clean image is at stake because its rapid growth goes hand in hand with increased resource consumption and emissions. Over the past two years, global module output has doubled to eight gigawatts (GW). And this growth is predicted to continue at the same rate, according to forecasts. As Eric Maiser of VDMA, the German Engineering Federation, explains, silicon generation requires high levels of chemical and energy resources: producers melt down sand to metallurgical silicon and then use hydrochloric acid to reduce it to liquid trichlorosilane. This then is thermally decomposed and in the process grows into solar-grade silicon in the form of ingots.
The processes run at high temperatures and are “power guzzlers.” In most cases this power comes from nuclear- and fossil-fuelfired power plants because conventional power is simply cheaper for producers and more easily available than that from regenerative sources. Other wafer and cell manufacturing processes are just as resource consuming. When cutting the wafers out of the ingots nearly half the silicon is lost and must be melted back down for it to be re-used. For cleaning wafers producers often use hydrochloric acid and for etching their surfaces, poisonous fluoric and nitric acid as well as potash lye are deployed. The busbars applied as a rule consist of silver and aluminium. To electrically orient the crystals, companies use phosphoric acid. At the end of the day, all of these chemicals end up in the wastewater of the solar factories. Although this is treated, pollutants such as heavy metals and nitrates find their way into the sewage system. Thin-film production also requires high amounts of energy and chemicals. CIS or CdTe modules are made at high temperatures and in long processes from copper, indium, toxic selenium, cadmium and sulphuric acid or cadmium telluride. For thin-film, silicon manufacturers cleaned their chambers with NF3 until now. And however carefully they do this, they cannot prevent 100% of the greenhouse gas emissions. “17% are
released into the atmosphere during the product life cycle,” says Linde manager Weisheit, who goes on to say that this is also the reason for the rising demand for Linde’s fluorine generators in the photovoltaics industry. Suppliers with clean solutions However, solar system producers can do a lot more than just change their gas suppliers. Upstream suppliers offer them a number of possibilities to make their production greener. State-of-the-art production equipment increases the yield while reducing consumption levels. Suppliers of thin-film production equipment such as Applied Materials or Von Ardenne offer machines that apply the absorber material faster to larger surfaces. Machinery manufacturers specialised in crystalline systems such as Schmid supply plants that can process thinner silicon wafers. And there are also more and more recycling specialists that offer their services to PV. For instance, the Italian company Saita has recently begun offering cell producers a system that recycles 96% of the process water for reuse in a closed loop system. This reduces the fresh water requirements for cell production by 75%, explains marketing manager Carlo Enrico Martini, who goes on to say that thanks to this recycling no waste water ends up in the sewage system. Berlin factory planner ib vogt goes even one step further: he has developed a so-called “Greenfab” that is built and
“Silicon bakery”: Employees at the silicon and wafer manufacturer PV Crystalox charge crystal-growing furnaces with raw silicon. Here the material is molten, freed from impurities, and then solidifies at a controlled rate. (Photo: PV Crystalox)
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 19
Solar production to become greener
Energy-intensive: For electrical wafer orientation producers introduce phosphorus into the silicon at high temperatures in diffusion furnaces. (Photo: Q-Cells)
operated ecologically. It can produce up to one GW of solar energy. The energy required, explains project manager Lino Garcia, is generated by solar or geothermal systems on site. Waste heat is used for heating and cooling. Less dirty water ends up in the sewage system since a large proportion is recovered. Integrated logistics and transport concepts shorten distances and also boost energy efficiency. This means solar system manufacturers can kill several birds with one stone with “Greenfab”: large amounts of PV technology are produced efficiently and cleanly. Some of their green innovations and approaches will be presented by the suppliers from 28 September to 1 October 2010 at the Trade Fair for Solar Production Equipment, solarpeq, in Düsseldorf. Held in parallel, glasstec, the leading international trade fair for the glass industry, offers the relevant solutions for solar glass. However, as big as the benefits of green fabrication are—the eco-breakthrough is a gradual rather than a sudden one. Though developed three years ago, ib vogt has not sold a single complete “Greenfab” yet according to Garcia but always just single, ecologically very critical manufacturing components such as concepts for wastewater recycling. “In contrast to the chip industry PV has not embarked upon the green manufacturing voyage yet,” says Carlos Lee of SEMI, the global semiconductor association.
20 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
Not made for manual handling: Brazing individual solar cells to form strings is a hot topic: many brazing metals contain poisonous lead. (Photo: Aleo Solar)
Green in small doses So what is inhibiting the breakthrough of Triple Green in the solar sector? A decisive aspect is the high investment required for sustainable production. A Greenfab with one GW capacity is “definitely somewhat more expensive” than a regular 1 GW factory, explains Garcia. This investment does pay off through energy and raw material savings, he says, but the exact amortisation period differs from case to case. What is key though: those investing many millions of Euros must know the time for their return on investment. After ten years it would probably be too late since the factory design and fittings would be obsolete considering the high speed of innovations in PV. As a result, the green factory would be fit for demolition before it yields a profit. Moreover, recession has put a brake on investment. Many producers have faced declining sales and profits. “At a time like this major spending is taboo,” says Kevin Reddig of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation in Stuttgart. The introduction of green manufacturing technologies and processes currently suffers the same fate as the implementation of novel cell concepts: the commercialisation of complex solutions associated with high financial spending such as the back contact cells are being postponed. Instead, manufacturers focus on the less expensive optimisation of standard cells contenting themselves with
moderate efficiency gains. Since “green” is expensive, its profitability is vague, and the sector is forced to save, we will see a rather gentle transition to Triple Green. “Green will come carefully dosed,“ says Maiser of VDMA. Lee at SEMI refers to the developments in the semi-conductor industry, which took years to sizeably reduce its consumption. By their own accounts, it took STMicroelectronics, Europe’s largest semi-conductor producer, from 1994 to 2009 to reduce its CO2emissions by 65 percent, its energy consumption by 54 percent, its water consumption by 70 percent and its waste by 71 percent. Today, the solar sector stands where the chip industry used to be 15 years ago. The solar group Solarworld does not build a Greenfab but first creates transparency in its Sustainability Report for all its relevant environmental data and that of its upstream suppliers, thereby paving the way for green investment. Module maker Solon pursues the same avenue: it has spent EUR 200,000 on a new environmental management system to gain an overview of where sustainable solutions make business sense at all. These companies are guaranteed to reach the next green milestone—but presumably only after the crisis.
28–30 July Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Hyderabad, India
India’s Largest Solar Focused Exhibition & Conference SOLARCON® India is the original solar-focused event (exhibition/conference) in India and the conference program features the world’s leading experts in solar technology, manufacturing, markets, applications, finance and policy. Expands on the success of SOLARCON India 2009 Supported by Key Indian Solar Industry Leaders Advances the goals of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission Meet, learn, interact, and network with leading solar experts, innovators, industry leaders and policy makers from India and around the world
Presentations from the World’s Leading Solar Experts • Dr. Winifred Hoffman, Applied Materials & European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) • Paula Mints, Navigant Consulting • Dr. Chandra Khattak, GT Solar • Dr. Jurg Henz, Oerlikon Solar • Dr. Simone Arizzi, Photovoltaic Solutions and many more… SOLARCON India—run by the solar industry in India for the industry in India.
Plan now to attend SOLARCON India 2010! www.solarconindia.org
Show Preview: Intersolar North America
Intersolar North America July 13-15, 2010
Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, USA Image courtesy Intersolar
Intersolar North America by the numbers More than 20,000 visitors are expected. Over 550 U.S. and international exhibitors will be setting up on the more than 130,000 net square feet of floor space. The conference, featuring more than 30 tracks and 200 speakers, is expected to see over 1,600 attendees.
Now in its third year and once again colocated with SEMICON West, Intersolar North America will take place July 13-15 in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The conference portion of the event will take place once again at the InterContinental Hotel. In addition to the exhibition and conference, the event also features a Job & Career Forum, presented in collaboration with RenewableEnergyWorld.com JOBS. The Job & Career Forum takes place directly on the exhibition floor and addresses the overwhelming interest in both the U.S. and international solar job markets. Intersolar North America focuses on photovoltaics, solar thermal technology and solar architecture. The show abides by a guiding principle: Connecting Solar Business. Exhibitors include PV cell, module and inverter manufacturers, components and mounting systems suppliers, manufacturing system suppliers, service companies as well as manufacturers of solar thermal applications including heating and cooling. As the only solar
22 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
exhibition in North America dedicated to recruiting companies across the solar supply chain from around the world, Intersolar helps the industry improve global supply, distribution, training, regulation and business issues to accelerate market transformation and advance solar as a significant part of the global energy supply. Trade visitors include industry professionals, installers and integrators, manufacturers and suppliers, distributors, architects and project developers, investors and financial institutions, state and regional economic councils, analysts, utilities representatives, government officials/policy makers.
The Intersolar North America Conference takes place from July 11-15 alongside the Exhibition (July 13-15) at Moscone West. Attendees can expect a world-class program with in-depth analysis of the current solar industry. Intersolar North America stands out for its depth of content within the specific focuses on photovoltaics and solar thermal technology. Visit www.intersolar.us for the complete conference program. Make sure to stop by the Intersolar AWARD Hall of Fame at Intersolar North America, where the winners and nominees of the 3rd annual Intersolar AWARD will
be presented. The winners were announced on June 9, 2010 during an awards ceremony at Intersolar Europe in Munich. Intersolar North America is a continuation of the world’s largest series of exhibitions by Intersolar, which include shows in Munich, Mumbai and Shanghai. The event is organized by Solar Promotion International GmbH and Frieburg Management Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and co-organized by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).
Technology Preview Here’s a quick look at some of the innovations to be found on the exhibition floor. ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH— Booth 7423 ALD’s SCU400plus is one of the most widely-spread and reliable production systems for Directional Solidification of multi-crystalline solar Silicon ingots (DSS) with leading wafer producers as customers all over the world. In 2010, ALD introduces its next generation DSSfurnace type SCU600plus, for melting of the 6th generation Si ingots (>600kg). thus further advancing the productivity and cost-reduction of multi-crystalline wafer production. Christopher Associates— Booth 9247 Christopher’s engineering and sales team will be on hand with supplier engineers to demonstrate technology and answer customer inquiries related to the new
Show Preview: Intersolar North America
create repeatable precision stencils according to individual requirements using premium ISO 9001 processes. Sefar is proud to exhibit these certified screen making capabilities as well as high resolution artwork generation services that can help expedite and improve the quality of your production processes. In addition, Sefar will be showing the high performance Stay-Sharp Solar squeegees from Zatec.
range of products, which include the 1523 rail bonding sealand and 1527 frame sealand from Tonsan; PV tabbing and stringing ribbons from Sunlight; PV backing films from Jolywood Solar Materials; solar simulators, cell testers and AAA module test systems from Beijing Precision; GSMC PV metallization pastes and Orient’s new module lamination technology.
Comco—Booth 9261 Visitors to the show, will have the opportunity to see how micro-abrasive blasting is used for edge deletion on solar cells. Micro-abrasive blasting is a technology that uses micro-sized particles of high grade abrasives propelled out of a small nozzle tip at high velocity to clean, cut, deburr, texture and remove material on a variety of surfaces. For edge deletion applications,
alumina is commonly used. It quickly cuts through all of the thin film layers down to the glass substrate without creating microfractures. Intertek—Booth 9626 Intertek has doubled the photovoltaic (PV) testing capacity in their Lake Forest, CA lab. Intertek’s Lake Forest lab began PV testing in October 2008 and has since expanded its solar testing scope to include Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), energy efficiency testing for CEC and FSEC, and performance testing. Intertek provides the ETL Mark for compliance to safety standards in North America and Europe. Perlast—Booth 8217 Leading high purity, semiconductor seals specialist, Perlast Ltd, a unit of IDEX Corp., is further lowering the cost-ofownership of etch and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process equipment with the launch of new Kimura K23X and K2CD elastomers, which will be unveiled at Intersolar North America. Kimura K13X, and now K23X and K2CD elastomers, feature a proprietary, self-reinforcing polymer structure that avoids the need for traditional and organic fillers. As such the elastomer addresses the particulation and thermal expansion issues that can arise with fluoroelastomer (FKM) and high purity perfluoroelastomers (FFKM) seals in Etch and CVD processes. Sefar, Inc.—Booth 7029 With 40 years of technical experience stretching customer-specific photovoltaic, solar and thick film screens, Sefar can
SPECTRAL EVOLUTION—Booth 8017 Capitalizing on its 6 year reputation as a worldwide OEM provider of superior InGaAs spectroradiometer instruments, SPECTRAL EVOLUTION announces a new line of laboratory spectroradiometers designed specifically for the solar simulator industry. These lightweight, dual detector instruments feature both a 512-element Si photodiode array as well as a 256-element extended range InGaAs array to cover simultaneous detection of 300-1900nm with one easy, fast measurement. STR—Booth 9240 The robust curing behavior of the Photocap 15455P and Photocap 15435P recorded curing rates that were more than double compared to the other fast-cure formulations at all temperatures. In real conditions, Photocap 15455 and Photocap 15435 encapsulants laminate in less than ten minutes and yield gel content values of greater than 80%. Laminator throughput increased by as much as 30% with the new encapsulants. STR is setting a whole new set of quality standards for the photovoltaic industry; high throughput rates in module processing and long-term performance standards for every project performing outdoors. Virtual Industries—Booth 5771 (SEMICON West)
Virtual Industries will display several advanced systems for handling wafers and solar cells, such as the light-weight PUSHBUTTON Wand Kit, the STEALTHWAND Kit, and the PORTA-WAND ELITE Kit with PEEK wafer tip, which handles up to 8” wafers or cells.
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 23
Analyst buzz iSuppli hikes solar forecast; installations to nearly double to 13.6 GW in 2010 A surge of sales in Germany combined with plunging prices are set to boost solar demand in 2010, prompting iSuppli Corp. to dramatically upgrade its forecast of installations of photovoltaic (PV) systems in 2010. iSuppli predicts solar installations will rise to 13.6 gigawatts (GW) in 2010, up 93.6 percent from 7.0GW in 2009. The previous forecast, released in February, called for 8.3 GW worth of installations in 2010, up 64 percent from 2009. The attached figure presents iSuppli’s forecast for global PV installations from 2009 through 2011. The strong rise in PV installations in 2010 will be driven by robust market conditions in the second and fourth quarters, which will more than compensate for slower performances in the first and third quarters, iSuppli predicts. “This will be an up and down year for PV installations,” said Henning Wicht, director and principal analyst for PV at iSuppli. “The first quarter of 2010 was negatively affected by winter conditions, likely causing a decline in installations compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. However, the second quarter is expected to be a blockbuster for the global PV industry. “Reduced Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT) in Germany are coming in July and consumers in that country will rush to
install PV systems before that incentive becomes less compelling. A market correction will happen in the third quarter, leading to a huge fourth quarter due to the approach of other countries’ FIT deadlines in January 2011.” In addition to the FIT deadlines, growth in the second half of the year will be driven by reductions in the cost of solar installations. “Plummeting prices for solar panels during 2009 now are being reflected in system prices,” Wicht observed. “These price declines will compensate for the FIT reductions, resulting in a favorable Return on Investment (ROI) for homeowners and project developers. In some cases, the ROI will remain higher than 10 percent. “Needless to say, these quarterly ups and downs in 2010 will result in a difficult year for the PV supply chain and production planners as they struggle to figure out how much is needed, where it is needed and when is it needed,” Wicht said. “Because of this, there could be material supply constraints during the year. Spot shortages of inverters, and perhaps panels, could curtail growth to some degree.” Looking ahead to 2011, there could be even more supply constraints. Based on iSuppli’s analysis of capacity announcements, unless additional
expansions take place, crystalline-Silicon (c-Si) modules could encounter constraints in 2011. iSuppli believes that utilization rates for c-Si module production facilities will climb to more than 90 percent in 2010. Furthermore, many Tier 1 suppliers of c-Si modules and cells will be sold out. Tier 2 and Tier 3 module suppliers now are seeing business pick up as they strive to supply Germany with the modules it needs. Despite the short-term supply challenges, the outlook for global PV installations remains bright. By 2011, global PV installations will rise to 20.3GW, nearly triple the 7.0GW in 2009. For more information about this report, visit www.isuppli.com/Pages/Photovoltaic-SystemInstallation-Demand-Accelerates-In-Spite-ofTariff-Changes.aspx.
iSuppli Figure: Global Photovoltaic (PV) Installa=on Forecast (Gigawa&s) 25.0
20.0 Others USA Italy Germany
15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 2009
24 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
US Solar industry records strong growth in 2009 despite recession The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released the 2009 U.S. Solar Industry Year in Review, finding another year of strong growth despite the economic recession.
Overall (photovoltaic and concentrating solar power combined). This was driven primarily by strong demand in the residential and utility-scale markets, resulting in a 36 percent increase over 2008 in overall revenue. The solar industry added 17,000 new jobs from coast to coast and today employs 46,000 total U.S. workers. Other highlights: • Solar water heating shipments grew by 10 percent over 2008. • Solar pool heating growth was 10 percent less than 2008 growth, reflecting construction and housing declines. • Photovoltaic installations (grid-tied) grew by 38 percent. • Three new concentrating solar power plants came online. Cumulative U.S. CSP capacity reached 432 megawatts with a development pipeline totaling more than 10,000 megawatts. • Solar manufacturing showed a 7 percent increase in PV module production from 2008. Capacity by market segment • Residential grid-tied PV solar installations doubled from 78 megawatts to 156 megawatts. • Non-residential grid-tied PV solar installations grew 2 percent less than in 2008. • The utility market tripled their cumulative grid-tied PV capacity from 22 megawatts to 66 megawatts. • The total utility-scale pipeline (across all solar technologies) reached 17 gigawatts, enough to power 3.4 million homes. Jobs and revenue • The solar industry added 17,000 new U.S. jobs. • The solar industry today employs 46,000 and supports another 33,000 jobs in other sectors. • Industry growth resulted in a 36 percent increase in overall revenue, totaling nearly $4 billion. Capacity by state California (220 MW) led in new solar electric capacity, followed by
New Jersey (57 MW), Florida (36 MW), Arizona (23 MW), Colorado (23 MW), Hawaii (14 MW), New York (12 MW), Massachusetts (10 MW), Connecticut (9 MW), and North Carolina (8 MW). Capacity by nation U.S. (481 MW) ranked fourth in new solar electric capacity. Download the full report. Learn more about Solar Energy Industries Association at http:// seia.org. South Korea aims for 5% share of global solar energy market in 2012, says Digitimes Research In accordance with its green energy blueprint to increase renewable energy’s share of the country’s total power output to 10% in 2020-2022, South Korea aims to increase its worldwide solar energy market share to 5% in 2012 and 20% by 2030, according to Digitimes Research. Despite being selected as one of the 15 strategic industries in renewable energy development, many obstacles remain ahead for South Korea’s solar sector, Digitimes Research said. South Korea is heavily reliant on foreign-made technology and products. Currently, solar energy accounts for a 48% share of its renewable energy output, yet 67% of the solar modules used are imported. The country only registered 18 patents from 1990 to February of 2009, compared with 954 and 742 by Japan and the US, respectively. In key technologies for crystalline silicon, amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film and CIGS (copper-indium-galliumselenide), South Korea still lags behind in both research and development and price competitiveness. With relatively low cost for traditional energy generation and limited sunlight, South Korea still has a long way to attaining grid parity—the point when cost of electricity produced by a rooftop photovoltaic cell system is
equivalent to that purchased from an electrical utility. Solar cell capacity remains low in South Korea, according to Digitimes Research. The entire South Korea solar cell sector produced 166MWp in 2008 and 900MWp in 2009. To put the numbers into perspective, capacity for several international solar cell companies alone already surpassed the GWp threshold. Hyundai Heavy Industries, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and STX Solar are the main players with aggressive expansion plans. To develop its solar industry, South Korea plans to spend 360 billion won (US$302.5 million) in 2009-2012 with government and private investment each accounting for half. From 2012 to 2030, the country will invest another 650 billion won with the government’s share falling to 30%, Digitimes Research said. Source: Digitimes.
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 25
Title New Products
New products robust and features a special damping system that decouples the printing table from the outer frame and avoids the transmission of vibration. Development is not at an end yet. The next step is already targeted, which is another reduction of the printable structures down to 25 µm. This will bring screen printing into an area of applications that until now have required expensive offset or flex print technologies. www.essemtec.com New dry screw technology pump series DRYVAC for solar industry
Micro structures with nano pastes 50 µm wide conductive lines can now be screen printed due to nano pastes and a new printing process, which is implemented in Essemtec’s new SP900-S printer. This system surpasses the capabilities of expensive offset or flex printers because screen printing is inexpensive, flexible and allows the printing of very high thickness layers. Conductor lines with widths from 100 to 150 µm and a height of approximately 12 µm have been state of the art for a long time when using screen and stencil printers. However, Essemtec’s SP900-S can print structures that are only 50 µm in width and 40 µm or more in height. The PV Lab in EPFL Neuchâtel uses the SP900-S to produce its heterojunction solar cells. The efficiency of many products depends on the optimal design of the conductors, as do solar cells. The traces
26 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
on these cells are called bus bars and fingers. They should be as thin as possible to maximize the active area. The cross section also should be as big as possible to minimize the inner resistance of the cell. Using the SP900-S, solar cell manufacturers can maximize the height/ width ratio of the conducting traces. No other printing machine allows such a high layer thickness to be produced and such high cross sections to be achieved. This is advantageous not only in the solar industry but also in other products that require thin lines with high electrical current capacity. Narrow but high traces can be produced by printing multiple layers on top of each other until the desired height is reached. The idea is not new, but until now almost no one could print such thin lines so precisely on top of each other. The SP900-S has been optimized for this task. The SP900-S is designed especially
Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum presents the new dry screw technology pump series, DRYVAC, which can save up to $3,500 per year compared to similar pumps with identical suction volume, depending on operating parameters. This helps the producers of thin film silicon solar modules to lower operating costs and increase their profits. These pumps are ideal for demanding load lock applications and are resistant against dust, vapors and particles. They effectively pump light gases, but also toxic and corrosive gases such as NF3 gases used in the solar industry to flush coating chambers. Relevant pump parameters of the DRYVAC can be visualized during operation via a touch screen monitor. The “i”-variants with integrated self-control can communicate via data exchange between pump and plant controls using various interfaces. Of course, the touch-panel can also be used. For pump control, there are multiple sensors such as temperature control with warning functions, and a pressure sensor for monitoring the exhaust
pressure. Moreover, the data of the integrated frequency converter can also be visualized. www.oerlikon.com New ROFIN PowerLine L Series for high-speed micro material processing
ROFIN introduces a new laser series for high-speed micro material processing with a special focus on photovoltaic manufacturing. With its new PowerLine L series, ROFIN introduces q-switched solid state lasers specifically designed for micro material processing applications which require high average power and high pulse energy. Examples are thin film removal on glass and flexible materials, ablation of dielectric layers, silicon processing, drilling and cutting. In the 1064 nm class, the PowerLine L 300 completes ROFIN‘s laser range for edge deletion applications. Whereas ROFIN‘s DQ series offers 500 to 1000 watts, the PowerLine L 300 features more than 200 W laser power at 10 KHz and smaller optical fibers, especially an optimized square fiber with 400 μm diameter.
Compared to round fibers, square fibers provide highest efficiency by machining a bigger area per pulse. Selective opening of dielectric layers and direct laser doping currently draw a lot of interest in crystalline solar cell manufacturing. For both applications the frequency-doubled PowerLine L 100 SHG already proved its perfect applicability in various research projects. The laser source offers optimum beam characteristics and sufficient power for large production scale. Green lasers with 532 nm show the desired near-surface absorption in silicon and can be equipped a wide range of long-living optical components and fibers. With optimized fibers, a top-hat beam profile can be realized which provides homogenous energy distribution within the entire laser spot area. Standard configuration includes a fiber delivery to the processing head. Optionally accessories as fiber outcoupling and scan head assemblies supporting scan speeds of > 10 m/sec at unmatched precision are being offered. www.rofin.com New photovoltaic encapsulant helps deliver more power at lower cost In the drive for more cost-effective solar energy, Oerlikon Solar and DuPont have collaborated on a new thin white reflective solar PV encapsulant sheet, called DuPont™ PV5223. This latest addition to the DuPont™ PV5200 Series of PVB sheets enables easier manufacturing of next-generation thin film PV modules that not only capture sunlight coming in, but also reflect more sunlight back through the module’s active layer, thus capturing an extra zap from every available ray of light. DuPont materials research, guided by Oerlikon thin film manufacturing knowhow, produced the DuPont™ PV5223 white reflective encapsulant sheet for use in Oerlikon multi-stack laminating
processes. The DuPont™ PV5223 white reflective encapsulant is placed on the back (non-sun-facing) side of Oerlikon Solar’s specially developed thin film coatings. Traditionally, reflective paints were used between the cell and the encapsulant to reflect light back to the active layer. By making a white reflective encapsulant, DuPont helps Oerlikon Solar eliminate the need for reflective paint. Designed for use with Oerlikon Solar’s Micromorph® technology, DuPont’s new PV5223 white encapsulant increases light reflectivity by more than 50% versus paint, to an almost perfect 94% reflectivity. What’s more, the added reflectivity comes in a super-thin 0.45-mm sheet well suited for Oerlikon Solar’s low-topology module design. The sheet is more than 40% lighter in weight than traditional 0.76-mm PVB encapsulants. Tests conducted by Oerlikon Solar and DuPont show excellent retention of the 0.45-mm encapsulant’s performance properties after 1000 hours of damp heat aging. The white PVB sheet delivers stronger adhesion than clear PVB sheet materials, which translates into tougher, longer-life modules. www.oerlikon.com/solar AMETEK’s TerraSAS solar array simulator enhances inverter testing The Elgar TerraSAS solar array simulator from AMETEK Programmable Power offers a fully integrated solution for the design, development and production testing of inverters and micro-inverters for solar energy systems by simulating PV dynamic solar irradiance and temperature characteristics over a range of weather conditions from clear to cloudy and over a specified time interval to produce the current/voltage (IV) characteristics for the specified PV array for those conditions. www.programmablepower.com
DuPont™ PV5223 thin white reflective encapsulent sheets.
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 27
New ShowProducts report: Intersolar Europe
Intersolar Europe climbs to new heights Image courtesy Intersolar Europe
Intersolar Europe grabbed the crown of biggest solar exhibition in the world as 75,000 visitors made their way to the Neue Messe in Munich, Germany on June 9-11th. The exhibition covered nine halls of this massive exhibition center and featured every aspect of solar energy, from suppliers of silicon ingots to cell and module manufacturers, solar thermal, concentrated solar power, concentrated photovoltaics, system integrators and much more…. Here are some of the highlights from the equipment and materials halls: Applied Materials claimed that the Double Print upgrade to their Esatto printers provided a 35% efficiency gain and a 14% saving in silver metalized paste consumption. With over 300 rotary printers already in the field, AP expects this number to exceed 600 by the end of the year. The R&D team is currently working on double printing on selective emitter and expect a new ATP (Advanced Technology Platform) in the second half of the year. Mr Lui, chairman of JA Solar, presented an overview of their Chinese manufacturing facilities at a press conference on day two. JA Solar are the world’s third largest cell producer with an annual capacity of 1.5 GW. The company are producing monocrystalline cells with a current efficiency of 18.5% and expect to increase this to 20% by the end of the year using Applied materials double-print technology. Mr Lui stated that the next step in cell manufacturing technology will be back contacts. KACO were demonstrating two new transformers they are preparing for release in the autumn. Both the TR3 (with transformer) and TL3 (transformerless) are three-phase inverters. The data loggers are integrated into the inverter software, making it easier to collect data by simply
28 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
connecting to the onboard software system. KACO claims they are achieving 98% efficiency from the transformerless inverter and 96% efficiency from the built-in transformer model. Centrotherm’s GP Solar introduced a new line scanner for inspecting micro cracks at final assembly. The system scans wafers at 500 mm/second and uses a contactless inspection process with a defect resolution of 40 µm on the frontside and 80 µm on the rear side of the wafer. The GP CELL-Q FS/RS system also inspects print positions, coating thicknesses and other surface defects. The GP CELL-Q is the final part in a seven-stage inspection system from GP Solar and can be used independently or in conjunction with others modules. The GP CELL-Q can also be used independently at goods-inward by module assemblers. Roth and Rau GmbH announced a new silicon nitride anti-reflective coating at Intersolar. The company also mentioned the imminent unveiling of some new hetero-junction technology at the forthcoming EUPVSEC exhibition in Valencia, Spain. Schmid were celebrating an Intersolar award for their Laser Transfer Printer LTP1500. The printer can inkjet frontside metallization down to 60 µm wide fingers. Schmid can also print selective emitter
using an etch back process down to 90 ohms and accepts lead free pastes. 3S revealed its new colors at Intersolar as part of the Meyer Berger Group. 3S take their place alongside nine other companies that together provide the entire process from silicon to the finished solar module. Nanofocus demonstrated a highly accurate measurement system for measuring the surface roughness, geometry and layer thickness on any given substrate. The system uses reflectivity dynamics and confocal technology to spray scattered light through 170,000 pin holes to build up a true 3D image down to 1 nm resolution. The system perform one set of measurements per second, enabling it to keep pace with line speeds. Despite the size of the exhibition, the equipment and material suppliers occupied less than one hall, although inverter companies took over two halls. The segmentation of the different solar technologies was certainly well done, but I have long argued that equipment and material suppliers do not belong in the same exhibition as system integrators. Time will tell if I am right. Trevor Galbraith.
Industry News— continued from page 5
approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange to the issue of the Day4 shares. The combination of the Day4 proprietary and patented technology and ACI’s specialized know-how and equipment allows Day4 to immediately launch the offering of its highly anticipated turn-key manufacturing technology solution for production of PV cells and PV modules based on proprietary technologies developed by Day4. ACI’s existing customer relationships, execution capabilities and solid market reputation provide Day4 with a unique opportunity to rapidly roll out its manufacturing technology offering across a wide cross section of PV manufacturers in a number of key markets. At the same time ACI’s manufacturing process and equipment engineering capabilities will add significant depth to Day4’s R&D team and allow the company to significantly accelerate the development of the next generations of PV technology. www.day4energy.com Polysilicon facilities start up at WACKER´s Burghausen site Additional polycrystalline-silicon production facilities officially came on stream at Wacker Chemie AG’s Burghausen site recently. All “Expansion Stage 8” deposition reactors are already up and running. The plant’s full nominal capacity of 10,000 metric tons a year will be reached before the end of Q2 2010. WACKER is thus half a year ahead of its original, very ambitious schedule. Overall, WACKER is investing around €500 million in this expansion stage, thereby creating some 200 new jobs. Expanding output enables WACKER to meet rising global demand for hyperpure polycrystalline silicon. The new facilities can manufacture material for both the solar sector and the semiconductor market. www.wacker.com Ingmar Wilhelm elected new president of EPIA During the Annual General Meeting of EPIA, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, which took place in Rome on 18 March 2010, Ingmar Wilhelm, executive vice president of Enel Green Power responsible for business development world-wide, was elected the new president of the world’s largest association devoted to the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry. www.epia.org Stuttgart solar researchers bring a
world record to Germany With an efficiency of 20.1 percent, scientists at the Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg, Germany (Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, ZSW), have set a new world record for thin-film solar cells. The record-breaking solar cell, made of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS) was produced in the ZSW research laboratory in Stuttgart. This breakthrough in materials development should significantly improve the cost-effectiveness of CIGS thin-film photovoltaics over the medium term. With this success the Baden-Württemberg researchers have brought a world record to Germany: The US research institute NREL has held this record for 16 years. The area of the world record cell is 0.5 square centimetres. The solar cell was produced in a CIGS laboratory coating plant using a modified co-evaporation process, which in principle can be scaled up to a commercial production process. The solar cell consists of the semiconducting CIGS layer and contact layers. It has a total thickness of only four thousandths of a millimetre. The electrical and optical properties must be exactly matched when manufacturing the cell—a process that is extremely difficult to master. The Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg, Germany has confirmed the new results. www.zsw-bw.de Trina Solar introduces new ‘Design Series’ with black solar modules Trina Solar Limited’s subsidiary, Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd., introduced its new “Design Series” by developing a black module offering residential homeowners and small business owners a visually attractive PV solution. Trina Solar unveiled the new “Design Series” in May at Solarexpo 2010 in Verona, Italy. www.trinasolar.com LDK Solar signs module supply agreement with Phoenix Solar AG LDK Solar Co., Ltd., signed a contract to supply solar modules to Germanybased Phoenix Solar AG. Under terms of the agreement, LDK Solar will deliver approximately 20 megawatts (MW) of solar modules during the second calendar quarter of 2010. www.ldksolar.com Syria and Turkey establish joint company to produce solar energy equipment Syria and Turkey agreed on Sunday to establish a joint company to produce solar
and renewable energies equipment with $4 million capital. The joint company, between The General Organization for Engineering Industries (GOEI) and Turkish Barak Company, will recruit 100 specialist workers and produce nearly 24,000 solar energy sets annually. The new company will be built in the Metallic Constructions & Mechanical Industries Company (MCMIC) near Damascus. Energy Conversion Devices announces 3 MW of Uni-Solar BIPV installations in France Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD)’s United Solar Ovonic subsidiary was selected to install flexible light weight UNI-SOLAR® brand solar photovoltaic laminates on multiple logistics buildings operated by Lidl, a European discount supermarket chain that operates more than 8,000 stores. Specific terms of the multi-rooftop project were not disclosed. For the first phase of the project, a total of 3.0MW of UNI-SOLAR laminates were installed on Lidl logistics centers in Cambrai, Vars, and Les Arcs in France. www.energyconversiondevices.com India’s first 1 MW rooftop solar plant powered by Suniva Suniva, Inc., announced that its highperformance solar cells are powering India’s first 1MW rooftop solar plant. Implemented and commissioned by Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) Solar Group, the 1MW solar plant was built on the rooftop of Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi. Designed incorporating Suniva’s high-efficiency ARTisun® series solar cells in RIL modules, the Thyagaraj power plant was developed using a total of 3,640 280Wp modules. The project is expected to generate around 1.4 million kWh of electricity per year to fulfill the power requirements of the stadium, with surplus electricity being fed into the grid at 11KV. www.suniva.com SunPower announces new threeyear, $350 million letter of credit facility SunPower Corporation signed a new three-year letter of credit facility. The new facility, which initially provides for a maximum issuance of $350 million in letters of credit but, at the agreement of the parties, may be increased to a maximum of $400 million, will replace the company’s existing $250 million letter of credit facility and will be underwritten by a syndicate of banks that include Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch,
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 29
Citi, Credit Suisse, and Barclays Capital. www.sunpowercorp.com Solarmer and Joel Berman Glass Studios develop textured glass solar panel for BIPV application
Generating solar energy from modular glass panels that are attractive from a design standpoint was the inspiration behind a joint development project involving Solarmer Energy and Joel Berman Glass Studios. Together, the two companies have jointly developed an attractive decorative glass panel that is capable of generating clean renewable electricity. The decorative and photovoltaic glass panels feature Joel Berman Glass Studios’ signature textured kiln-cast glass laminated to Solarmer Energy’s transparent plastic solar cells. The resulting composite panels are suitable for use in applications where decorative glass is desired and generation of solar energy is feasible. The materials and manufacturing technologies employed by Solarmer Energy result in a lower cost alternative to traditional silicon-based solar technologies. www.solarmer.com Yingli Green Energy appoints new COO Yingli Green Energy announced that Mr. Xiaoqiang Zheng will take over the position of chief operating officer, replacing Dr. Seok Jin Lee who has resigned to pursue other interests. www.yinglisolar.com
manufactured are destined for use particularly in solar systems on private houses. The new line is moreover capable of building 72-cell high-performance modules with an output of up to 300 Wp. The production capacity of the current Wismar plant, which was built as recently as 2008, had previously been upgraded from 70 MWp to 110 MWp in response to increased sales. www.centrosolar.com Matinee Energy signs a solar energy MOU with Hyundai Heavy Industries and LG Electronics Matinee Energy, Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding and formed a strategic alliance with Hyundai Heavy Industries Company Ltd. (Hyundai) and LG Electronics, Inc. (LG), both of Korea. Matinee has invited Hyundai and LG to join as lead partners for a total of 240 megawatts or $1 billion contracts in the initial phase and building environmentally friendly solar energy power plants, and both companies have accepted that invitation. Matinee also plans to add additional alliance partners that are complementary to all parties. Queen’s Award for Enterprise presented to DuPont for increasing energy efficiency of solar cells Her Majesty the Queen, head of state of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, has awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category to DuPont for the continuous development of DuPont™ Solamet® photovoltaic metallization paste, a key component in increasing the energy efficiency of solar cells. The company has advanced the technology over a number
of years, contributing to increasing the effectiveness of photovoltaic solar cell technology. The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is the United Kingdom’s most prestigious award for business performance. www.dupont.com Signo Solar S.R.O. is now a fully owned subsidiary of Scatec Solar Norway-based Scatec Solar has acquired the remaining 33.3 % of the equity interest in the Czech Republic Solar PV company Signo Solar S.R.O, making it a fully owned subsidiary, subsequently renaming it, Scatec Solar S.R.O. www.scatec.no Cambrios Technologies selects Ascent Solar as PV Partner for US DoF contract Cambrios Technologies Corporation, a firm that has developed innovative, wetprocessed, transparent conductive films, has selected Ascent Solar Technologies, a developer of flexible thin film solar modules, as their research partner to investigate how these films can be applied to lightweight, flexible copper-indiumgallium-selenium (CIGS) photovoltaics, which is a topic of a recently-awarded United States Army contract W911QYBAA-09-11-1 from the U.S. Army’s Natick research facility. As part of the program, which will be undertaken on behalf of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), Cambrios will deliver flexible solar cells that incorporate a Cambrios ClearOhm(TM) electrode layer. Because of the material’s improved transparency and light handling capability, it is expected that these cells will be 1 to 3 percent more efficient
CENTROSOLAR extends manufacturing capacity for “Made in Germany” solar modules by 40% Centrosolar Sonnenstromfabrik GmbH has started up a new production line for solar modules. The commissioning of the additional production line means the company has increased its production capacity from previously around 110 MWp to a present 155 MWp. The new production line is the fourth one turning out solar modules with the quality cachet “Made in Germany.” With a capacity of 45 MWp, the new line will now be producing an extra 1,000 solar modules a day. The crystalline solar modules being
30 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
than the equivalent cells made with the conventional transparent electrode material. www.cambrios.com, www.ascentsolar.com IMS Research forecasts the global PV market will reach 10 GW in 2010 On 9th April, the German Federal Network Agency finally released its December figures for new PV installations confirming IMS Research’s earlier predictions that the German market grew massively in 2009 to reach 3.8 GW, and in fact the global PV market saw double-digit growth. “An incredible 1.5 GW of new capacity was installed in Germany in December,” said PV research director, Ash Sharma. “This was earlier predicted by IMS Research, which measured inverter shipments at 3.5 GW in Q4’09, and also predicted that the global PV market grew by 25% to exceed 7 GW.” Despite many in the industry predicting a much smaller market size in 2009, with some even stating the market had declined, IMS Research, which analysed multiple parts of the PV supply chain previously predicted this strong growth. As such, it still stands by its prediction that the PV market—in terms of both shipments of modules and inverters and new installed capacity grew at a double-digit rate in 2009 to exceed the 7 GW mark. Despite the upcoming cut to Germany’s FIT, IMS Research still forecasts the global PV market will grow in 2010, up to 10 GW in terms of new installations with strong demand coming from many different countries. www.pvmarketresearch.com Despatch Industries sells over 500 firing furnaces Despatch Industries announced that it has sold over 500 of its firing furnaces, totalling more than 15 GW of production capacity. Despatch has sold over 300 firing furnaces into Asia alone. The company recently introduced its next generation firing furnace, the UltraFlex™ with Microzone™ technology. The UltraFlex™ has received rapid acceptance in the market with over 40 units sold already. www.despatch.com Aide Solar opened solar cell and module production facility in Xuzhou, China Aide Solar opened its over 1 million sq. ft. solar cell and module production facility in Xuzhou, China. Construction of the
Global Solar Technology – June 2010 – 31
new Aide Solar facility was completed in July, 2009 on a 600 acre campus owned by The PANJIT Group. The new Aide Solar facility features enhanced manufacturing lines that increases the company’s poly and mono-crystalline silicon PV module capacity by 40 percent to 350 MW annually to support growing customer demands worldwide. In addition, the new facility houses 12 solar cell production lines. The opening of the new facility brings the number of Aide Solar employees to 1,184 worldwide. www.aidesolar.com Equity Solar hires Greg Knight as chief technology officer Equity Solar, Inc., appointed Greg Knight, formerly of GT Solar, as its chief technology officer. Mr. Knight was brought on board specifically to assist in the commercialization of the room-temperature wet chemical growth (RTWCG) technology licensed by Equity Solar. www.ustrustcorp.com Phoenix Solar and MiaSolé sign multi-year agreement for the delivery of thin film solar modules Phoenix Solar AG signed a framework agreement with MiaSolé. The agreement, which runs until 2013, enables Phoenix Solar to extend its product portfolio with another quality supplier capable of highly cost-efficient manufacturing. In the context of this agreement, Phoenix Solar has placed an order for an initial 4.5 megawatts of thin film modules from MiaSolé for delivery in the second quarter of 2010. www.miasole.com, www.phoenixsolar.de
The two organizations, underwritten by reputable insurers from Europe, join forces to provide a new form of solar PV Module insurance and installation cover. CNPV offers a performance guarantee on the power output of its PV Module, and now together with Willis, the power output is not only guaranteed but is also insured for 25 years. The insurers will indemnify for any reduction in power loss from CNPV’s warranted, 90% guaranteed energy output in the first 10 years and 80% in the following 15 years. www.cnpv-power.com, www.willis.com. First Solar agrees to acquire NextLight Renewable Power First Solar Inc. and NextLight Renewable Power, LLC have entered into a definitive agreement for First Solar to acquire NextLight, a leading developer of utilityscale solar projects in the southwestern United States. The acquisition includes a 1,100 megawatt (MW) solar project pipeline. Total consideration for the transaction is approximately $285 million, subject to certain closing adjustments as provided in the merger agreement. www.firstsolar.com, www.nextlight.com. Applied Materials sees strong demand for Esatto technology for manufacturing solar cells Applied Materials, Inc. says that its Esatto Technology™ is expected to be used in more than 2 gigawatts of annual cell manufacturing capacity in the next few months at customer sites in China, Taiwan
and Europe. Customers have demonstrated 0.46% absolute cell efficiency gains with Esatto Technology, and up to a 14% reduction in consumption of silver printing paste. This combination of higher efficiency and reduced material expense is projected to lower manufacturing cost by over 3 cents-per-watt and deliver a return on investment in as little as 8 months. Esatto Technology is a high precision, multi-step printing capability for Applied’s market-leading Baccini™ back-end solar cell processing systems. This productionproven screen printing technology is used to fabricate advanced contact structures in crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. www.appliedmaterials.com Day4 Energy expanding production capacity in Europe to meet increased demand Day4 Energy Inc., announced significant expansion plans for their third party manufacturing facility in Europe. Day4 Energy is expanding production from 50 MW (megawatts) annually to 120 MW to meet increased demand for the Company’s high performance photovoltaic products. The first phase of expansion, an increase to 75 MW capacity, will be completed by mid-May and the expansion to 120 MW will be completed by the end of June. The expansion plans include increasing productivity from five to seven days a week as well as the addition of new commercial lines dedicated to the production of the newly introduced 60MC-I module
PROINSO and MECASOLAR awarded several new solar farms in Greece with an output exceeding 7.5 MW The Spanish company PROINSO has been awarded the supply of various solar photovoltaic farms in Greece that will all together amount to more than 7.54 MW of installed capacity. The agreements include the supply of 2.65 MW of 2-axis trackers from MECASOLAR, a company who together with PROINSO forms part of Grupo OPDE. These agreements in the Greek market are in addition to the contracts signed in early 2010 in Greece. www.proinso.net CNPV introduces world’s first guaranteed, all-risks insurance for crystalline PV module CNPV Solar Power SA entered into a longterm performance warranty insurance for PV Modules and installation with Willis.
32 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
with Guardian Technology. The current production mix at the facility is focused on the company’s 48MC-S module. However, Day4 Energy expects that demand for the new 60MC-I module will require 80% of production capacity by the third quarter of this year. www.day4energy.com Dr. Marion Helmes to become Q-Cells CFO The supervisory board of Q-Cells SE appointed Dr. Marion Helmes as the company’s new chief financial officer with effect from 1 July 2010. Since 1997, Dr. Helmes has held several positions at ThyssenKrupp AG. Dr. Helmes takes over as head of the financial unit from Dr. Nedim Cen, who holds the post of chief financial officer on an interim basis and has been chairman of the board of Q-Cells SE since March 2010. www.q-cells.com DEK Solar shipments pass 1 GW milestone At the end of the first quarter of 2010, the total shipments of DEK Solar’s PV1200 metallization platforms exceeded the industry measure of 1 gigawatt of energy generation capacity. The achievement is all the more notable as DEK only re-entered the alternative energy sector 18 months ago with a new screen print platform designed expressly for the solar market. www.deksolar. com Heraeus PV announces unprecedented Global expansion plan Heraeus Global Business unit manager Andy London announced plans for a series of global production enhancements for its photovoltaic business unit that will start immediately and continue throughout 2010. “We have just increased our production capacity by 30%,” London said. “And we have plans to increase production by another 30% by the end of May, 2010 with additional capacity being added throughout the remainder of the year. By the end of the year we anticipate that we will have increased our capacity by 300% overall.” Along with the capacity expansion Heraeus plans on adding additional production and technical personnel. www.heraeus.com 1 SolTech signs contract with Balmoral Capital BASIC Solar USA Inc., has entered a contract to purchase 10 megawatts (MW) of solar modules from 1 SolTech, Inc., Richardson, Texas, for BASIC Utility
34 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
installations in Bulgaria. Balmoral Capital Holdings, Inc., BVI, an investment banking and financial facilitating company, has organized financing for BASIC Solar. Financial terms of the deal were not released. www.1soltech.com Coherent closes Beam Dynamics acquisition, enters into a JDA with SiOnyx, Inc. Coherent, Inc., announced the completion of its all cash acquisition of Beam Dynamics for $6.25 million excluding transaction fees. The acquisition enhances Coherent’s application knowledge and development capabilities and also provides a pathway to expand its presence in the market for precision laser processing workstations. Coherent has also entered into a joint development agreement with SiOnyx, Inc., for solar cell manufacturing using black silicon processing, which is based upon the interaction of ultrafast laser light and silicon in a controlled environment. Black silicon based materials and processes offer a number of potential advantages over currently deployed technologies, including cost reductions, an increase in conversion efficiencies, as well as an increase in manufacturing yields. www.Coherent.com Dr. Frank Dimroth of Fraunhofer ISE receives most prestigious French science prize The concentrated power of the sun recently also helped a young German scientist earn the “Fondation Louis D” award, the highest-endowed award presented in France for achievements in science. Dr. Frank Dimroth of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg has developed multi-junction solar cells with record efficiency levels. The award was presented on June 9, 2010, at the Institut de France in Paris. www.ise.fraunhofer.de JPSA announces partnership with AGK-World in Europe and Asia JP Sercel Associates Inc. has appointed AGK-World as their business development consultant to enhance JPSA Laser’s presence in the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe. AGK-World was founded by Alex (AG) Kader, a business development veteran with over 28 years in the semiconductor industry. Mr. Kader has extensive experience in equipment sales, business development in IC assembly & test and most recently, the emerging green markets of LED and photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing. JPSA products and
services include UV excimer, DPSS and ultrafast laser micromachining systems, UV and VUV laser beam delivery systems, as well as automation and motion systems. Additionally, JPSA performs contract manufacturing, optical damage testing, laser materials processing development and excimer laser refurbishment services. www.jpsalaser.com KYOCERA to supply 1.7MW of solar modules for Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s solar power plant Kyocera Corporation will supply 9,000 solar modules—a total of 1.7 megawatts (MW)—for the first stage (south-east area) of the Matsuyama solar power plant (Ehime Prefecture, Japan) planned by Shikoku Electric Power Co., Inc. with construction by Yonden Engineering Co., Inc. Scheduled to go on-line in the spring of 2011, the Matsuyama solar power plant will combine with an existing installation for a total of approximately 2 MW and become the largest solar installation on the island of Shikoku, Japan. Once operational the system will provide 2,200 MWh of electricity and off-set about 700 tons of CO2 emissions each year. global.kyocera.com/prdct/solar SolarWorld to culminate expansion in Hillsboro facility This week, the SolarWorld group is launching the culminating phase of its employment, equipment and manufacturing ramp in Hillsboro. The company plans to add a total of 350 workers for two factory buildings here by Sept. 30. The largest and oldest U.S. solar manufacturer, SolarWorld expects to interview many hundreds of job seekers, including soldiers returning from the Mideast, to supply production operators, administrators and engineers at its Hillsboro site. The site will swell from about 650 people now to about 1,000. In all, it will employ about 1,250 people at its U.S. sites, including its plant in Camarillo, California. SolarWorld continues its expansion as several competitors phase out U.S. production to shift overseas. In the works nearly five years, the U.S. expansion to 500 MW of annual capacity has come thanks partly to tax incentives from the city of Hillsboro, the state of Oregon and the U.S. government. Their interest has helped SolarWorld spearhead growth of a solar industry in Oregon at a time of stubborn national unemployment. www.solarworld-usa.com
Competition is increasing as more suppliers enter the industry every day.
Protect your market share or gain a foothold by telling the world in Global Solar Technology A focused manufacturing magazine and website to build your brand.
Global Solar Technology â€“ June 2010 â€“ 35
Title Events Calendar
Events Calendar 9-11 June 2010 Intersolar Munich, Germany www.intersolar.de
17-19 November 2010 PVTech Milan, Italy www.hitechexpo.eu
22-24 February 2011 SNEC PV Power Expo 2011 Shanghai, China www.snec.org.cn
30 June-2 July 2010 PV Japan 2010 Yokohama, Japan www.semi.org/PVJAPAN-EN/
14-16 December 2010 Intersolar India Mumbai, India www.intersolar.in
3-5 April 2011 PV America Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA www.pvamericaexpo.com
13-15 July 2010 Intersolar North America San Francisco, California, USA www.intersolar.us
16-18 February 2011 EXPO Solar Gyeonggi, South Korea www.exposolar.org
2-5 September 2010 Soltec Hameln, Germany www.rainer-timpe.de 12-14 October 2010 Solar Power 2010 Los Angeles, California, USA www.solarelectricpower.org 26-28 October 2010 PV Taiwan 2010 Taipei, Taiwan www.pvtaiwan.com 27-29 October 2010 DIREC 2010 Delhi, India www.exhibitionsindiagroup.com
Volume 3 Number 5 May 2010
News for the Solar Manufacturing Industry
Covering India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines and Hong Kong Volume 1 Number 1 Spring 2010
Matt Holzmann Interview inside
A prActicAl guide for improving crystAlline solAr cell efficiencies through firing process optimizAtion
smArt pAckAges for cpv cell devices
INDUSTRY NEWS INTERNATIONAL DIARY
increAsing solAr pAnel production efficiencies with Acrylic foAm tApe
36 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
Global Solar Technology magazine
Achieving thermAl uniformity in photovoltAic ApplicAtions
Gloabl Solar Technology Southeast Asia Volume 1 Number 1
Gloabl Solar Technology Volume 3 Number 5
News for the Solar Manufacturing Industry
Transfer Transfer prinTing: prinTing: an an emerging emerging Technology Technology for for massively massively parallel parallel assembly assembly
China South East Asia The World
converTing converTing consideraTions consideraTions for for flexible flexible maTerials maTerials maTerials maTerials and and The The growTh growTh of of pv pv Technology Technology
K Subramanya Column Inside NEW PRODUCTS INDUSTRY NEWS INTERNATIONAL DIARY
invest future in your
First Solar Manufacturing, Frankfurt, Germany (top)—featured in Global Solar Technology issue 2.2, Mar/Apr 2009.
What’s in a year’s worth of Global Solar Technology? Leading-edge technical articles, insightful columns, the latest technological developments, manufacturing equipment and products, industry news, industry event coverage, market rundowns and much more.
Volume 1 Number 2 November/December 2008
www.globalsolartechnology.com Global Solar Technology Volume 2 Number 1
Global Solar Technology Volume 1 Number 2
Subscribe today: http://subscribe.globalsolartechnology.com
News for Solar Manufacturing Industry
News for Solar Manufacturing Industry
Volume 2 Number 1 Jan/Feb 2009
Paul Davis Interview Inside
MATERIALS AND THE GROWTH OF PV TECHNOLOGY COMBATING THE IMPACT OF CONTAMINATION IN SOLAR CELL PRODUCTION
FLEXIBLE SILVER PASTE ENABLES THIN-FILM PHOTOVOLTAIC FLEX SOLAR CELLS
CONVERTING CONSIDERATIONS FOR FLEXIBLE MATERIALS
INDUSTRY NEWS INTERNATIONAL DIARY
ULTRASONIC ATOMIZATION FOR UNIFORM DISPENSING AND COATING OF
TRANSFER PRINTING: AN EMERGING TECHNOLOGY FOR MASSIVELY PARALLEL ASSEMBLY OF MICRODEVICES
Bjorn Dahle Interview Inside NEW PRODUCTS INDUSTRY NEWS INTERNATIONAL DIARY
NANOPARTICLES SOLAR: IT’S ABOUT TIME
News for the Solar Manufacturing Industry
Volume 2 Number 3 May/June 2009
Volume 2 Number 4 July/August 2009
Steamer vS. torch in Pv manufacturing—a coSt of ownerShiP comPariSon
comBing in the energY
Dr. Madhusudan V. Atre Interview Inside NEW PRODUCTS INDUSTRY NEWS INTERNATIONAL DIARY
The imporTance of cpk Debugging anD verifying microinverTers for phoTovolTaic insTallaTions lasers, for more efficienT solar cells
News for Solar Manufacturing Industry
Volume 2 Number 2 March/April 2009
SOLAR INTEGRATION TAKES A PAGE FROM THE SEMI WAFER CSP PLAYBOOK
LASER SCRIBING TOOLS EDGE IN FRONT
INDUSTRY NEWS INTERNATIONAL DIARY
PerSPectiveS on SemiconDuctor ecoSYStem—the SoLar route
Global Solar Technology Volume 2 Number 2
globalsolartechnology.com Trafalgar Publications Limited 8 Talbot Hill Road Bournemouth Dorset BH9 2JT United Kingdom
2/22/09 9:39:35 PM
News for the Solar Manufacturing Industry
CONFORMAL COATING IMPROVES THE RELIABILITY AND LIFE OF SOLAR INVERTERS
Rajinder Kumar Interview Inside NEW PRODUCTS INDUSTRY NEWS INTERNATIONAL DIARY
alpha pv technologies
Alpha Delivers Efficient, Reliable Solder Interconnects The multiple soldering interconnect steps in your PV module assembly process play a vital role in your throughput and yield, and critically impact in-use efficiency and long-term reliability. Alpha, the global leader in soldering technology, can help you solve your solder interconnect challenges. Our ongoing commitment to R&D has delivered a comprehensive line of interconnect technologies. Connect with Alpha for: PV Ribbon Tabbing & Stringing Flux PV Ready Ribbon Solder Paste & Preforms
Insulated Flexible Connectors Conductive Adhesive Ribbon Solder Wire L-Shaped Busbar Low Temperature Soldering
For more information about ALPHA® PV product technologies, go to www.alphapv.cooksonelectronics.com. Worldwide/Americas Headquarters • 109 Corporate Boulevard • South Plainfield, NJ 07080 • USA • +1-800-367-5460 • www.alpha.cooksonelectronics.com European Headquarters • Forsyth Road • Sheerwater • Woking GU215RZ • United Kingdom • +44-1483-758-400 Asia-Pacific Headquarters • 1/F, Block A • 21 Tung Yuen Street • Yau Tong Bay • Kowloon, Hong Kong • +852-3190-3100 © 2009 Cookson Electronics
38 – Global Solar Technology – June 2010
Increasing efficiency of solar panel production, test and inspection processes; Measuring power output of solar cells using standard test eq...