Posts Tagged ‘technology’

15 February

Dramatic Move In Solar Inverter Technology

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Just spent part of the day learning about Solar Edge’s (NASDAQ: SEDG) HD Wave Inverter Technology. This novel power conversion topology may potentially represent one of the most significant advancements in solar technology in the past 20 years. Inverters of a solar energy system converts the solar power into usable energy and its functionality is determined by the size, reliability, and efficiency.

To borrow part of the wikipedia explanation (in Italics): A solar inverter, or PV inverter, or Solar converter, converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network. It is a critical BOS–component in a photovoltaic system, allowing the use of ordinary AC-powered equipment. Solarinverters have special functions adapted for use with photovoltaic arrays, including maximum power point tracking and anti-islanding protection.


To have a better understanding of how the new HD Wave Inverter Technology differs from the traditional systems, let’s take a look at the internal view of a traditional solar inverter, with many large capacitors (blue cylinders seen in the photo below) used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform (diagram below The Guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter) . The new HD Wave Inverter technology eliminates the need for the electrolytic capacitors. It also uses less magnetics and fewer cooling components, smaller, lighter, with higher efficiency, and greater reliability.

The guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter. Internal view of a solar inverter. Note the many large capacitors (blue cylinders), used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform. Russell Neches - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rneches/2541181118/

The guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter. Internal view of a solar inverter. Note the many large capacitors (blue cylinders), used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform.
Russell Neches – http://www.flickr.com/photos/rneches/2541181118/

Square waveform with fundamental sine wave component, 3rd harmonic and 5th harmonic (Source:

Square waveform with fundamental sine wave component, 3rd harmonic and 5th harmonic

Most of the reports I’ve come across discussed the space and weight that will be reduced as a result of replacing those traditional large capacitors (blue cylinders in photos above). In reality, it is even more critical the fact that the replacement by the new HD wave  technology (thin film technology) means much lower chance of failure and may potentially allow the inverter to last as long as the complete solar system itself. Keep in mind that, now, most of the solar panels have warranty period of about 25 years, batteries typically have limited warranties of 5-10 years, and inverters have coverage of 5-10 years. So, if one takes all into consideration (longevity as well as the reduction of space, weight, and transport cost, etc.), this new HD Wave Inverter technology may potentially massively (greater than 50%) reduce the cost of inverter and overall solar system.

This is a perfect example of why cost of solar systems may continue to drop despite the fact that much had already occurred (cost of solar had already dropped tremendously these past 5 years). So, let the growing demand of solar to continue. We are ready for a sunny world!

Gathered, written, & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any suggestions, concerns, questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

For more on solar energy topics, please feel free to check into links below:

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http://www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

http://www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

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8 August

Dr. Christopher Case (of Oxford PV) Discusses Game-Changing Future Transformer of Solar Power Generation-Perovskite Based Solar Cell Technology

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,


(Please click on red links & note magenta)

I  saved the most potential game-changing solar technology in the last interview spot, the update of Perovskite-based solar cell technology with the Chief Technology Officer of Oxford PV, Dr. Christopher Case, of this series of Intersolar North America 2015 interviews. Recalling one of our earlier posts, I wrote about Perovskite, a calcium titanium oxide mineral discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1839. This new old material is generating quite an explosive buzz because scientists have found, in recent years, that it is a great material to be used in solar absorption applications. It can be made simply and inexpensively by using common wet chemistry lab methods and low cost equipments instead of the expensive deposition equipments common in the semiconductor industry. To take a look at how this process is made cheap and accessible, I’m sharing the video below:


These solar (photovoltaic) cells are made in tandem (layer by layer) fashion on a specially coated glass support. In the video above:

  1. the glass is coated with a dense layer of titanium dioxide, by robotic arm, to prevent electrical charge generated by sunlight from leaking out of the cell.
  2. a less dense porous oxide layer covers the dense oxide layer (usually titanium dioxide, other oxides may also be used).
  3. a simple high speed spin coater deposits this layer from solution and spreads this coating evenly across the device.
  4. heating this glass/device in an oven conditions it for solar cell use.
  5. prepare the Perovskite material (which absorbs in the broad range of solar spectrum) by combining 2 precursor materials:   PbI2 (lead iodide) & CH6IN (methylammonium iodide)
  6. drip the liquid phase mixture (from 5.) onto the oxide coated device (from 4.)
  7.  spin the resulting device in 6 to assure even coating
  8.  applying halide solution
  9.  heating the device resulting from 8 on a hot plate–>spontaneously crystallizes precursors in freshly deposited liquid
  10.  color changes also result from crystallization process resulting from 9.

Such tandem product has the advantage of being able to be introduced into existing infrastructure of current silicon module manufacturing process, boosting its efficiency. With added few steps toward the end of the production line, the coating (equivalent to second solar cell) takes advantage of the blue portion of the solar spectrum and may improve the solar cell efficiency by 20-25% above the underlying silicon. The fact that Perovskite-based solar cell technology is of earth abundant material also insures its availability and low cost. Its high absorption in solar spectrum enables it to have comparable characteristics to that of gallium arsenide. Its ability to change its sensitivity to different band gaps in solar spectrum allows it to make different architectures in tandem solar cells. It can truly be considered as the Custom Solar Absorber! In short term,  Perovskite-based solar cell may boost the efficiency level of existing technology and in the long term, it may be a stand-alone technology with closer efficiency level to that of gallium arsenide but at a much lower cost. It may potentially be sprayed, ink-jet printed, dip-coated, etc. It is no wonder that Dr. Case commented, “the perovskite in solar application is the fastest increasing photovoltaic efficiency of any solar photovoltaic thin film material ever! In just a few years, it went from a lab efficiency of about 6% to well over 17%…the material is a very good solar absorber….bringing the material to 25% efficiency in a monolithic layer and 30%+ in a perovskite tandem layer….potentially the future replacement for silicon.”

The perovskite thin-film solar cells, is currently being developed by Oxford PV (a spin-out from the University of Oxford in 2009-2010 to commercialize this technology, which has exclusively licensed the intellectual property developed by Professor Henry Snaith and his team of 20 scientists). Below, Professor Henry Snaith will embellish upon the development of this solar technology:

Oxford PV plans on continuing to optimize this technology’s cell efficiency and accelerate the transfer of the technology into production. Furthermore, it aims to develop the range of substrates to which the cells can be applied. With its promising future, we, the solar enthusiasts and investors alike, should keep our eyes on Oxford PV in the coming years. In the next few years, we anticipate that Dr. Henry Snaith and his team of scientists will continue to tackle challenges in trap densities, doping densities, mobility, mechanisms for free carrier generations, etc., to further improve device performance. You will find that many in the solar industry share the optimism of Professor Henry Snaith and Dr. Christopher Case.

For those of you interested in more details about Perovskite-based solar cell technology, please refer to the two videos below:

1. Introducing Perovskite Solar Cells to Undergraduates:


2. Perovskite Solar Cells: From Device Fabrication to Device Degradation-Timothy Kelly:

~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, edited, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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20 July

Intersolar North America 2015, In San Francisco, With Intention

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Permanent art installations from Janet Echelman, Kendall Buster, Norie Sato, Charles Sowers, and Walter Kitundu of San Francisco (SFO) international terminal in Terminal 2, formerly known as the "Central Terminal" replaced Rotunda A as SFO's international terminal in 1983. (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Permanent art installations from Janet Echelman, Kendall Buster, Norie Sato, Charles Sowers, and Walter Kitundu of San Francisco (SFO) international terminal in Terminal 2, formerly known as the “Central Terminal” replaced Rotunda A as SFO’s international terminal in 1983. (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Of all the photos I took during the trip to Intersolar North America at San Francisco, CA, I find this one (above) truly reflects the spirit of San Francisco. Take a look at how this piece of sculpture by Janet Echelman is described in wikipedia:

Echelman transforms the terminal with fictional nature that subtly engages viewers with real and imagined natural forces. Her sculpture installation cuts three round skylights into the ceiling, from which descend delicate layers of translucent colored netting to create three voluptuous volumetric forms. A series of shaded outlines below are embedded into the terrazzo floor, reflecting the precise shadows that would occur on the summer solstice if the sun could penetrate through the roof. During the day, sun streams through the skylights to cast real shadows that interplay with the fictional shadows in the floor. At night, the artist’s program of colored lighting makes the sculpture glow from indigo to purple, magenta to red-orange. Computer-programmed mechanized air-flow animates the fluidly-moving sculpture at different intervals throughout the day, as if the wind could magically flow through solid walls.

The artist achieved the sculpture’s physical presence by braiding fibers and knotting twine into sculptural netting suspended from powder-coated steel armatures. Despite their large scale, more than 120 feet in circumference for a single form, her sculpture is experienced as ephemeral and weightless. Visually, the sculpture evokes the contours and colors of cloud formations over the Bay and hints at the silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge. Aesthetically, the sculpture looks both backwards and forwards, drawing its color from the heyday of psychedelic music, the Summer of Love, and San Francisco’s prominence in the beat poetry movement, while also referencing the contemporary bay area as a hub of innovation and interconnectivity for the world of technology.

There is definite intention behind how and why San Francisco is such a hub of innovation and interconnectivity for the world of technology. I have personally observed, on more than one occasion, how San Francisco network had actively gathered/netted in talents from other parts of the USA and good part of the planet earth. On this particular trip, more than ever, I have gained so much information, hope, and optimism for the future of solar industry and technology during Intersolar North America 2015, that I can truly appreciate such netting mechanism radiated from this little area of approximately 46 sq mi. That is why the artist/sculptor Janet Echelman from Tampa, FL , has her sculpture displayed in San Francisco International airport terminal 2 instead of in Tampa, FL.   In the short 3-4 days of Intersolar North America 2015, more than ever before, I can see the future certainty of Solar Tsunami. Coming from a background of mathematics and engineering (civil and mechanical), I’ve gained much of my understanding for the power/energy industry by having an in-house (hubby) technical advisor with electrical engineering background. What seemed to me, intuitively, the natural solution for Energy-Pollution-Economy-Climate Change-International Conflicts during my freshman year in college more than three decades ago, the Solar Energy, will finally be in the main stream!

There will be a series of posts and videos from Intersolar North America 2015 during the remaining of this week and good part of the next week demonstrating how Solar Energy will soon be in the main stream. World wide, we have Germany to be thankful for. USA wide, we have CA and San Francisco to be thankful for.

~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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21 January

We Have The Date & Location of Formula Sun 2015!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Words just came down the wire from Evan Stumpges of American Solar Challenge, below:

“We’re thrilled to announce that FSGP 2015 will be returning to Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX July 26-31, 2015 (Sun-Fri), with the first 3 days being scrutineering and the last 3 days being the track race. Mark your calendars! Additional details to follow as they become available.”

Formula Sun 2015 Regulations

Formula Sun 2015 Regulations

(Please click on red links and note magenta)

Please click on Formula Sun 2015 Regulations to review details of the 44-page Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) 2015 Regulations.

The Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) is hosted by the Innovators Educational Foundation. It promotes and celebrates educational excellence and engineering creativity. Fueled by the spirit of friendly competition and teamwork, the FSGP event champions the creative integration of technical and scientific expertise across a range of exciting disciplines (such as engineering, mathematics, sciences, businesses, in multi-disciplined experiential learning and in subsequent careers.) The Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) is an annual track race that is held on grand prix or road style closed courses. This unique style of solar car racing is open to teams from universities and colleges around the world and truly tests the limits of the vehicles in handling curves, braking, and acceleration.

On years when the American Solar Challenge (ASC) is held, FSGP serves as the qualifier race for this competition. Teams must successfully complete FSGP to prove their vehicles before they are allowed to start the cross-country ASC journey. Below, you will see videos (filmed by Michael Nunamaker, interviewed, edited, and uploaded by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker) of some of the solar cars and students that had participated during the ASC (Americal Solar Challenge) 2012:


Part 1 of 2 of this event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_wP9nRRfeM

The racing strategy applied during the three day FSGP track event is different than the cross-country ASC event. Driver training, passing strategy, and quick pit stops are crucial for teams racing in FSGP. It’s also essential to have a diligent team member in the timing booth and follow all of the rules of the track to ensure all laps get counted.

The winner of FSGP is determined by the total number of laps completed over the three days of racing. The team that completes the fastest single lap around the track is also recognized in the awards ceremony. If your university is interested in entering the next FSGP competition, please visit the Formula Sun 2015 Regulations of the event.

Please keep in mind that the Registration Deadlines is on p.7 of the Formula Sun Regulations. We will keep you posted of its location and date of the actual race in future post:

  1. Initial registration package is due: March 1, 2015
  2. Technical Documents are due: April 1, 2015
  3. Track registration package is due: April 1, 2015

A special note for Innovators Educational Foundation: It is a 501(c)(3) organization that is supported with 100% volunteers from all across the United States. These volunteers gave/give their time freely, understanding the importance of education and the impact that real experiences have in a learning environment. For information on how you and your organization can support their effort, please visit their sponsorship page.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

https://plus.google.com/+SunisthefutureNet

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

 

 

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1 January

Become a Participant or Sponsor For Formula Sun 2015

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Formula Sun 2015 Regulations

Formula Sun 2015 Regulations

(Please click on red links and note magenta)

Please click on Formula Sun 2015 Regulations to review details of the 44-page Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) 2015 Regulations.

The Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) is hosted by the Innovators Educational Foundation. It  promotes and celebrates educational excellence and engineering creativity. Fueled by the spirit of friendly competition and teamwork, the FSGP event champions the creative integration of technical and scientific expertise across a range of exciting disciplines (such as engineering, mathematics, sciences, businesses, in multi-disciplined experiential learning and in subsequent careers.)  The Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) is an annual track race that is held on grand prix or road style closed courses. This unique style of solar car racing is open to teams from universities and colleges around the world and truly tests the limits of the vehicles in handling curves, braking, and acceleration.

On years when the American Solar Challenge (ASC) is held, FSGP serves as the qualifier race for this competition. Teams must successfully complete FSGP to prove their vehicles before they are allowed to start the cross-country ASC journey. Below, you will see videos (filmed by Michael Nunamaker, interviewed, edited, and uploaded by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker) of some of the solar cars and students that had participated during the ASC (Americal Solar Challenge) 2012:


Part 2 of 2 of this event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aAgXIdDA-w

The racing strategy applied during the three day FSGP track event is different than the cross-country ASC event. Driver training, passing strategy, and quick pit stops are crucial for teams racing in FSGP. It’s also essential to have a diligent team member in the timing booth and follow all of the rules of the track to ensure all laps get counted.

The winner of FSGP is determined by the total number of laps completed over the three days of racing. The team that completes the fastest single lap around the track is also recognized in the awards ceremony. If your university is interested in entering the next FSGP competition, please visit the Formula Sun 2015 Regulations of the event.

Please keep in mind that the Registration Deadlines is on p.7 of the Formula Sun Regulations. We will keep you posted of its location and date of the actual race in future post:

  1. Initial registration package is due: March 1, 2015
  2. Technical Documents are due: April 1, 2015
  3. Track registration package is due: April 1, 2015

A special note for Innovators Educational Foundation: It is a 501(c)(3) organization that is supported with 100% volunteers from all across the United States. These volunteers gave/give their time freely, understanding the importance of education and the impact that real experiences have in a learning environment. For information on how you and your organization can support their effort, please visit their sponsorship page.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

https://plus.google.com/+SunisthefutureNet

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

 

 

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22 July

Dr. Henry Snaith Believes That We May Have Entirely Clean Energy In Five Years

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links and note magenta)

Before our interview with Dr. Christopher Case, I confess I’ve only come across one article mentioning perovskite. I had no idea that it is a calcium titanium oxide mineral species

A Perovskite mineral (Calcium titanate) from Kusa, Russia. Taken at the Harvard Museum of Natural History (credit: wikipedia)

Perovskite, a calcium titanium oxide mineral species composed of calcium titanate. The mineral was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia by Gustav Rose in 1839 (credit: wikipedia)

originally discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1839, nor did I know that this perovskite structure has oxygen in its face centers.

Perovskite structure with a chemical formula ABX(3). The red spheres are X atoms (usually oxygens). The blue spheres are B-atoms (smaller metal cation such as Ti). The green spheres are the A-atoms (larger metal cation such as Ca).

But during my research for the interview, it’s become apparent that this solid state hybrid solar cells based on organometal trihalide perovskite absorbers will likely advance solar technology to the very highest efficiencies while retaining the very lowest cost.  In the next few years, the perovskite-based technology may emerge as a contender for the ultimately low-cost solar power. This may explain why the response from Dr. Henry Snaith, (researcher and developer of perovskite solar technology), to the question “Could we have entirely clean energy in five years?” is a resounding:”I absolutely believe we could.”

Let’s take a look at the reason why Dr. Snaith has such a strong belief in the future of solar/clean energy technology, video below:


In the next few years, we anticipate that Dr. Henry Snaith and his team of scientists will continue to tackle challenges in trap densities, doping densities, mobility, mechanisms for free carrier generations, etc., to further improve device performance. Many are expecting to see efficiency level of above 20% and use of perovskite as top cells in multijunction devices based on currently commercially available technology. It will be exciting to see the full potential of this emerging solar technology unveiling before our eyes. I hope you are also as hopeful and optimistic as Dr. Henry Snaith.

 

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

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21 July

Perovskite Solar Cell Technology of Oxford PV, The Potential Game-Changer

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links and note magenta)

At InterSolar North America 2014 in San Francisco, CA, I came across a potentially game-changing technology that holds much promise for low cost solar power in the future.  This technology, the perovskite thin-film solar cells, is currently being developed by Oxford PV (a spin-out from the University of Oxford in 2009-2010 to commercialize this technology, which has exclusively licensed the intellectual property developed by Professor Henry Snaith and his team of 20 scientists). The perovskite thin-film solar cells can be directly printed/sprayed onto glass to produce a semi-transparent colored coating. Below is an interview with the Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Christopher Case, of Oxford PV:


The apparent enthusiasm of Dr. Case is seen in his discussion of the perovskite cell technology. One can understand the source of Dr. Case’s enthusiasm. According to Dr. Case, “the perovskite in solar application is the fastest increasing photovoltaic efficiency of any solar photovoltaic thin film material ever! In just a few years, it went from a lab efficiency of about 6% to well over 17%…the material is a very good solar absorber….bringing the material to 25% efficiency in a monolithic layer and 30%+ in a perovskite tandem layer….potentially the future replacement for silicon.” This perovskite solar cell technology is optimized to drive a paradigm shift in the aesthetics, performance, and cost of BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaic) systems, potentially bringing low cost electricity to the solar market much sooner than predicted. It is no wonder the highly respected international journal, Nature, has named Dr. Henry Snaith of University of Oxford as one of the ten people who have made the most difference in science during 2013 in recognition of his work on this next generation solar power technology. Let’s also take a look at the comparison between Convetional PV vs. Oxford PV, below (provided by www.oxfordpv.com):

 

Conventional PV                                                                         Oxford PV_________________

Opaque                                                                                      Range of transparency options

Blue or Black                                                                              Palette of colors and tints

Contains scarce elements and rare earths                                  Sustainable, abundant, organic ingredients

Complex, high temperature and high vacuum manufacturing    Simple screen printing manufacturing processes

High capital cost of manufacturing                                            Low capital cost of manufacturing

Heavy panels physically attached to building                          Aesthetically attractive glazing panels integrated into the building envelope

__________________________________________________________________________________

Without using the titanium dioxide as a semiconductor, this technology results in higher levels of efficiency, much lower processing temperature, and improved cell stability. Oxford PV plans on continuing to optimize this technology’s cell efficiency and accelerate the transfer of the technology into production. Furthermore, it aims to develop the range of substrates to which the cells can be applied.

Oxford PV has a strong supporting team (such as Kevin ArthurDr. David Fyfe, Paul Vickery, etc.) With its promising future, we, the solar enthusiasts and investors alike, should keep our eyes on Oxford PV in the coming years.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

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15 July

GTAT Bringing Merlin To Solar Industry

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links and note magenta)

This is an interview with the team (Sr. Vice President/General Manager Dr. Venkatesan Murali, Sr. Director of Marketing Jeff Nestel-Patt, and Vice President of Sales Andrew Barta) from GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) at San Francisco, CA, during InterSolar North America 2014, on July 9, 2014,overlooking the Yerba Buena Gardens on top of Moscone North. Video below:


As the global demand for solar energy continues to grow while the industry is facing downward pricing pressure, reduced subsidies, and solar trade tensions, it becomes increasingly important for PV manufacturers to achieve further cost reductions and improved cell efficiency. GTAT accomplishes this by introducing the innovative metallization & cell interconnect technology (Merlin Advanced Metallization Technology) that transforms the solar module into a less expensive, more efficient panel that is easier to install.

The Merlin Advanced Metallization Technology enables greater performance than the traditional modules by:

  1. Eliminating up to 80% of the expensive silver paste used in the traditional cells and modules, leading to cost reduction.
  2. The same screen printing equipment installed in cell line can be used to print the segmented fingers onto the cell
  3. Flexible grid that eliminates silver bus bars: a plated copper grid is attached to the segmented fingers on the top of the solar cell. The combination of segmented fingers and flexible grid makes it easier to move current off the cell. The flexible grid provides 20 paths/highways for the current to travel along rather than the three bus bars found on the traditional solar cells.
  4. Reducing shading by bus bars and increasing electrical connections on the surface of the cell  lead to increased cell efficiency and increased power output (by 3-5% compared to standard module).
  5. Improving the interconnection between cells by eliminating the need for stringing and tabbing of the old technology, providing highly flexible and durable way to connect cells while eliminating the bus bar tabs of traditional cells. Cells can therefore be connected closer together, allowing a smaller and more flexible module than the conventional module.
  6. The flexible tabs at the end of each grid solve the problem generally associated with breakage of modules during transport resulting from metal fatigue when ribbons break due to dynamic loading conditions during shipping.
  7. GTAT is almost 50% lighter than the conventional modules.
  8. Easier installation results in lower balance of system costs

(Please also refer to this video for visual demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf2E_Uq3Lzw)

GTAT is already working with select customers to implement Merlin, involving custom-made copper meshes soldered on to PV cells instead of bus bars. GTAT will produce and sell customized copper meshes to customers, and expects to reach a production capacity of 100 MW annually by the end of 2014. In early 2015, it will begin to offer a wire attachment tool to customers, which will replace the tabbing stringer. Orders may be taken in last quarter of 2014, so in 2015, solar PV module makers will be able to work with this new technology to replace silver bus bars with a customizable copper mesh, reducing silver usage, increasing power output, and allowing lighter modules to be transported and installed.

GT Advanced Technologies Inc. is a global provider of polysilicon production technology and sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the global solar, LED, and other electronics industries and specialty markets. The company’s products and services accelerate the adoption of new advanced materials that improve performance and lower the cost of manufacturing. For additional information about GT Advanced Technologies, please visit www.gtat.com.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.sunisthefuture.com

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

 

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3 May

Landfills+Community Solar=Great Opportunities & Savings

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

In response to what I’ve discovered and posted in “Hurray For Solar Landfills!” and The “Magic of EGSC (Exposed Geomembrane of Solar Cover) Technology of Solar Landfills“, I would like to share the information obtained from FL DEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection):

I am hoping to encourage residents of Florida to take advantage of the closed landfill surface area to protect our environment while generating solar power and reducing carbon footprint. Below is the link to all the closed landfills in state of Florida:

CLOSED  LANDFILLS  in  STATE  of  FLORIDA

Combining what we’ve learned previously from Paul Spencer of Clean Energy Collective in our post “Chatting With Paul Spencer, President and Founder of Clean Energy Collective, On Community Solar Garden” and video below,


I hope many of you out there will be interested in taking the initiative to embark on the journey of establishing Community Solar Gardens/Farms (including/utilizing surface area of landfills) to reduce the cost of your future power bills. Potentially, millions and millions of dollars may be saved. If you need better understanding of what and how Community Solar Garden/Farm works, please feel free to visit various links at A. Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm available at Sun Is The Future.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Related Post: The Amazing EGSC (Exposed Geomembrane Solar Cover)

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18 January

CSI, California Solar Initiative, Way To Go !!!

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Dear Friends, Readers/Viewers/Visitors,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

There is much hope and optimism for those involved with solar energy. I will be sharing with you a series of fantastic progress/news in solar energy world throughout our planet, starting with what’s been happening in California of USA.

According to CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission), the CSI (California Solar Initiative) has reached a milestone of 1 GW (gigawatt) of installed power.  The CSI has a goal of reaching 1,940 MW (megawatt) of installed power by the end of 2016 and a budget of $2.4 billion over 10 year period.  By the end of 2012, the CSI program had installed 1,066 MW in its general market and affordable housing photovoltaic programs, reaching  55% of its 1,940 MW goal, and an additional 332 MW (17% of its total goal) in pending projects.  The rebates are up 92% lower than they were at the start of the program in 2007, but participation in the program continues to increase.  Below is a video clip of the overview of how CPUC, through the CSI, will be helping existing businesses, public agencies, and homeowners to lower their energy costs, and to reduce reliance on fossil fuel-fed power plants and create a sustainable energy future by using solar technology:

Gather, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Your comments/suggestions/questions are always welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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