Posts Tagged ‘thin film’

24 March

Hanergy Charging Toward The Solar Electric Future!


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Harmonious Sunshine (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Harmonious & Collaborative Sunshine (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

The aggresive Chinese NEA in the previous post has inspired me to have a closer look at some of the current Chinese effort toward solar energy.  Interestingly,  some new development regarding Hanergy Holding getting ready to launch five models of solar-powered cars in October this year got my attention, for I’ve had a history of covering the solar car events since 2011.

Hanergy is a privately held Chinese multinational renewable energy company founded in 1994 by Li Hejun  (its current chairman and CEO). Its headquarter is in Beijing. It is active in solar, wind and hydropower generation and is one of the world’s largest thin-film solar power company. Hanergy was ranked No. 23 in the 2014 list of 50 Smartest Companies by MIT Technology Review, noting “the Chinese energy company is snapping up advanced solar technologies at fire-sale prices.”

As the market share of thin film photovoltaic panels is expected to decline each year to 2017, according to one of the NPD Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly report, it is not surprising that Hanergy has been further exploring and expanding into other clean energy territories such as auto sector.  Considering the fact that transportation vehicle is one of the main contributing factors for CO2 emission and particulates pollution any where on planet earth, Hanergy Holding is likely to continue to have tremendous impact toward cleaning our earthly environment in the future.

Solar Charging Station (credit: Hanergy)

Solar Charging Station (credit: Hanergy)

Hanergy was on the top of Tesla‘s list of collaborators for the first PV Supercharger station in China. Two solar PV charging systems designed and manufactured by Hanergy Solar Group (at Tesla’s request), were showcased in April, 2014, by Tesla. Finally, some body has taken up on Elon Musk’s offer of Tesla’s patents for free! Plans for Tesla’s supercharger network in China will continue to roll out in large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Tesla’s founder Elon Musk said: “In the future, Tesla will work with partners to build supercharger network. The first charging station in Beijing was built in cooperation with Hanergy Solar Group. Tesla will continue to invest in the construction of superchargers in China, aiming to quickly expand the network.” Elon Musk also noted that large investments will be brought into China for the building of seven Supercharger networks.

The two solar PV charging systems showcased were somewhat different, as indicated in the press release at the time, below (in italics):

The Beijing carport, a mobile carport designed to be assembled and transported, adopts Hanergy’s GSE flexible thin-film solar modules. The Shanghai carport will be a fixed structure, and adopts Hanergy’s MiaSole CIGS high-efficiency modules. The first phase of both carports has been completed.

The PV charging system by Hanergy Solar Group protects vehicles like ordinary carports, while (at the same time) converting sunlight into electricity (via) its solar rooftop. At the same time, the system charges the electric vehicle through its energy storage system. The system uses the CIGS thin-film PV technology, the most advanced in the world. With conversion rates peaking at 20.5%, this technology offers light weight, flexibility, excellent low-light performance and advanced packaging. More importantly, no fixed column is required, which significantly reduces the cost.

Vice President of Hanergy Global Solar Power and Application Group, Ms. Zhang Qingliang, stated: “Hanergy has been actively exploring ways to utilize its thin-film photovoltaic technology to provide solutions through technological innovation and cross industrial integration. We have been working with multiple domestic and foreign automobile manufacturers to integrate solar, and is also researching on energy storage, photovoltaic car roof and other solar-automobile applications.”

As Hanergy continues working with three domestic and two foreign companies on solar powered cars, it will be interesting for us to keep our eyes on what 5-models of solar cars that will be unveiled in October of 2015.  With an earthly population of over one billion people, China will provide a huge potential market for future solar cars. The collaboration between Hanergy and Tesla in solar electric cars and supercharging stations will bring forth not only the vehicle of Solar Energy Age, Cleaner Environment, but an important appreciation for multinational collaboration.  This is truly the kind of success through Harmonious Collaboration that our planet needs more of on our way toward a brighter, healthier, and better world.

P.S. The English edition of China’s New Energy Revolution by renewable energy advocate and Hanergy Chairman Li Hejun is now available for purchase in bookstores across the U.S. as well as in e-book format.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

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21 July

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


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(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


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

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26 March

The Magnificent Solar Project of Royal Adelaide Showground of Australia


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

I’ve got quite a treat for you today!

Panoramic view of Adelaide Showground Solar Panels at Rooftop (generating 1,400 megawatt-hour of solar electricity every year) (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Besides the Australian Federal Solar Incentives and Australian State Feed-In-Tariffs, Australian government also provided other forms of encouragement for solar/renewable energy projects. In 2008, Premier Mike Rann announced the $8 million investment in the largest rooftop solar installation to take place at The Royal Adelaide Showground (locally known as the Wayville Showground). The Showground is located in the inner-southern Adelaide suburb of Wayville, just south of Greenhill Road. It is bordered by Goodwood Road (east), Leader Street (south), the railway line (west) and Rose Terrace (north). The Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia (RAHS) has controlled the site since the 1920s, the land having been purchased by the South Australian government prior to the First World War. The Royal Adelaide Showground  moved to the present site in 1925. The Adelaide Showground has one of the largest under-cover exhibition spaces in the Southern Hemisphere, hosting over 140 exhibitions and conferences,  attracting over 1.3 million visitors each year. From its 3.5 million liter underground water tanks to its solar installation generating 1,400 megawatt hour of solar electricity each year (equivalent to the capacity of powering 250 South Australian homes, powering 40% of the total average annual Showground’s power needs, saving 1,400 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission annually), Adelaide Showground is arguably the most environmentally friendly multi-purpose venue in Australia. It also provides a valuable educational resource for the wider community (check out its Solar Power Meter below, rarely seen at any other solar rooftop installations).

We were quite fortunate to have Mr. Ross Hocking of The Adelaide Showground, showing us the Showground, talking about its history, power generation, and showing us the simple but wonderfully educational Solar Power Meter

Adelaide Showground's Solar Power Meter, indicating the solar panels are functioning at about 40% of the maximum capacity...pretty good efficiency level for a cloudy day! Standing next to the Solar Power Meter, our technical advisor at Sun Is The Future, Mr. Michael Nunamaker (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Ross Hocking of Adelaide Showground (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)


that I have never seen at any other solar installation sites. It is easy to see the pride of the local people in their Royal Adelaide Showground solar rooftop through the eyes of Mr. Ross Hocking.

The project is the first MW-scale industrial rooftop  solar plant in Australia and the first commercial installation of First Solar Cd-Te thin film technology. The total area of the panels is 9,239 square-meters, installed on six buildings: Goyder, Jubilee, Wayville, Dairy/Goat Pavilions, Duncan Gallery, and Ridley Center. 12,612 First Solar 77.5 watt thin film CdTe modules, manufactured in Malaysia, and 108 Suntech 210 watt polycrystalline Si modules, manufactured in China, were installed on northern facades, Jubilee and Goyder Pavilions and screens. It took just three months to complete. The system is divided into 184 sub-systems, each is monitored for power production. The thin film technology chosen for this project has better temperature tolerance than typical mono- or poly- crystalline panels. These panels are warrantied for 25 years, but are expected to last at least 30-40 years. Its estimated average 1,400 annual power production will generate a gross saving of approximately $126,000 pa. Furthermore, as an Accredited Power Station, Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) are received for MW’s generated, estimated at about $46,000 (traded at market value).

Adelaide Showground layout, where multiple pavilions have solar installations either on the rooftop or on the side of the building (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Adelaide Showground Solar Panels at Duncan Gallery (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)







Adelaide Showground rooftop solar panels seen on multiple pavilions' rooftops (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)











Adelaide Showground solar rooftop (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)







Installation of the solar panels and associated systems was managed by building and engineering company Built Environs in partnership with grid-connect solar systems provider Solar Shop Australia. Usually the panels are washed once a year. Maintenance was contracted for the first ten years by the systems integrators, Solar Shop Australia Pty Ltd, to ensure the correct functioning of all structural and electrical components.

Once again, we see the importance of effective government policy and/or actions that would benefit both the consumers and growth of solar energy industry, insuring local economic prosperity while solving a nation’s concern for energy security and environmental quality. Australian government and politicians have accomplished a great deal. Bravo!

~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

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

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