Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Andrea Schartner, Head of Communications at Fronius International Business Unit Solar Energy, gives PES an update on the progress of their 24 hours of sun vision. Smart solutions such as continuously adjustable regulation and their award winning Ohmpilot are edging them nearer to this goal. PES: Hi Andrea, it’s a pleasure to welcome you to PES. It’s a while since we had a contributor from Fronius, so to begin with could you give us a company update? Andrea Schartner: We have a very strong product and systems portfolio in both the residential and commercial sectors. Our main strength is in roof-top installations. We specialise in self-consumption systems including storage, energy monitoring, open interfaces, the integration of heat and mobility and the control of energy flows. Wherever service and expertise are called for we are really well positioned with our network of partners. We are extremely proud of our Fronius System Partners. Our relationship with the installers has always been of the utmost importance to us, since they form the crucial foundation stone for our sales and service organisation. The training and service philosophy of Fronius System Partners is unrivalled anywhere around the world, just as it always has been. PES: Please can

Read More

Gordon Clements General Manager of VARTA Storage, dropped by to give PES his views on the energy storage market. A market, which he is sure will continue to grow. Systems have to evolve quickly and be adaptable to meet the consumers’ changing needs and there are many combinations on offer. PES: Hi Gordon, welcome back to PES Solar/PV, it’s good to talk to you again. For our new readers, could you give us a brief overview of VARTA to bring them up to date? Gordon Clements: VARTA Storage GmbH is the daughter of VARTA AG specialising in the design, manufacture and application of lithium-ion batteries. Based in Nördlingen, Bavaria, we specialise in energy storage as well as applications such as power tools, garden tools, domestic appliances, robotics and material handling systems. Our strength in the energy storage market is that we are a battery company, with a strong brand. We have been producing batteries for more than 130 years and lithium-ion batteries for over 30 years. Our well-established brand stands for quality, service, reliability, integrity and innovation and of course safety is our number one concern. VARTA is a B2B company. In the residential storage market, we sell our products to wholesalers, who in turn

Read More

PES met up with Stacey Delzeit, Sr Applications Engineer at Trojan, which as you know is a world-famous name in batteries. Despite making batteries for almost 100 years, R&D continues to produce new, exciting and innovative products, which provide great flexibility to the end user. There are still more markets to conquer and they relish the challenge. PES: Hi Stacey, we’ve been working with Trojan Battery for a good few years now so it’s great to welcome you to PES Solar/PV. As always, we have new readers, so could you give us a brief overview of the company to bring them up to date? Stacey Delzeit: Trojan has been making lead-acid batteries in the US since 1925. Our maroon batteries have become synonymous with quality, durability, and long life. We offer flooded, AGM and GEL lead-acid deep-cycle batteries. Recently, we added lithium-ion batteries to our list of products. PES: What is your experience in the solar/PV industry and is this a significant part of your business? SD: People have been using Trojan’s deep-cycle batteries in solar applications for many years. Our standard ‘golf’ and ‘floor cleaning’ batteries were often used in solar applications because of their high quality. So, several years

Read More

The UK’s battery storage market has great potential, but the current political uncertainty in the country means that many projects are being put on the back burner. In which areas does it still make sense to invest in storage systems? PES wanted to find out more from Lawrie Wilson, Area Manager for the UK and ROI at Tesvolt, and Simon Patterson, CEO of MSP Technologies. PES: Hi, we’ve been working with Tesvolt for a good few years now so it’s great to welcome you to PES Solar/PV. As always, we have new readers, so could you give us a brief overview of the company to bring them up to date? Lawrie Wilson: We specialise in high-performance lithium-ion battery storage systems for commercial and industrial use. In the past few months, we have been developing our Megawatt Container which ensures maximum cost efficiency for the lithium high-voltage storage system, making it around 40% more economical than its predecessor. We will be presenting the TPS 2.0 and our other products from 4.8 kWh up to several megawatt hours at Intersolar in Munich. PES: The UK energy storage market has been hit by uncertainty. What is your take on the current situation? Simon

Read More

Matthias Mack, Director Global Alternative Energies and member of the Management Board at Stäubli, came to talk to PES about electrical connectors. These small components play a crucial role in a long-term partnership between our company and the customer. This is built on reliability, thoughtful expertise, dynamism and exceptional quality, in both products and services. PES: Welcome back, it’s good to talk to you again. As we have some new readers, who don’t know as much as we do about Stäubli, could you give us a brief overview of your company to bring them up to date? Matthias Mack: Stäubli Electrical Connectors, formerly Multi-Contact, is part of the Swiss family-owned Stäubli Group, founded in 1892. We are a global mechatronics solution provider with three dedicated activities: connectors, both fluid and electrical, robotics and textile, We have over 56 years of practical experience in producing reliable electrical connectors for different industries. We have been the pioneer and market leader for electrical connectors in photovoltaics for more than 25 years. The first industrial photovoltaic connector (MC3) was introduced by Stäubli in 1996 followed by the original MC4 in 2002, has set the industry standard ever since. We never compromise when it comes to

Read More

Martin Bellmann is a Senior Research Scientist at SINTEF. We were pleased to meet up with him at PES to discuss some of the research developments, driven by their customers. We were also keen to hear all about the Eco Solar EU project, which received massive EU investment, with excellent results. PES: Hi Martin, welcome to PES, it’s great to talk with you. We know your organisation works in many different sectors, so could you tell us something about your work in the solar/PV industry? Martin Bellmann: Myself, I have worked mostly in R&D, in the field of silicon feedstock, ingot and wafer manufacturing, in close collaboration with our Norwegian producers. Lately I have become more involved in the coordination of solar related actions across SINTEF. Our aim is to provide more comprehensive solutions to our customers, for a wider range of markets. It also includes securing funding at national and international level and gettin our customers on board. PES: We are curious to know if your research is customer driven? How does it work? MB: That’s what SINTEF is all about. Customer-driven innovation means understanding the customers’ real needs. Developing solutions that work for the customers can only be

Read More

The importance of reliable grid code compliance in times of increasing requirements Markus Holzapfel, Product Manager at meteocontrol GmbH spoke to PES about the reasons, the process and benefits for the industry of the certification of meteocontrol’s Power Plant Controller. PES: Welcome to PES Solar, it’s great to meet you. How did you end up in the solar industry and what is your role at meteocontrol? Markus Holzapfel: Thanks, likewise. As part of a volunteer year in East Africa, I worked on PV off-grid systems and after my studies decided to take up a career in renewable energies, with a focus on photovoltaics. At meteocontrol I work as a product manager and I’m responsible for our solutions based on one of our core products, the blue’Log XM / XC, a combination of plant controller and data logger in one device. The grid integration of PV systems plays a decisive role here, as the requirements of grid operators are also increasing with the continuous growth of solar power generation in our grids. PES: We would love to hear about some of your current projects. MH: Over the last 18 months and still ongoing, the certification of our plant controller Power Plant Controller (PPC), based on the blue’Log XC, according

Read More

PES was interested to find out from Donald van Velsen, Product Manager at Kipp & Zonen, about the latest developments and feedback on their DustIQ. We also wanted to learn if the recent changes, following the merger with the Meteorology division of OTT HydroMet, would make any difference to their solutions. Read on to find out what he had to say… PES: Hi Donald, it’s a pleasure to talk with you. As you know we have been following Kipp & Zonen for some years now and are regular participants in PES Solar/PV. As always, we have some new readers, so, could you give us a brief overview of your company to bring them up to date? Donald van Velsen: It’s good to be here. Although we are still Kipp & Zonen, the leading manufacturer of solar irradiance sensors, we are now part of the Meteorology division of OTT HydroMet. This will enable us to develop our solutions and integrate compact weather stations, from Lufft for example. Together we can offer high quality instruments to measure all weather parameters that influence the performance of a solar energy plant. PES: Is your work mainly in the solar/PV industry, in your opinion is it

Read More

PES caught up with Laura Sartore, CEO at Ecoprogetti, to get the latest from this innovative European provider of Turnkey lines for Photovoltaic Panels production, who has been in our business for over 20 years. Cost reduction and reduced downtimes are always in the forefront of R&D work, as well as European and safety regulations. PES: Hi Laura, it’s great to have you with us at PES Solar/PV. Would you like to begin by telling us a little about Ecoprogetti? Laura Sartore: Well Ecoprogetti is the only company in Europe that designs and manufactures complete machines for the production of photovoltaic panels 100 % in Europe. We have been working on big projects since 1998, especially in Europe, The Middle East and India, where we have the biggest customer base. We have driven development in the PV industry, starting from the old 4’ 600µm thickness round cells, through the whole evolution of solar products arriving at today’s peak, to create production solutions for PERC, bifacial, round wire, glass glass, shingling, adhesive technology and so on. We continue to drive dynamic and advanced research, both on machine innovation and cost reduction solutions, so that we always provide the most competitive and efficient

Read More

PID is being talked about more and more in our industry. Tsachy Hacohen Meler, V.P. Sales & Marketing, Vigdu Technologies LTD, invited PES to come and discover the latest way to avoid financial losses and improve efficiency. It seems there’s a new approach to PID, more so as the 1500V is now in play. PES: Hi Tsachy, welcome to PES Solar/PV, it’s great to talk with you. Could you begin by giving us a brief overview of Vigdu? Tsachy Hacohen Meler: Established in 2014 and based in Israel, Vigdu concentrates on R&D and the manufacturing of optimization resolutions for PV plants. We started with PID solutions, which we sell globally. We are pleased to say that our customers vary from inverters and PV module manufacturers, PV plants owners, to EPC’s & O&M’s. We supply embedded anti PID solutions with both day and night mode technologies. It’s an exciting time for us, because at the moment we are in the midst of significant patent-protected developments for the optimization of PV plants. PES: Can you explain why you believe it’s smarter and cheaper to use PID preventive measures from the planning stage? THM: We know for many years PID (Potential Induced Degradation) severely damages the performance and financing of

Read More