Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Black Forest-based Robert Bürkle GmbH succeeded in making a breakthrough in solar module production with its Ypsator, the world’s first and largest multi-opening laminator. Here Managing Director, Ralf Spindler, tells us about the company and its ambitious plans for the future.{pagebreak}With the Ypsator, Robert Bürkle GmbH succeeded in making a breakthrough in solar module production at its first attempt. The German plant manufacturer is now considered a pioneer in the field of multi-opening lamination. Some 20 solar modules can be produced simultaneously on the Ypsator which Managing Director, Ralf Spindler, claims is a world record. Herr Spindler told PES that Bürkle had supplied and commissioned more than 10 multi-opening laminators since the market launch at the end of 2007. “No manufacturer has supplied more,” said the 45-year-old manager. “This adds up to the capacity of around 50 traditional single-opening laminators.” Last year Bürkle also sold 13 units of the Tpsator and in 2008, business in the new photovoltaic sector was worth 31m Euros, raising turnover to 115m Euros. Business had been good this year as well, said Herr Spindler, with five further units of the Ypsator brand ordered and due to be supplied by the end of

Read More

There are very few industries that have grown as quickly as the photovoltaic industry over the last 10 years. Its image as a fancy technology is long gone and it is now on the way to becoming one of the 21st century's sources of energy. Lapp Group’s Michael Collet explains…{pagebreak} The industry has not always been in such good shape, of course. In 1905 Albert Einstein explained the "photovoltaic effect" which had actually been recognised and described for a long time. He also received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1922 for this work. However, it was another 50 years before the Bell laboratories in the US produced the first silicon-based solar cell for use in space. In 1958 Vanguard One was the first satellite to take its energy from one of six solar units made up of solar cells. Then, in the 1970s, thin-film solar cells were produced to provide energy for calculators and watches as well as crystalline cells for producing electricity in regions without power supply systems. In 1988, politicians ensured a further technological breakthrough with the German 1,000 Roofs programme, where private photovoltaic units were funded by the state. The renewable energy law was then passed in 2000

Read More

Alternative energy resources continue to be high in demand, and the photovoltaic industry is still leading the field. In order to ensure availability and short lead times, Swiss based PV connector specialist Multi-Contact largely increased their global manufacturing capacities and invested in state-of-the-art production facilities.{pagebreak} In 1996, Multi-Contact pioneered with the introduction of the world’s first standardised connector for photovoltaic installations. The innovative MC3 connector system was well received by the industry, and still has a good standing in the international market. The MC4 connector followed in 2002, and is today the most popular PV connector worldwide. Closely observing the latest developments and trends in the industry, and based on their long-term experience and expertise in the PV sector, Multi-Contact keep expanding their product range and provide customised solutions for individual requirements. In 2008, the total sales volume of PV products skyrocketed. The global photovoltaic market more than doubled compared to 2007 and the industry was suddenly facing an extremely tight market situation with a temporary shortage of supply. Even though there has been a noticeable decline in the meantime, driven by the current global financial crisis, the demand for photovoltaic solutions remains strong, and the upward trend is likely to pick

Read More

Prediktor is a Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) company with its HQ in Norway and subsidiaries in Singapore, Germany and China. Prediktor is partnering with the PV industry to optimise manufacturing processes and reduce the cost of solar power. The Prediktor Solar Manufacturing Execution System helps realise a plant’s full potential, based on in-depth solar industry experience. During the last eight years Prediktor has installed a substantial base of MES solutions to major PV industry players, such as REC, Elkem Solar, Norsun and Q-cells.{pagebreak} Leaders in the PV industry have recognised that the installation and use of a plant- wide real-time information system is vital to stay profitable and ahead of the competition on the road to grid parity. An MES system collects data in real-time, stores the data in a structured way and delivers information which enables the optimisation of production activities from order launch to finished goods. According to MESA, the goal of an MES solution is to improve execution throughput by five to 15 per cent. Why MES in the PV industryThe PV industry has experienced tremendous growth recently, driven by a seemingly unlimited demand for PV installations. The financial crisis has slowed this process down however and some solar

Read More

In a country which often generates adverse publicity as a result of its fluctuating economy and ever-changing political system, one area of consistently good news lies with its renewables industry, which is seen as one of the most up-and-coming in the world. In fact, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association.{pagebreak}investments in photovoltaics in southern Italy would next year start to compete with electricity from the national power grid. Thanks to generous subsidies and almost continuous sunshine, particularly in the southern tip of the country, Italy is expected to triple PV capacity from its current 450MW to an estimated 1,200 – 1,300MW by the end of 2010. And there is much excitement that grid parity is highly likely to be achieved. “Italy is the first large-scale market where it will happen

Read More

CN's rail network spans Canada and mid America, from the Atlantic and Pacifc oceans to the Gulf of Mexico. Combined with the railroad's ability to work with connecting rail carriers throughout North America and the fact that CN provides service at more ports than any other North American railroad, CN offers attractive shipping solutions for companies shipping within North America and internationally.{pagebreak}PES: North AmericaCN provides a greener way to ship wind turbine componentsWith wind turbines helping the world shift to a greener energy supply, more and more environmentally conscious manufacturers - and their customers - are interested in utilizing a greener transportation mode to get their winturbines to their destination. CN is in a strong position to support this important emerging market, with a shipping solution that is truly seamless, and a defnite green advantage.Emissions reduction is an integral part of CN's day-to-day activities. The railroad's new EPA Tier 2-compliant locomotives produce approximately 40% less nitrogen oxides than unregulated locomotives and consume up to 20% less fuel. In fact, CN can move one tonne of freight 197 kilometres on just one litre of fuel. Automatic stop/start devices shut locomotives down when they are not in use, and a low-idle feature ensures

Read More

Modern gears are performing heavier work and carrying greater loads than ever before. Gear manufacturers are redesigning, modernising and using finer steels to produce precision gears that will give better performance. This has never been truer than in the wind industry and the gears designed specifically for use in wind turbines. Furthermore, there is an increasing demand from all industries for more power in smaller packages.{pagebreak}Gears are used to transmit this power, and the same squeeze is on the gearbox - so how is it therefore possible to increase the load capacity of gears? Lubricant manufacturers have helped in addressing this need by developing better gear oils to help carry these increased loads safely. Lubrication Engineers Inc., ‘The Lubrication Reliability SourceTM' continues with extensive research and testing programs, to develop higher performance gear lubricant..

Read More

The German firm, Decker, started life as an iron foundry more than a century ago and has moved with the times ever since. In the late 1970s it began to supply etching equipment for the newly-emerging semiconductor industry and as this developed, so did Decker. Over the last 30 years it has created customer-specific equipment for wet- chemical cleaning and etching processes in the semiconductor and PV Industry.{pagebreak}No one could ever accuse the Decker company of not knowing what they’re talking about when it comes to the subject of processing silicon and silicon wafers. After all, they’ve taken 100 years to build up their expertise - starting life as an ironworks - to the point where they are first point of contact for customers who want specific, tailor-made solutions. Decker has profound knowledge in cleaning, etching, recovering and handling, and is also a competent supplier of equipment for the plating and general surface treatment industry. Based in based in Berching, near Nuremburg, the company has more than 50 years experience in wet cleaning and etching equipment for metal parts processing, 30 years experience in cleaning- etching- and handling-equipment for the IT and PV industry and more than 50 years

Read More

Taking on the challenge of grease lubrication in wind turbinesHave you ever stopped at a wind turbine and been impressed at the sheer scale of the engineering challenges of constructing such a large harvester of wind energy?Developing and selecting the correct lubricant for these engineering monuments requires not only knowledge of lubrication solutions, but also a deep experience of the factors present in the turbine during the full range of operations. So why is correct grease selection so critical in tribological terms?{pagebreak}Recent moves to harsh environments and scaling up of the energy output puts every component under extreme operating conditions. Take the main bearing in the wind turbine for example. Large, heavy loaded, remote, high moisture atmospheres - none of these are new conditions, but wind turbines have proven to be extremely difficult to master from a lubrication viewpoint. With pressure to capture return on investment and safety being a top priority, getting grease lubrication right is essential for operators. Mobil Industrial Lubricants has sound experience in wind turbine lubrication since more than 15 years helping customers unleash productivity in the very competitive power generation market. That is why equipment builders and operators rely on Mobil SHC Grease 460 WT

Read More

Meyer Burger slices into the high-tech sector for success and sustainabilityMeyer Burger is a leading supplier of high-precision machines with wire saws, band saws and ID / OD slicing systems for cutting hard and brittle materials such as silicon, sapphire or other crystals into wafers, prisms and other shapes. The company’s offering includes various models of high-precision machines, spare parts, wear and tear parts, consumables, regrooving service, process know-how, support, training and other services. Meyer Burger’s machines, skills and technologies are mainly used in the solar industry, the semiconductor industry and in the optical industry. {pagebreak}As a company that is active on a global level, Meyer Burger has its headquarters in Switzerland, subsidiaries in China and Japan and service centres in Germany and the Philippines, which all are represented by its own staff on-site. Werner Buchholz, Meyer Burger’s Corporate Communications Manager, talks about the company’s recent achievements and looks into the future for his sector..

Read More