Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Although wind energy only produces about two per cent of the current electricity demand in the US, the Department of Energy, in collaboration with wind industry experts, has drafted a plan that would bring the installed wind capacity up to 20 per cent of the nation's total electrical supply. To meet these expectations, wind energy must be extremely reliable. Structural health monitoring will play a critical role in making this goal successful. Here PES takes an exclusive look at Wind Energy's New Role in Supplying the World's Energy: What Role will Structural Health Monitoring Play? Apart from anything else, the paper shows just how far our industry has come in a few short years around the world, as well as looking at the all-important safety issues surrounding the industry . . .Wind energy has expanded dramatically since the early 1980s when smallturbines dotted the hillsides of California. Those machines had rudimentarycontrols, no condition monitoring, were unreliable, and required extensivemaintenance. The utilities considered them an insignificant passing fad. Today, wind turbines have multi-megawatt ratings, sophisticated controls, and condition monitoring systems on most of the drive-trains. A typical wind plant today may have more than 200 multi-megawatt turbines installed and it represents

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The US Department of Energy has recently published its Rebuilding After Disaster: Going Green from the Ground Up report - a document which brings to mind the words of Theodore Roosevelt: "The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value". Here, PES publishes an extract from the document, which is essential reading for all of us in the industry who want to see the green message spread throughout all corners of North America.Information in the guide is based on the real-life experiences of two US Department of Energy (DOE) teams. One team worked with city leaders in New Orleans, Louisiana, after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, while the other assisted community leaders in Greensburg, Kansas, after a devastating tornado in 2007. Although the two communities are quite different, the teams learned common lessons and found that the reasons for going green from the ground up are compellingOne way to rebuild devastated communities like New Orleans and Greensburg is by redefining them as models of sustainability. This means reducing energy use, using energy more efficiently, incorporating more renewable energy, and much more.

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Dr Matthias Wiemer, Member of the Management Board and COO of Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG tells PES about recent developments, including some major acquisitions, within the successful German-based company.PES: Welcome to PES magazine. Can you begin by explaining a little about the company and how you serve the PV industry?Matthias Wiemer: Founded in 1890, Pfeiffer Vacuum is one of the world's leading providers of vacuum solutions with more than 2,200 people and 28 subsidiaries worldwide. Our portfolio comprises a full range of hybrid and magnetically levitated turbo-molecular pumps (turbopumps), a range of backing pumps, measurement and analysis devices, components, vacuum chambers, and systems. Starting with the invention of the turbopump at Pfeiffer Vacuum, our company has continuously striven for innovative solutions and high-technology products, which are applied in many industrial markets such as analytical, R&D, environmental technology, chemistry, semiconductor, coating, as well as in the automotive industry and any number of other fields.The photovoltaic industry is one of our focus markets in Europe, USA and Asia. Coating systems for solar cell place high requirements on the vacuum equipment with respect to reliability. Pfeiffer Vacuum enjoys a reputation for offering innovative, efficient and reliable vacuum solutions ranging from high to low

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When installing off-grid solar PV systems that often last for a quarter of a century, quality and reliability are perhaps the two most two vital factors. But with a vast (and growing) portfolio on offer to the consumer, it can be difficult to make the right decision. PES asked Richard Lowe of Dulas to takea look at the technologies on offer - and the merits of each. A great deal of research and experience goes into the selection of a preferred PV specification and manufacture based upon the organisation's principles of delivering renewable energy solutions that perform over many years,  emain reliable and can stand the test of time. The three most  common forms of PV panels considered when specifying equipment for an installation are monocrystalline, polycrystalline and  amorphous or thin-film systems. Each has its own benefits, which can be summarised as follows:

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ROFIN is an acknowledged worldwide leader in the development and manufacturing of industrial lasers. With over 35 years' experience in laser material processing the Switzerland-based company uses this invaluable knowledge to develop solutions for almost any laser application in solar cell manufacturing. PES spoke to Richard Hendel: Contacts Sales Manager Photovoltaic, about the company and its state-of-the-art technologies

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Andy Tuan was recently appointed General Manager of PV in Asia for Air Products, to enhance customer engagement and emphasise the company's growing commitment to facilitate strong growth in the region. Here, PES speaks to Andy about the company and how its local operations dovetail into a global strategy.PES: Welcome back to PES. When we last spoke, you were optimistic about the solar PV industry in 2010. How did the year shape-up for you, and do you still feel the same optimism for 2011?Andy Tuan: 2010 was a good year. The industry saw 100 per cent plus growth and we are pleased to keep up with the growth. With the recession behind us, we anticipate 2011 will be as good if not better than 2010. A lot of capacity expansions that were announced in 2010 are now under way in 2011, so we expect positive year-on-year growth. 

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Solar PV is leads the way in terms of applicable renewable technology with demonstrable benefits. But while photovoltaics have the potential to make a significant reduction to a building's overall energy, they also carry with them sizeable installation and application considerations. PES investigates.Building design has changed dramatically in recent years with sustainable solutions becoming a prerequisite in most successful tender situations. The world is united in its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions with building owners, funders and tenants demanding the best environmental solutions to reduce lifecycle costs and minimise potential future obligations from the mandatory carbon schemes.Not only do renewable technologies assist in compliance with government legislation, increased EPC ratings and reduced CO2 emissions, resulting from the operation of the building, they ultimately also lead to improved profits. With new incentive schemes being introduced to promote the widespread adoption of small and medium-scale renewable technologies such as solar photovoltaics (PV), the argument in favour of renewable energy is one that no serious building owner, developer or tenant can afford to ignore. 

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The emerging solar technology industry faces increased pressure to drive down production costs, increase efficiencies and thus increase competitiveness in the marketplace. Jaime Schmitt, Phil McGraw and Kevin McAloon look at the growing use of ceramics in solar cell production, which is bringing grid parity for solar power closer than ever before.World energy consumption is forecast to increase 44 per cent from 2006 levels by 2030. While the use of natural gas and coal will grow, the fastest-growing source of energy will be renewable, which includes solar. Ceramic's unique physical, thermal and electrical properties make it a reliable, highly-durable and cost-effective material for the harsh environments found in solar cell manufacturing. It is being used to optimise the two key manufacturing processes - silicon wafer and thin-film PV. 

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With investment totalling £6m and a substantial contract win from a housing association under his belt, it's no wonder former group managing director of Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE), Adrian Pike, is feeling positive about the future. He has taken an ambitious leap from the corporate world into the rapidly expanding solar and energy efficiency market place. Any other executives thinking of taking the plunge will find his a fascinating story. As CEO and founder of newly-formed energy efficiency solutions company, Anesco, Adrian is already making waves in the solar energy sector. Here, he tells PES just why he's going green and what the future holds for the industry.The renewable energy sector is one of the fastest moving and most exciting industries of the moment - and the pace is only likely to increase in the coming months and years. Entering the green energy market with my own venture, Anesco, has been a natural progression for me, as it's a sector I've been heavily involved in for some years. I began my career as an apprentice electrician at the age of 16 with the Southern Electricity Board, before working my way up through the ranks to senior management over 27

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