Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

As head of one of the ‘greenest companies' in America, Pall's Keith Webb has a duty not only to his stakeholders, but also to the global community as a whole. It's a responsibility he ably administers, driven by a zeal for innovation and corporate success. Here, he tells PES about the company's rapid growth, its creative technological developments, and its focus on European operations.PES: Welcome back to PES magazine, can you tell us how your company has been performing within the wind market since we last spoke?KW: Pall Corporation's wind energy business has grown tremendously over the past few years. Sales, to this application, doubled last year. We have expanded our reach away from our traditional European base towards America and Asia. The key wind turbine application currently in our portfolio is the protection of the turbine gearbox lubrication system for bearings and gears. Pall filters are also used to protect the hydraulic systems inside the nacelle. PES: And how much of your total business is now dedicated to wind energy? Is this still an area in which you wish to see continued growth?KW: From one per cent five years ago, wind energy is fast approaching 10 per cent of

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‘Triple Green' is the new motto in photovoltaics: the drive to produce modules that generate clean energy, that are recycled and - what's more - ecologically produced. It's an effective way for the solar industry to further boost its image and sustainably cut costs. However, this perfect triad is difficult to implement because "green factories" require high initial investment. PES investigates

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A progressive process that has nevertheless been utilised in other industries for several years, Print-on-Print involves the printing of one conductor grid directly on top of a previously printed and dried grid. PES asked acknowledged pioneers DEK for an in-depth explanation of this revolutionary procedure.A simple Internet search will reveal that the photovoltaics industry is working hard on higher aspect ratio frontside conductor grids as a route to increased solar cell efficiencies. This is because the silver energy-collecting conductors that are typically screen printed onto the frontside of a silicon-based solar cell actually block out sunlight, effectively stopping it from reaching the energy converting strata below. While it is important that these conductors are optimally distributed across the surface of the cell in order to mop up all the energy available, it is clear that the more surface area they cover, the more they will hinder cell functionality. Which is why the solar industry is putting such a lot of effort into reducing conductor widths. Currently in the region of 80-120μm, these are expected to drop to 50-60µm in the immediate future, reducing the shadow effect and improving cell performances considerably, while saving on materials costs.In doing so, however, cell

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Ever wondered what effect our efforts to limit global warming to two degrees will have on the European economy and labour market by 2050? A new study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) provides some illuminating answers.Klaus Jacob, Fraunhofer-GesellschaftAs demonstrated most recently by events in Copenhagen, international climate conferences are generally pretty tough affairs. But while politicians wrestle over reduction targets and percentage points, we tend to lose sight of the fact that a great deal of hard scientific research has gone into these figures. A veritable army of experts do the preliminary work for the negotiators, so that any potential agreements are not just words uttered in a vacuum.The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI in Karlsruhe recently took the lead in producing a particularly intricate report on global change on behalf of the European Commission. In the report, entitled "ADAM two-degree scenario for Europe - policies and impacts", ISI researchers worked together with experts from a number of other institutes and countries to gaze far into the future - to the year 2050 - and find answers to questions such as ‘What will Europe have to do in the interim to limit

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Thin-film is apparently coming under pressure despite the knowledge is that modules made from thin-film silicon can be manufactured more cost-effectively than thick crystalline ones. It seems that the technology is trailing far behind its efficiency and cost objectives, whereas crystalline innovations are developing at a greater pace. PES investigates.Sunfilm and Signet Solar have a lot in common, they have the "sun" in their names, were founded in 2006 and have succeeded in considerably reducing solar energy costs with their thin-film silicon modules. And, in spring this year, both companies experienced turbulent economic times.Everything began with such promise. In 2006, classic silicon modules were still very expensive due to the high silicon costs and newcomers were apparently faced with a walkover; they only had to replace the solid semiconductors with a cheaper absorber. On the face of it, the silicon thin-film appeared perfect - it needed a hundred times less silicon than crystalline modules and could be manufactured far more cost-effectively as a result.Amorphous silicon (a-Si) is applied at almost 200 degrees. For wafer-based cells on the other hand, ovens have to be fired to 1500 degrees for hours, which devours far more energy. Silicon thin-film attracted many newcomers

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PES last spoke to Robert Bürkle GmbH's Managing Director in 2008, when Hans-Joachim Bender was bullish about the company's future prospects. Indeed, he said: "Bürkle orientates itself on the known forecasts for developments in the photovoltaic industry. This has resulted in a strategy that is valid until the year 2012, and during this time the turnover will be more than doubled

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As any manufacturer of wind turbine components will testify, the handling of their precious cargo is of critical importance. PES caught up with John Fricker, General Manager of RoRo/Special Projects, Europe, for Atlantic Container Line (ACL), to discover how his company smoothes the transportation process.PES: Welcome to PES. Firstly, can you tell us a little about the history of your company?John Fricker: For over 40 years, ACL's pioneering spirit has been the driving force that has made this company a leader in the North Atlantic Trade and one of the most respected names in the ocean transportation.A consortium of five major European steamship companies joined together to meet the high capital investment involved in building and operating an innovative fleet of Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) containerships. This historic union, the first of the container age, resulted in the creation of Atlantic Container Line (ACL), serving the trade between Europe and East Coast of North America with the world's largest Roll-on/Roll-off containerships carrying containers, project and oversized cargo, heavy equipment and vehicles.ACL is now a wholly owned unit of The Grimaldi Group of Naples.PES: What fuelled your diversification into the carriage of wind turbines?JF: ACL has always been involved in the shipment of

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