Power & Energy Solutions

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Dr.-Ing. Stefan Rinck, CEO at SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES and PES go back a long way. This is a company at the forefront of technology. They develop and assemble ground-breaking machines and systems, resulting in efficient and resource-saving production processes, which are used world-wide in the solar/PV industry as well as in other market segments. PES: Welcome back to PES Solar/PV. It’s a real pleasure to talk with you. For the benefit of our new readers would you like to begin by explaining a little about the background of SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES and how you currently serve the solar industry? Dr.-Ing. Stefan Rinck: We thank you for your continued interest in SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES and as always, look forward to interacting with PES. The company was founded in 1995 as a spin-off from Leybold AG, Hanau, Germany. At that time, we started with one product: a small vacuum sputtering system for CDs. Complete turn-key lines were developed very quickly for all optical disc formats (CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc). SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES was and continues to be the world market leader in this segment. In 2007 the company decided to invest in the solar area. The leading manufacturer of wet chemical cleaning, etching and coating systems, Stangl, with a

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Silfab Solar is a North American manufacturer of high-efficiency, premium quality solar panels and solar solutions. Our company leverages over 35 years of experience spanning the entire vertical Photo Voltaic value chain including R&D, engineering and product innovation. With our experience in the PV industry, premium product offering and our nimble business model, the company gained traction and business success in the US market over the past few years, competing against foreign manufacturers who could not offer the flexible solutions, delivery options or the quality products demanded by US customers. Silfab currently operates out of two fully automated manufacturing facilities, one in Toronto, Canada and the other in Bellingham, Washington, US. Recognized as a 2020 PVEL Top Performer for both our conventional and MWT modules, Silfab continues to develop new PV manufacturing processes and technological innovations that leverage strategic partnerships such as this one with DSM Advanced Solar to manufacture premium, high efficiency, MWT solar modules exclusively for the North American market. MWT is an acronym for a PV cell technology that has been designed specifically on crystalline silicon type solar cells. It stands for Metal-Wrap-Through (MWT). MWT redirects electrical current from the emitter region, typically on the front side of the

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Powerful vacuum technology and reliable tightness control for improved efficiencies of solar receivers When solar energy for electricity generation is discussed, photovoltaic systems most often come to mind. However, concentrated solar power systems are gaining popularity as an interesting alternative. In this type of power plants, collector systems concentrate sunlight and collect it on an absorber pipe. A heat transfer fluid in these absorbers or receivers transports the energy to a turbine which is connected to an electrical power generator. This type of power plant is installed in regions that offer high levels of direct sunlight irradiation, for example, in Spain, the US (California and Arizona), and North Africa (Morocco). More recent installations are spreading all over the world including facilities in India, Israel, the Arabian Peninsula, South Africa, Australia and China. The technology Various concentrator technologies are using parabolic troughs, solar power towers, Fresnel reflectors, and hybrid systems using both solar power and synthesis gas as an energy source. The majority of installations is using parabolic troughs. In a solar thermal parabolic trough power plant, parabolic shaped mirrors concentrate solar radiation in an absorber pipe, the so-called receiver, positioned at the focal point of the reflectors. A heat transfer fluid such as

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The performance degradation of solar modules Renewable energies are among the most important sources of electricity in Germany. Their expansion is a central pillar of the energy transition. Solar energy is one of the most significant renewable energy sources. Photovoltaic systems and solar parks represent an ever-increasing share of global energy production, because photovoltaics offer many advantages: extremely low operating costs and reliable yield forecasts; they do not require extensive construction measures and do not produce either pollutants or noise. Photovoltaic systems are also becoming particularly attractive in terms of their service life, which is now specified at 20 to 40 years. This depends primarily on the quality of the individual components. The quality of the solar modules, inverter and mounting frame is therefore crucial. The service life of the PV system is also determined by factors such as professional planning and design, the execution of the installation, and regular maintenance and servicing. A problem that now occurs in many PV systems and considerably impairs their service life is Potential Induced Degradation (PID) – the performance degradation of solar modules. As a result of negative voltage between the solar modules and the ground potential, there is a successive reduction in performance,

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Ireland’s first competitive auction for renewable energy capacity took place this summer. The results spell sunny times ahead for the nascent solar industry in Ireland and mark an important step towards the country’s target to meet 70% of its electricity supply from renewables by 2030. Auction results According to provisional results issued by electricity market operator EirGrid, 63 solar farms totaling 796 MW and 19 wind farms totaling 479 MW were successful in the RESS-1 auction, with an average bid price of EUR 74.08/MWh. Figure 1 shows this pricing alongside recent auction results in the wider European market. Unlike most renewables subsidy schemes in Europe, the RESS-1 prices are not index linked, which according to our industry contacts added EUR 10-12/MWh to bid prices. Grid costs in Ireland also tend to be higher than in other European markets. The move to a competitive auction scheme is good news for the consumer – RESS-1 prices showed a significant step down from the previous REFIT subsidy scheme, which was only available to onshore wind farms at a tariff of EUR 80.25/MWh in 2019. Technology competition While a separate auction is expected to take place for offshore wind projects in 2021/2022, RESS-1 marks the first time that

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‘Noticing the lack of EV- charging stations around Europe kick-started the development of carport systems at Mounting Systems. The process of finding the perfect equilibrium between strength, design, cost and function led to the making of over 30 different designs. After close collaboration with customers and building multiple prototypes, we developed safe and reliable carport systems, while keeping cost low.’ reports Dawid Janczewski, engineer in the product & innovation team. In Rangsdorf, 30 min outside Berlin, surrounded by beautiful fields and lakes, an impressive building appears. This is the location of Germany’s only mounting systems manufacturer today, recently also certified as a Made in Germany brand. The company specializes in solar rooftop systems, in addition to solutions for solar carports and ground mount systems. For the past decade, the company has mainly been selling their products as white label, resulting in low recognition of one of the most sold racking systems in Europe. Mounting Systems have been producing quality solar racking systems for the past 27 years but has only recently had a spiking increase in brand awareness as a result of selling their products with their own brand Mounting Systems. Part of the recent growth is also a result of

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At PES, we thought it was time to discuss PV monitoring with Stefan Rensberg Head of Product Management at meteocontrol. Stefan has seen a big change in this area and is absolutely confident of its importance in the PV plant of today and tomorrow. Things have come a long way over the last 15 years and he is sure that data handling is the key for the future. Read on to find out more… PES: Hello Stefan, welcome back to PES. Could you begin by telling us a little bit about yourself. Stefan Rensberg: I have been with meteocontrol in Augsburg, Germany for over 15 years and work there as head of product management, with a great team. As a product engineer, I started with the development of meteocontrol’s first data logger WEB’log and the Safer’Sun monitoring portal. I’d describe myself as being absolutely passionate about photovoltaics in general and especially about the possibilities that photovoltaic monitoring and data analytics offer. What stimulates me is being surrounded by people who create new ideas and innovations and share the vision of a better, cleaner future. Climate change really is a topic for every single day. PES: We would like to know how you define photovoltaic monitoring? SR:

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Last year it was still believed that the next solar cell size standard in the industry would be M6. The much larger M12 was on the horizon, but it was not believed to arrive at mass production the market so soon. Just one year later the cell is available and some module producers have announced the mass production of modules made out of M12 cells by Q3 2020. This article will look at the possible layouts of these modules and the impact that it will have on module producers and the production equipment suppliers, with a focus on the module backend production equipment. What should the next generation of module production equipment look like? This is a big question for solar module producers and the solar manufacturing supply chain as well. One thing is clear: the manufacturing equipment will need to change to accommodate the newest module layouts. In this article we will look at the changes in cell/ module sizes and the effect they will have on the module backend production. In the best case, it will be just upgrading existing equipment wherever possible, but for the latest large cell sizes, it will mean exchanging the older equipment. The size of

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Dirk Tegtmeyer, co-founder of Ingenieurbüro Mencke & Tegtmeyer GmbH is an old friend of ours at PES. He tells us about the development of the PV industry and the importance of quality through the whole value chain. During the pandemic IMT made small changes to their work routines, which allowed them to carry on developing and producing their temperature sensors. PES: Welcome back to PES Solar/PV, Dirk, it’s great to have this opportunity to catch up with you. For the benefit of our new readers would you like to begin by giving us a brief overview of IMT? Dirk Tegtmeyer: We started in July 1993 as the first spin-off of Institut für Solarenergieforschung (ISFH, Institute for Solar Energy Research) the founders were Detlef Mencke and myself. We wanted to bring our master thesis to the market, silicon irradiance sensor with internal irradiance signal temperature compensation, steady-state sun simulators and I-V curve analyzers for PV. IMT first started to expand in 1999, with first employee, Nikolai Maris, who is also now an associate. Until 2011 our expansion was continual. It slowed a little in 2012 and 2013 because of the German politics on renewables. Since then we have increased our export quota massively

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Dr Rob Grant FRSC, CEO at Gas Recovery and Recycle limited dropped in to PES to bring us up to date with on the latest for argon recycling, which they continue to refine. He is optimistic about the future and thinks a bounce back from the problems associated with Covid 19, is on the horizon. Currently, a new product is nearing the end of its development, which is aimed at recycling the ultra-high purity argon, where the impurity levels in the recycled argon are below 0.01ppm and nitrogen free! PES: Hi Rob, it’s a pleasure to talk with you as always. We have been following GR2L closely for some years now and you are regular participants in PES Solar/PV. To start with please could you give us a brief overview of your company? Dr Rob Grant: GR2L was founded in 2008 to commercialise chemical looping combustive purification technology, developed in collaboration with Cambridge University, UK. This addresses the 10-10,000ppm impurity level gap not addressed by current conventional gas purification technologies as seen, for example, in the microelectronics industry at the low ppm end and the general chemical processing industries at the top end of the gap. We specialise in the recovery, purification

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