Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

"If you want to stay ahead of the competition you have to invest in R&D" The Komax Group, founded in 1975 and headquartered in Switzerland, is one of the top global providers of wire processing systems and assembly automation equipment. One of its primary markets is the photovoltaics industry and to this end we invited Peter Kostic, Market Manager (Photovoltaic Assembly Systems), to explain a little more about the company and its offerings

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"It's about best technologies, highest throughput and lowest losses"For industries that require expensive raw materials such as silicon and sapphire, production efficiency and process stability are key to operating cost-efficient production lines. Peter Pauli, CEO of Meyer Burger AG, explains how this major provider of slicing systems to solar-cell manufacturers helps its clients achieve "lowest cost of ownership" while maximising production capacity.{pagebreak}PES: Can you explain a little about your company and what part you play in the renewable energy industry?Peter Pauli: Meyer Burger is a global leading provider of precision-slicing technology, predominantly to the solar industry. We provide sophisticated machinery incorporating 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 forms. We are fully committed to ecological, social and financial sustainability. Approximately 75% of our net sales generated during fiscal year 2006 were attributable to customers in the solar industry. We are directly involved in the value chain of solar-cell production. As such, its machines and services are closely linked to the ecological benefits of solar cells as a source of electricity and energy.PES: Aside from solar, your organisation feeds a number of

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In manufacturing, a one-stop supplier strategy can work in everyone's favour If an industry is going to flourish, it needs a quality-controlled supply network. Renewable energy producers in particular need end products that are safe, reliable and built to last. PES asks Rolf Schäfer (Dipl.-Phys.), owner of Robeko, about the challenges and benefits of entering the solar-power supply chain.{pagebreak}PES: Can you explain a little about your company and what you offer the renewable energy industry?Rolf Schäfer: Robeko is a European trade and manufacturing organisation based in southwest Germany. Since its foundation in 2002, Robeko has become a respected member of the market in all its various fields of activity.Robeko is strictly focused on the supply of thin-film deposition components and services. These components are widely used in the production of solar cells and solar absorber coatings, as well as other industries such as glass and tool coating, decorative, low friction and automotive.Robeko follows a one-stop supplier strategy, supplying all relevant equipment and services for building thin-film coating machines. Through a network of partners, robeko is able to combine the different aspects of its product portfolio and consistently offer the highest technical standards, in cost-effective packages.Robeko works with leading technology partners

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Since founding in 2001, Suntech has grown rapidly to become one of the largest solar companies in the world. In fact, Suntech was the fourth largest manufacturer of PV cells in the world at the end of 2006, up from eighth position one year earlier. This startling growth and success in the solar industry is largely as a result of Suntech's unswerving commitment to delivering the highest quality and most cost-effective solar solutions to customers worldwide.{pagebreak}The History of Suntech - The Road to Success in SolarSuntech's swift evolution was brought about by the strong leadership and clear vision of Dr. Zhengrong Shi. After completing a master's degree in laser physics from the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Dr. Shi moved to Australia to pursue further studies at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). It was there that Dr. Shi received his PhD in electrical engineering under the tutelage of Dr. Martin Green, a preeminent academic in solar research and director of the Centre of Excellence for Photovoltaic Engineering. Dr. Shi excelled at his research and is now considered a global authority on solar technology with multiple patents to his name. After completing his PhD, Dr. Shi became

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Silicon. Solar. Sustainability. Solar energy - is it a sound business proposition? This question has been asked for decades by business leaders. At Dow Corning, we believe the answer is a resounding "yes," and we are committed to helping solar energy become an accessible, economically viable and self-sustaining energy alternative around the world.{pagebreak}Dow Corning has a unique "from sand to sun*" position as the only supplier to the PV industry to be fully integrated on the silicon-based material value chain - from the basic building blocks of silicon feedstock used to make ingots and wafers, to sealing materials used to assemble solar modules. "We are using our unique position of providing solar solutions from sand to sun to accelerate the journey to making solar energy a sustainable, viable energy alternative. Our commitment to solar energy is a prime example of our commitment to sustainable development." says Marie Eckstein, Vice President and General Manager of Dow Corning's Advanced Technologies and Ventures Business."We are using our in-depth knowledge of the 'silicon chemistry set' to drive toward grid parity so that solar-generated electricity can serve diverse regions - from outlying areas that are currently off the electrical grid to urban centres. Solar energy

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The advantages of vertical integration With the solar marketplace becoming increasingly competitive, some manufacturers and suppliers are reformulating their business strategies to strengthen their footing in the industry. And, for solar photovoltaic specialist Trina Solar, a vertically integrated model is now paying dividends in terms of profit and investor confidence.{pagebreak}Since its debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on December 19, 2006, Trina Solar Ltd has achieved some important milestones in terms of sales and marketing, with particular focus in the European market.The company has diversified its customer base and established itself as a key figure in European PV markets such as Germany, Spain, and Italy, where it offers an accessible approach to customers, with local offices and sales managers. This means Trina Solar can ensure good service and respond quickly to customer needs. In Germany and Spain, two of most important European PV markets, Trina Solar has signed several major long-term contracts, which will help to accelerate expansion and Trina Solar brand-building across Europe.Trina Solar recently announced new sales contracts and initial shipments involving three Italian companies and one of Germany's largest PV suppliers, equal to around 99 MW in total. The company has also expanded its business

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