Power & Energy Solutions

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Steve Davies, EMEA Photovoltaics Market Manager, took time out of his busy schedule to talk to PES about DuPont Teijin Films’ products and the importance of sustainability, not just during the lifespan of the product, but also at the end of life. Thinking ahead is crucial in this. PES: Hi Steve, welcome to PES Solar/PV. Thanks for talking with us. Would you like to begin by explaining a little about the background of DuPont Teijin Films and how you currently serve the solar/PV industry? Steve Davies: DuPont Teijin Films are a global leading polyester film producer with manufacturing based in Europe, US and Asia. We are proud to use our scientific and technical excellence to develop innovative products which deliver maximum value for the industries we serve with the minimum impact on the environment. In the solar industry we are the leading supplier of halogen free film for backsheets with over 45GW of installed capacity worldwide relying on the unique set of properties delivered by Mylar® UVHPET™ based backsheets. We have over 60 years’ experience of supplying Mylar® into highly demanding electrical insulation applications and 20 years of ongoing developments supporting the growth in the PV industry. With zero reported field failures, our

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Solar Power International (SPI), Energy Storage International (ESI), and North America Smart Energy Week, powered by the leading solar organizations the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), is gathering solar, smart energy, energy storage, and hydrogen + fuel cells professionals virtually in 2020. PES is thrilled to bring you this show close-up. Plus, if you miss the live event it will be available on demand. SPI, ESI, and North America Smart Energy Week’s has gone online in 2020 with seven Virtual Education Micro conferences and a Virtual Tradeshow. The Full Conference education attendees have come to expect from North America Smart Energy Week is now separated into six weeks of focused micro conferences. Running from September 14th to October 27th, participants can access premier education from across the renewable energy industry: solar energy, storage, hydrogen, microgrids, electric vehicles, wind energy, and more, right at home or their office. Each micro conference features multiple live sessions, as well as a handful of on demand content they can watch later. Attendees in 2020 can also join an ‘Office Hours’ experience at the end of each day of sessions. Office Hours give them the opportunity to engage in a video

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This year marks APsystems’ 10th anniversary. While the situation worldwide is facing unexpected challenges on many fronts during this very particular year 2020 with the Coronavirus pandemic, Dr Zhi Min Ling, co-founder and chairman of APsystems, shares his views on his entrepreneurial story with Maxime Boiron, Senior Director of Marketing EMEA & Australia, also at APsystems. From its very beginning, when the economic effects of the 2008 financial crisis were still strongly present, to where APsystems is today, having become the No.1 multi-module microinverter supplier in the world. It is as if challenging uncertainty could also be a key in building long-lasting opportunities. Maxime Boiron: 2020 is the year of APsystems celebrating its 1st decade, how does it make you feel? Zhi Min Ling: Fortunate, honored and grateful. It is a major milestone for the company, especially in this very fast-changing inverter industry which is at the crossroads of high-tech microelectronics, energy and environmentally-friendly building sectors. Staying alive is one thing, but growing profitably when you need to heavily invest in R&D on one side, while keeping enough agility to adapt to an ever-changing emerging market on the other side, is another challenge. The fact that we have been growing for 10 years while

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PES had a great catch up with Mark Kingsley, CEO of Alion Energy, California. Leaders in solutions for trackers and O&M robotics and currently enjoying the bifacial surge in our industry. Although the current Covid 19 situation presenting some challenges, he has no doubt about the future opportunities. PES: Hi Mark, it’s a pleasure to welcome you to PES Solar. Would you like to begin by giving our readers a brief overview of Alion Energy? Mark Kingsley: Alion Energy is a total solutions provider for bifacial trackers and O&M robotics. Our brand promise is ’The Most Power from PV’ as we use integrated design to combine reflective foundations and cleaning robotics, with a patented A-frame + ballasted tracker. System design optimizes our tracker’s steel content to <18 metric tons per MWp, which allows for both a stronger and cost competitive design. PES: Would you say the solar/PV industry is expanding at the moment? MK: Very much so. Bifacial has finally arrived in force and our industry’s economics vs alternative sources of energy have never been better. PES: Please could you tell us about your tracker solutions? MK: The design goal was to enable unsubsidized solar PV to compete directly with combined cycle gas turbine economics.

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Have you seen pictures of Berlin, Paris or London lately? Or perhaps Bogotá, Boston or the Philippines? One thing they all have in common are ‘temporary’ bike lanes, which have suddenly appeared all across these cities. But it doesn’t stop with bike lanes. We’ve seen things like data centres and hospitals pop-up all over the world in recent months, just think of the 1000 bed hospital that was built in Wuhan within only eight days. Each one has something in common; they show how the COVID crisis, and the unprecedented containment measures it set off, has changed the bar on what was once thought possible, with changes, thought to require years, now happening overnight. The energy industry is no exception to the sweeping impacts of the pandemic. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global lockdown and subsequent dramatic slow-down in economic activity could lead to the biggest fall in energy demand in 70 years.1 It also sent the price of raw materials, and fossils fuels in particular, tumbling. Because of an excess of supply, oil prices even briefly went negative in April2. Coal also saw its largest decline since the end of the Second World War3. Demand, and with

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The company is enhancing its commercial portfolio across the UK and Ireland with the release of 30kW and 33.3kW three phase inverters for the 230V/400V grid, available for pre-orders now. Designed to combine commercial capacity with ease of installation, the new inverters are ~25% lighter than competing inverters in their power class. Field-replaceable surge protection devices (an integrated type 2 DC SPD and optional additions of a type 2 AC SPD and RS485 SPD) offer enhanced protection during lightning events and can eliminate the need to purchase and install external devices. Further reducing labour costs, the solution supports a 3-wire grid connection, and lowers RCD per inverter (<100mA) for multi-inverter systems. Supporting DC oversizing of up to 150%, the new three phase inverters are battery-ready and will be able to integrate with the commercial StorEdge© solution, when available. Supporting future energy upgrades, such as battery storage, the solution is able to leverage additional power from DC oversizing, as energy that would normally be lost in an AC-coupled solution will be redirected to a battery for optimised self-consumption.

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Professor Anita Ho-Baillie is a world leader in perovskite technology The federal government’s renewable energy agency, ARENA, has awarded $2.5 million in solar energy research funding to Professor Anita Ho-Baillie, the John Hooke Chair of Nanoscience at the University of Sydney Nano Institute. The funding is part of a national injection of $15 million to support solar photovoltaic research. The funds will support two multi-institutional research projects with Professor Ho-Baillie as lead chief investigator. These projects will improve the energy-conversion efficiencies and durability of emerging silicon-perovskite photovoltaic cell technologies. “Perovskite solar cells are really hitting their stride now,” Professor Ho-Baillie said. “Apart from being cheap and easy to produce, these solar cells can be combined with the incumbent silicon technology to boost efficiency. Now we want to make sure these cells are able to last a long time to make our technology truly cost effective,” she said. “We will also use the funding to support our new approach where we stack two layers of perovskite cells on top of a silicon cell to get as much energy out of the sun as possible.” Perovskites are crystal structures of mineral compounds. The metal halide version is particularly useful for solar-cell applications. The Director of Sydney Nano, Professor Ben

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PES thought it was time to find out more about, SMA America and Brad Dore, Director of Marketing was happy to oblige. A global specialist company in PV, providing innovative solutions to their customers and setting standards for decentralized renewable energy. Read on to find out about optimization, roof top safety, collaboration, their vast international reach and much more. PES: Welcome to PES Solar/PV Brad, it’s great to have this opportunity to speak with you. Would you like to begin by giving us a brief overview of SMA America? Brad Dore: SMA America is the U.S. based subsidiary of SMA Solar Technology, a leading global specialist in photovoltaic system technology. SMA America is responsible for SMA’s sales and service operations in the America’s region. PES: Could you tell us about the traditional methods of optimization and your approach to it? BD: When installers set out to optimize a system, they are looking to improve energy harvest and simplify service, while addressing all relevant code requirements for installation. In much of North America, the presumed way to do this is through the addition of power conditioning devices on each module. While this method has some advantages, it comes with significant drawbacks including a high component count

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Improved economics, governmental incentives, and increased awareness of solar energy as a viable alternative to grid power are leading more companies to go solar. With the potential to benefit businesses large and small, smart energy solutions are cropping up on unused rooftops of shopping centres, manufacturing plants, airports, schools, and hospitals. Much of the attraction is economic, especially in an environment of rising electricity consumption and costs. Its investment typically realised in a period of around 5-10 years, returns on a solar energy system comes in the form of lower electricity bills as power is generated by the solar system while dependency on the grid is diminished. There is also a strong altruistic motive in installing a solar power system. Lowering a company’s carbon footprint naturally benefits the environment, by cutting down on C02 emissions and helping to reduce the effects of climate change. Today a forward-looking corporate environmental program has become as essential as a balance sheet, with many Fortune 500 companies promoting their own ambitious zero carbon targets. Accordingly, PV (Photovoltaic) systems are now viewed as long-term investments that need to be closely managed and monitored in order to maximise ROI and bottom line savings. As with any serious

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The U.S. is experiencing major growth in the energy storage market, and it’s only the beginning. According to Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables’ U.S. Energy Storage Monitor Q2 2020, the market (residential, non-residential and front-of-the-meter) is expected to grow more than 13-fold from 523 MW in 2019 to nearly 7 GW by 2025, in spite of an expected, but temporary slowdown in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. This will result primarily from storage-friendly policies and opportunities to provide wholesale market services for energy storage owners. Front of the meter (FTM) storage leads the energy storage market at present and will continue to make up the bulk of the market. FTM and BTM refer to the position of the storage system in relation to the meter. FTM systems (i.e. utility scale projects) provide power to off-site locations and BTM systems (i.e. residential systems, on-site commercial, microgrids) provide power that can be used on-site, avoiding the need to pass through a meter. Residential storage had its strongest quarter ever in Q4 2019 with 40.4 MW/93.3 MWh deployed in the U.S. There are multiple incentives that drive homeowners to add storage to their homes in the U.S. including back-up, time-of-use arbitrage, self-consumption, and available

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