Power & Energy Solutions

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The reduction in the Feed-in-Tariff has created numerous challenges for the solar PV industry and managing operational costs has been fundamental to the continued success of many businesses. In pursuing their efforts to address operational costs, owners of large domestic solar PV portfolios, such as social housing landlords, local authorities and investors face many challenges in tackling the pressures to maximise the FIT revenues while keeping administration costs to a minimum. Goldfield Partners Limited is a case in point. Managing a diverse domestic solar PV portfolio of over 8 MW with 2,700 solar PV assets largely in the private domestic market in a challenging environment comes at a cost. “It’s true that many thousands of jobs have been lost in the solar PV industry since the new FIT regime was introduced in January 2016,” said Karl Fernandes, national operations manager at Goldfield Partners Limited. “And we have seen the effects first hand. Installation and maintenance partners have gone which has added further administrative pressures on us whilst keeping operational costs as low as possible. This is whilst growing our portfolio through acquisitions and still managing and maintaining our current assets to ensure our customers are benefitting from the free energy generated from

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Working at the world’s first take-back and WEEE compliance scheme for photovoltaic modules, PV CYCLE staffs are often confronted with the question of why pay for something that has not yet occurred. While about 9 million tonnes of photovoltaic – or PV – modules had been installed in Europe by the end of 2015, only an estimated 0.2% have become waste today. PV CYCLE – as the largest service provider in the market – has collected and treated the vast majority of these waste modules, coming from transport or installation damage as well as from severe weather conditions or warranty cases. More than 99% of today’s sold modules continue perfectly to generate green solar energy as expected. Yet, European authorities require that importers and manufacturers based in their countries foresee financial provisions for waste management based on the entire business volume that they sell into the market. Financing obligations can go from financial guarantees and trusts to clearing houses or waste fees at the time of sales. Some countries go as far as to combine trusts with reductions on feed-in-tariffs to ensure that the financing of collection, transport, treatment, recycling and disposal of end-of-life PV modules is truly guaranteed at

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The solar cell technology PERC enables PV cell manufacturers to decrease costs and increase efficiency. PES gets an insight on the state-of-the-art and next generation PERx technology from Mirko Meyer, Product Manager Meyer Burger, Germany, AG. The success story of photovoltaics has always been a technology story which is still being written. Numerous PV technology options are available today. The common focus of the PV industry is to drive production costs down while increasing the energy yield of solar modules. Striving to reach this common goal has already made PV one of the most affordable sources of electrical energy globally. Beside this economical and the obvious ecological aspect PV is also very attractive because it can be rapidly installed at decentralized locations. The wafer to cell conversion is one of the key elements to get a valuable high quality PV system which is able to produce electricity at lowest costs. PERC: Lower costs and higher prizes An important result of the PV technology evolution is the successful multi gigawatt deployment of PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) cell technology into world-wide solar cell production facilities since 2015. PERC is an upgrade technology for standard Al-BSF solar cells which increases efficiencies by using aluminium oxide

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What happen in 2016 and what can we expect in 2017 2016 was a record breaking year for solar in the Middle East. With record low tariffs on Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) 800 MW Phase III project and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority’s (ADWEA) Sweihan project, we could call it a successful year for large scale solar on the Arabian Peninsula. Record low tariffs below 3 US$ cents per kWh attracted worldwide press attention. These low prices have changed the perception of policymakers and industry leaders. It even led to a downward revision of the Feed-in tariff in Egypt and revives the debate of the usefulness of Feed-in tariffs versus competitive bidding in the MENA region. On an unsubsidized basis, solar PV without storage is now one of the cheapest sources of electricity available – it costs less than unsubsidized nuclear, LNG, and diesel used for off-grid power. Based on IRENA’s projections, solar PV LCOEs are expected to continue to decrease going forward, but whether it will continue to drop as rapidly is subject to debate. Rooftop solar kicked off in the UAE with approximately 6 MW up and running by the end of 2016. It is expected the rooftop

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Dieter Manz, founder and CEO of Manz AG talks to PES about the German high-tech engineering firm’s unwavering commitment to the CIGS thin-film solar technology and how it is about to pay off. PES: Would you like to begin by explaining a little about the background of your organization and how you currently serve the Solar/PV industry? Dieter Manz: The automation company I founded in 1987 just outside of Stuttgart, Germany, is a globally active high-tech equipment manufacturer today. We have about 1,800 employees, 750 of which work in Asia. We see ourselves as key enablers of new technologies: manufacturing equipment “Made by Manz” makes innovative products, for a start, possible, and secondly, affordable. Think touch screens for smart phones, or batteries for electric vehicles, or ever-efficient solar modules. You might agree, these products would not have found – or are about to find – a global mass-market without reliable equipment for mass-production. Our technological expertise covers six wide-ranging sectors: automation, metrology, laser processing, wet chemistry, printing and coating, as well as roll-to-roll processes. These technologies we deploy and develop further in three strategic fields of business: electronics, solar and energy storage. We have served the PV industry for almost 30 years now. We can deservedly claim

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PES asked Gregor Reddemann, CEO at M10 Industries AG, about Kubus, innovation, sharing know-how and the future and discovered many more interesting things about this progressive company. PES: Welcome back to PES Solar. For our new reader would you like to introduce your company and explain a little about how you serve the solar industry? Gregor Reddemann: M10 Industries AG specialise in developing and producing highly efficient, state of the art cell connecting automation equipment. Based in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, in the so called Solar Valley, our young dynamic team of skilled engineers and technicians faces this challenge under the leadership of solar pioneers of Günter Schneidereit, Reinhard Willi and CEO Gregor Reddemann. Our development and technology centre, production and material tests include preliminary acceptance, 24/7 service support and service – in order to provide our customers with ideal solutions, our performance areas are perfectly synchronised to suit each other’s needs. This is achieved through the close connection to our subsidiary, SI Module – our module manufacturer, in a cutting edge facility.

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As photovoltaics emerge as the leading generation source of the future, with installations topping wind for the first time in 2016, the underlying production machine has reached maturity. While relatively recently, in the early 2010’s, uncertainty remained around the prospects of competing photovoltaic technologies. Thin-film companies championed CIGS and CdTe as the materials of choice to sweep in an age of low-cost solar. Hitting the supply chain from two ends A brief stint of hype-driven venture capital poured into start-ups developing a range of organic photovoltaics, which they claimed would lead to multitudes of surfaces covered in photovoltaic material, for pennies. Others still envisioned a proliferation led by the combining optical systems with expensive, high efficiency, multi-junction cells in high concentration photovoltaic concepts. Despite strong commitments to research and development in these areas, the crash in polysilicon prices quashed these prospects and radically shifted the potential for disruption. As a result, only a handful of companies still pursue high concentration photovoltaics, with Canadian-based Morgan Solar only now installing its first large-scale project in Ontario, after 10 years of operation. Meanwhile, the last few organic photovoltaic developers have pivoted away from lofty dreams of omnipresent installations as 3GSolar and G24 Innovations target

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In general mounting components play a minor role across the PV sector as a whole. Most of the focus is on PV modules, electricity and annual yield. Compared to the key role of these components, this is somehow astonishing. Additionally, there are daring improvements, for flat-roofs for example, where there has been far reaching development over the past five years. As the development of new components for pitched roofs has slowed down, the amount of damaged installations has increased. This leads on directly to the root cause and certainly won’t be found in the lack of proper components. Apart from inappropriate installation, in some cases, the lack of proper calculation of the measurements of the mounting components can be easily identified as the reason. There are a couple of reasons which explain this problem. One is historic, the German DIN, where only the calculation of fixations per m2 was required. The result did not tell the installer precisely where to position them. Another one is that most planners and installers seemed to operate well estimating the type of fixation, rail and layout, based on their experience. Today both EUROCODE and its national annexes and US Building Code require a detailed calculation of

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Here we present a different take on our usual PES Ask the Experts. Patricia Darez, a director at 350renewables, interviews Marc Korevaar, a physicist at Kipp & Zonnen, to find out what makes the new RaZON+ stand out from its competitors. Patricia Darez: Congratulations on the new product, I haven’t had a chance yet to test it out in the field but I already like the name, in Spanish it translates as Reason. Could you introduce the RaZON+ and tell us a bit about how it works? Marc Korevaar: The RaZON+ is an all-in-one Solar Monitoring Station that was developed and engineered by a dedicated team at Kipp & Zonen. Apart from the Spanish meaning we also chose the name because ZON means sun in the Dutch language. The system provides the three solar radiation components: direct, diffuse and global. Direct and diffuse are measured and the global is calculated using the time and location from the GPS. The way the system is designed it is more resistant to soiling than traditional systems; mainly because of the way the PH1 pyrheliometer is designed. Using the Smart PH1 and PR1 fast response pyrheliometer and pyranometer the system can rapidly follow changing

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Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Intersolar North America will once again be the first major solar event of the year. It takes place July 11-13 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and is co-located with ees North America and SEMICON West. These combined events bring together professionals from the solar, energy storage and semiconductor industries to share knowledge and innovation, network, and accelerate business goals. With its consistent growth to 18,000+ attendees in 2017, Intersolar North America is the most-attended solar event in North America. This year Intersolar will celebrate its 10th Anniversary in conjunction with its long time event partner California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), also celebrating an anniversary – its 40th year of service to the California solar community. Intersolar, CALSEIA and SEMICON will party in grand style at the largest solar networking event ever at AT&T park, home of the San Francisco Giants major league baseball team. With the financial support it receives from Intersolar, this is CALSEIA’s largest fund raising event of the year. Intersolar is the solar event most trusted for its intent to foster innovation and curate high-quality speakers, exhibits and connections. From the biggest names in solar to startups, nonprofits, students and under-represented

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