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Magazine Archive 01-2010

Not a sticky matter

Adhesives: They’re a key technology for making photovoltaics cheaper and more reliable. More and more PV manufacturers are asking adhesive providers for customized solutions for their production lines. Most of these manufacturers, however, still lack knowledge about using them to their advantage. A visit to the Sika laboratory.

On Aldi’s roof

Aldi stores: In Germany, Pohlen Bedachung has been taking care of roofing for Aldi for 40 years. In the last four years, the mid-sized firm has also been renting the discounter’s roofs to install photovoltaic arrays on them. Pohlen’s biggest customer eventually warmed up to photovoltaics, thanks to strict quality standards and constant system improvement. Aldi’s founders, the Albrecht brothers, also produce solar electricity now – on 59 store roofs.

“A second Christmas”

German market outlook: The industry expects an extended Christmas trade season in the first two quarters of 2010. But, in spite of the foreseeable additional feed-in rate reduction, all signs point to further growth of the German PV market over the entire year. However, problems with the supply of inverters are causing worries. A survey of trends and expectations for 2010.

One giant leap for CIGS thin film

CIGS thin film: In the lab, thin film modules based on copper-indium have very high efficiencies, but the capacity for mass production is only growing slowly. Now, Centrotherm offers a turnkey plant for such modules. If the firm wants to replicate the run on turnkey systems for silicon thin film, it still has to achieve some milestones.

A picture without a frame

Turkey: Since early 2008, everyone has been saying that it wouldn’t be much longer before the Turkish Parliament approved a new feed-in compensation for photovoltaics.

Successful visionary

Photovoltaics pioneer: When the self-educated scientist Stanford R. Ovshinsky announced the science of amorphous materials and semiconductors in the 1950s, very few recognized the future. Then he founded Energy Conversion Devices, which became one of the most successful solar companies. Today, the 87-year old is developing a one-gigawatt thin film production process intended to make solar energy cheaper than ever.

A trim or a chop?

Funding policy: The new German government doesn’t want to make any decisions about the future feed-in tariff for solar electricity under the Renewable Energy Act until discussions have been held with industry representatives. PV professionals hope for a prudent reduction.

The European renewables roadmap

Roadmap 2020: The European Commission allotted a special role for photovoltaics in its Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET plan) for 2020. Here, an overview of the European roadmap to renewable energy is presented.

An end to stagnation

International market: Following last year’s standstill, the lights have turned green again for the 2010 global solar market. Italy, Greece, Spain and South Africa will be playing alongside Germany in the premier league, forecasts Switzerland’s renowned Bank Sarasin.

Working on the railroad

The story of solar electricity: The seventh part of our series highlighting chapters from John Perlin’s book, From Space to Earth, tells how the American railroad tuned to photovoltaics.

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