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Magazine Archive 01-2010

Laundry by the sun

Smart grids: When green electricity gets sold at the wrong time, producers feel the bite. Suppliers sometimes even have to pay to unload their electricity on the power exchange. After all, the amount of solar and wind power flowing into the grid is increasing – often at times when nobody wants it. If the available energy is to be used sensibly in the future, improved consumption planning is key. New ideas are currently being tested in a number of model regions.

XXL in focus

U.S. solar conference: The trend is towards large-scale solar plants and roof arrays with multi-megawatt capacity. Ensuring well-coordinated design and quality control is all the more important, as Solarpraxis’ symposium PV Power Plants 2009 – USA revealed.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

New Orleans goes solar

Solar Louisiana: Which state in the U.S. has the best solar policy? If Louisiana is not the first state that comes to your mind, you are probably not alone – but not necessarily right either. pv magazine visited the state in November to see what the future of solar might look like there.

New green decade!

Dear readers, We saw recently at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen how difficult it is for the world community to pull together on climate protection. Still, the new decade will be a period of energy and resource efficiency and renewable energy. Of that I am firmly convinced. Because how can we hope to save […]

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