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Magazine Archive 01-2010

Less hum, more efficiency

Inverter technology: Inductors smooth output voltage and current in inverters. They have to be small and lightweight, and inverter efficiency depends not least on inductor quality. Inductor manufacturers have thus begun to cater to the special demands of the photovoltaic industry in recent years.

“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.

Increasing optimism

Ardour Solar Index: Positive demand data and improving visibility into 2010 provide strong tailwinds.

Hopes for 2010

Module prices: As anticipated, prices fell slightly in December. Since the beginning of 2009, spot market delivery prices of crystalline modules have thus dropped by approximately one-third.

Creating electricity, letting light through

Transparent modules: Not too long ago, transparent modules were still hidden in the shadows. Now, demand is rising and manufacturers are developing new models. Light-shadow structures are becoming more varied and sophisticated.

Clean and green mass production

Triple Green, part 1: The solar industry is under heavy pressure to reduce costs. Every gram of material and every joule of energy used in making cells, modules and components is being checked. Effective environmental management helps a company reduce its spending on the basis of sustainable criteria. In this way, solar power can really go green. Part 1 of the series on sustainable PV production.

Caution: roof avalanche

Snow: Snow on photovoltaic arrays can be dangerous. Melting snowdrifts can slide off roofs unexpectedly in mini avalanches, especially at middle altitudes. Spaces between panels, reinforced snow guards and module heating systems can help solve the problem.

Anything but stress

Wafer production: Large-scale manufacturers, in particular, can reduce costs with automatic wafer singulation. But it is still not clear which of the processes on the market is best suited to automated singulation.

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.

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.

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