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Magazine Archive 02-2010

The trouble with silicon

Triple Green, part 2: Silicon may be made of sand, but it is far from harmless. By the time the quartz becomes a module, it has lost its innocence. Nuclear power is used to smelt it, and the manufacturing process involves toxic chemicals and leaded fluxes and films. Crystalline solar technology is neither green nor clean – but that could change. Part 2 of our series “Triple Green” on green energy, green recycling and green manufacturing.

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Thumbing your nose at the wind

Flatroofs: Hall roofs with low load reserves can also be tapped for solar power production by using aerodynamic mounting systems. A strong market is developing for mounting systems that secure modules to flat roofs with minimal ballast and without penetrating the roof skin. Some manufacturers merely offer variations on conventional designs. But some product developers are thinking outside the box. A market overview.

Bigger is not always better

Mounting racks: The market for ground-mounted systems is booming. The system that a plant designer opts for depends on various factors. Dimensions, foundations and module mounting must match perfectly. However, too often plants are dimensioned in a stereotypical fashion. Now, wind tunnel trials are helping to save money.

What really counts is long-term performance

Solar module tests: Measuring the output and yield of solar modules should give customers guidance, but the value of the test methods vary widely. A new EuPD Research study provides insight into the topic, and explains what manufacturers and consumers should pay attention to.

Caught by surprise

Funding policy: The proposals made by German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen for an extra reduction of the feed-in tariffs for solar electricity surprised the industry. However, the final word has yet to be given. There is increasing resistance, even within the government coalition.

Where the trip is worth it

Trade shows and conventions: The number of solar fairs and conferences around the globe is rising. This article presents a selection of the most important events in the second half of 2010.

Eastern Europe’s beacon projects

Czech Republic: 2009 has been an enormous success for the Czech photovoltaics market. Despite cuts in the solar feed-in tariffs of five percent, the majority of market participants are now expecting even better development in 2010. It seems unlikely that the gold rush atmosphere in the Czech Republic will calm down before 2011.

Full steam ahead!

Dear readers, The announcement of lower feed-in rates for solar power in Germany spoiled many a party for industry representatives at the beginning of the year – for the growth of the world’s biggest photovoltaics market could be stunted, and jobs may be lost, especially for midsize companies. At the same time, opposition to the […]

In the balance

Module prices: The photovoltaics industry went through a crisis year in 2009. When asked how business will go in 2010, module makers’ opinions diverge.

It all comes down to cost

Industry ranking: pv magazine asks market researchers and analysts: who are the leading manufacturers, and who will be among the top ten? This time, we will focus on silicon and wafer producers.

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