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Magazine Archive 03-2010

Spot market for PV panels:
Modules get cheaper

Module prices: The cuts in feed-in tariffs in Germany, Italy, and France have led manufacturers to reduce module prices. Another reason is a surfeit of solar silicon.

Spring arrival of new PV installations

Solar market overview: Spring is here, with PV installation activity set to revitalize. But the volatility around feed-in tariff changes has been quite disruptive to market developments.

“Solar power is a global business”

CEO interview: Worldwide competition in photovoltaics is increasing. What are the strategies of producers to expand their global market share, reduce costs and ensure quality? pv magazine spoke with Shawn Qu, CEO of Ontario based Canadian Solar.

Waiting for the new feed-in legislation

Italy: Despite difficulties at the start, the Italian solar market has undergone rapid development. At the Conferenza dell’Industria Solare Italiana (CIS-IT) the sector showed itself to be sanguine about the future, anticipating a new law that will help fund PV.

A market in movement

Trackers: Tracking systems are being used more and more often in large solar plants. They assure a higher performance, but are also technically more complex. And the jury is still out on which system will perform best over the long term. The market for tracking systems is changing. While some start-up companies keep trying to bring biaxial tracking systems up to market maturity, Solon is preparing to ditch the technology. Lars Podlowski, Solon’s chief technical officer, tells pv magazine why.

Aging brings surprises

Thin film: The knowledge that some thin film modules age faster and others more slowly doesn’t really mean much in the real world – unless laboratory experiments help separate the wheat from the chaff. Visitors to the OTTI thin film symposium found out how this is possible. They also learned about the positive side of module aging.

Alternatives for greenhouse gases

Triple green, part 3: Thin film silicon modules are manufactured with process gases that are not only harmful to the environment, but poisonous and explosive as well. Thus gas suppliers are in search of an ecological replacement.

Bigger and thinner – but quicker?

Field installations: Applied Materials is seeking to substantially accelerate the construction of solar power arrays with its 5.7 square meter modules. In particular, the semi-automated installation of the modules is set to bring about greater efficiency. Yet not all project developers consider this the way forward.

Connecting Australia

The story of solar electricity: The ninth part of our series with chapters from John Perlin’s book From Space to Earth reports how John Oades, an engineer at GTE, brought his solar-powered telecommunications repeater to Australia.

Having confidence in your own strength

Dear readers, Reliance on politics and policies is a two-edged sword. This fact recently became clear once more in the discussions and proposals to cut feed-in tariffs in Germany, the leading photovoltaics market in the world. The ongoing global recession hasn’t helped either. Share prices of companies that used to be the stars of the […]

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