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Magazine Archive 04-2010

China on the march

Industry ranking: pv magazine asked market researchers and analysts who the leading manufacturers are and who will make up the future top ten. In this issue, we are looking at the largest manufacturers of crystalline cells.

Collaboration on a global scale

China: So far Chinese PV companies have done quite well even without a domestic market. Now, the Solar Roofs plan and the Golden Sun program are causing the home market to develop. But Chinese module makers are further developing their export markets and upscaling vertical production processes.

Collecting seconds

Reducing the cost of inverters: If cost pressure on the industry goes up, inverters also have to get cheaper. Werner Kupka of the Solme Deutschland consultancy explains how video analysis can boost the ergonomics of their final assembly and raise the efficiency by 50 percent of an operation, which makes up almost a third of the value created in inverter production.

Dual trackers, two opinions

Trackers: Do dual-axis trackers still make sense now that module prices are so low? There is no consensus on this question in the industry. Yet Deger Energy says its sensor-controlled tracking system is more timely than ever. pv magazine spoke with CTO Andreas Schwedhelm and Philipp Steinhöfel, business development manager at Deger Energy in Horb, Germany.

Ecological eye catcher

Building integrated PV: Architects are discovering the advantages of photovoltaics as multifunctional building components that also look impressive. An impressive example of this is the entrance hall of the new hospital at Aalst, Belgium.

Empowering rural India

India: “Solar energy is beginning to light the lives of tens of millions of India’s energy-poor citizens,” said India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the occasion of the inauguration of the country’s National Solar Mission in January 2010. The example of a small indigenous community in Wayanad, Kerala, illustrates how solar power can be an effectively light up the way to development and social change.

Father Verspieren preaches the solar gospel

The story of solar electricity: The tenth part of our series with chapters from John Perlin’s book From Space to Earth tells the story of Dominique Campana, who developed the world’s first PV-powered water pump, and Father Bernard Verspieren, who initiated a PV water pumping program for Mali that became the model for the developing world.

From a large surface to pinpoint focus

Tracker drives: A crucial component in determining the economic viability of tracker systems are their drives. Only a handful of mechanical engineering companies worldwide, such as GFC AntriebsSysteme GmbH, Coswig, specialize in this field. GFC explains its importance.

Problem child on probation

Triple green, part 4: The semiconductor cadmium telluride (CdTe) is highly controversial. But CdTe cells are unbeatably cheap and able to be produced virtually without acids or poisons. Although it sounds paradoxical, their production is much greener than some silicon cell plants.

Safe solar sunscreen

Silane-free coating: It’s true that solar cells need light to function. But light also causes them to degrade, lowering their efficiencies by between two and six percent in the first few days before they stabilize. Sixtron thinks it has found a solution: a silane-free antireflective coating that costs the same as traditional silane-based coatings, but reduces cells’ initial degradation in light. If it delivers what is promised, the coating could boost cell efficiencies.

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