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Magazine Archive 06-2014

Monitoring and data logging services multiply

Solar monitoring and data logging: There has been a virtual explosion of solar PV monitoring and data logging companies offering services in the global market over the past few years, and consolidation is the watchword. In the U.S. market alone, the number of companies has risen from a few dozen to several hundred, begging the question of what standard services are, and at what price.

When the market decides

Storage systems: Not only are they being talked about by everyone, they are also splitting the industry. Some are focusing on successfully opening up a new market with them, while others consider them to be inefficient and economically pointless. But the figures are crystal clear.

Virtues of automation

Thin film: Automated production lines can provide a number of advantages to module manufacturers. High yields and throughput, detailed monitoring and consistent product quality are all virtues of automated process controls and getting robots to do the handling. It is also a marketing tool to give modules a stamp of quality. On the flip side, new automation tool orders for thin film have been extremely hard to come by for tool suppliers, meaning development has had to be largely self-funded.

Tracking new solar market trends

Solar trackers: Prices of trackers have dropped significantly in recent years, squeezing the returns on investment in the segment. Nonetheless, new players are entering the market, and new tracker designs and services continue to emerge.

The trouble with aging

Battery storage systems: When it comes to the service life of batteries, there are many illusions. It could be a mistake to risk, or even to plan, that batteries will have to be replaced after ten years. Armin U. Schmiegel from Bosch Power Tec explains why.

The future of PV in Germany

Germany: The planned amendment of the German Renewable Energy Act stipulates a reduction of feed-in tariffs and the introduction of a flexible market premium based on mandatory direct selling. Tobias Kurth, senior manager at the consulting firm Energy Brainpool, analyzes the consequences for solar photovoltaics in the country.

The Balkan PV balk

Bulgaria and Romania: Having developed early promise, the PV markets of Bulgaria and Romania have disappointed in recent months, with questions around future energy policy and grid expansion left unanswered. Will their slumbering potential be roused in the coming years, or are both nations sleepwalking towards the PV wilderness?

Survival strategies

Production equipment: PV equipment demand in 2014 is already enjoying an improvement on last year, but suppliers across the globe have to adapt to changes within the sector in order to not only survive, but remain competitive.

Storage technology in the spotlight

Intersolar Europe: In the first week of June, the who’s who of the solar industry will come together once again at Intersolar Europe in Munich. pv magazine spoke with the show’s organizer Markus Elsässer, CEO of Solar Promotion, about this year’s expected trends and highlights.

Shattered myths and fairytales

Dear readers, Those who continue to spread the myth of cheap, safe nuclear power despite Chernobyl and Fukushima will now find it even more difficult to deal in fairytales. In Germany in mid-May, the country’s major energy suppliers announced plans to transfer the ongoing operation, demolition and storage of nuclear waste from its remaining nine […]

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