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Magazine Archive 12-2016

Big money off the grid

Off-grid solar market: The signing of the first large scale PPA for an off grid project by French renewable energy investor Neoen has triggered a wave of activity in the sector. Dr. Thomas Hillig, Managing Director at THEnergy Consultants, takes us through the risks and opportunities appearing in the off grid solar segment.

Laying the groundwork

Ground Mount Installation: Pile Driving quality goes to the very foundations of a PV array, quite literally. Helge Biernath, CEO of Sunstall, speaks to pv magazine about the importance of getting the foundations and footings of a PV array right before racking and module installation, and carrying out thorough component inspection. In this, being mindful of the weather, Biernath notes, is a vital factor.

Optimus primetime

DC optimizers: Whether embedded during module assembly, sold as standalone, or installed at solar sites of increasingly large dimensions, the DC power optimizer has been showing its worth in 2016, but what does the future hold in store?

Survival strategies

Surviving the downturn: The module price drop in the 2nd half of 2016 has created challenging conditions for players across the industry. While the largest manufacturers are protected by their scale, smaller companies are forced to innovate to survive. Götz Fischbeck of Smart Solar Consulting looks at the strategy of three such companies.

Industry 4.0 arrives

Production technology: The adoption of Industry 4.0 principles and technology in solar manufacturing has lagged behind other industries. That may be set to change, with German cell production equipment provider Asys releasing its Pulse platform onto the market this year. Six months later, Asys is installing its first intelligent Pulse line at an Asian manufacturer, and Florian Ritter, Asys’ Manager Product & Business Portfolio Management and Harald Wanka, Head of Technology and Global Sales, Solar spoke to pv magazine about the platform and current PV manufacturing landscape.

Global inverter outlook

Inverter market update: As 2016 draws to a close, pv magazine and IHS Markit cast their gaze over an inverter landscape that looks a little lopsided this year – a result of China’s first half surge, further consolidation and the continued broadening of inverter technologies and suppliers.

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