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Magazine Archive 2013

Meaningful improvements seen

System prices: The national weighted-average price for PV systems in the U.S. fell. GTM Research’s Andrew Krulewitz details the factors that contributed to price declines in each U.S. PV market segment this quarter.

Finally, reliable figures

Vision 2050: A study conducted by Fraunhofer ISE shows that electricity in Germany does not have to be any more expensive in the year 2050 than it is today, and that it can be produced completely from renewable energies. This time PV technology fares decidedly better than in past studies on the topic.

Think wireless, but not overnight

Manufacturing and standards: Wireless communication in automation and to facilitate productivity improvements is becoming more common in a range of manufacturing processes. But is the time right for it to make an impact in the PV space?

Like raw eggs

Module transport: Modules have to be transported not only safely, but also economically. A lot of transport damage is not easily discernible and only becomes noticeable where there is waning performance. pv magazine focuses on the factors that can reduce module quality when it comes to their transport and how they can best be prevented without an unnecessary increase in costs.

A cell phone saves you the trip to the basement

Inverters: Inverters can now communicate and are better adapted to their various uses than ever before. Thomas Mühlberger, head of PV System Technology at Fronius International GmbH, talks about the trends.

The pressure to innovate

Laminators: Solar laminator manufacturers paint a bleak picture of their current markets. Some focus on reducing the cost of existing technology, others on innovation.

Global FIT overview

Feed-in tariffs: Japan’s slight reductions came into effect, but they will not slow the boom. Ontario is conducting a price review on its very generous FITs. And Queensland, Australia, has slashed its incentive scheme.

Upward pressure

Chinese factory gate prices: Decreasing shipments are pushing up the prices for Chinese solar modules sold in Europe.

Swamped by a flood of imports

India: The majority of Indian manufacturers are having a hard time owing to the downturn in the global market, an unprecedented import onslaught, and the universal trend towards trade wars. A report from India.

How dead zones can be reduced

Thin film PV: So-called dead zones that could not be avoided up to now in the conventional process of thin film production account for considerable efficiency losses in the PV module. Engineers at 3D-Micromac have developed a new technology, the one-stop patterning (OSP) procedure, to solve the problem. Wilhelm Stein, founder and CEO of Stein Engineering & Consulting, explains the technology.

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