Eyes On Improving
Silicon Production

Solar engineers at Australia-based University of New South Wales (UNSW) say they have created a method to improve the efficiency of low-grade silicon for use in solar panels.

According to UNSW, the engineers have developed a way to use hydrogen atoms in order to “correct deficiencies” in silicon, which the researchers say can be the most expensive ingredient in solar cell production.

“This process will allow lower-quality silicon to outperform solar cells made from better-quality materials,” says Stuart Wenham, a professor at UNSW’s School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering.

UNSW is working with eight industry partners and says its new method will produce efficiencies between 21% and 23% - an increase from the current 19% efficiency of standard silicon cells. The project is slated for completion in 2016.

UNSW: unsw.edu.au

 

DEGER Launches
Tracking System

DEGER has unveiled its DEGERtracker D100, the first product in the company’s new generation of tracking systems.

The new tracker offers an increased angle of elevation - ranging from 10 degrees to 90 degrees - and a reprogrammed MLD sensor. In addition, the company says its D100 features a further-developed version of the EK-6 energy converter.

According to the company, the DEGERtracker D100 covers up to 70.6 square meters of module space, and the rated output is between 8,000 and 12,000 W, depending on the module type. The system is available with masts of between four and eight meters in length.

DEGER: degerenergie.de

 

SMA Releases
Transformerless Inverter

SMA is now taking orders for its new SMA’s Sunny Boy 3000TL-US/4000TL-US/5000TL-US transformerless inverters, which the company says are designed specifically for the North American residential solar market.

The transformerless design of the new Sunny Boy increases efficiency and reduces weight, and a simplified DC wiring concept allows the DC disconnect to be used as a wire raceway, saving labor and material, according to SMA. It is tested to UL 1741 and 1699B standards and has integrated AFCI, meeting NEC 2011 690.11 arc-fault requirements.

The inverter also offers Secure Power Supply functionality, which makes it possible for the product to provide up to 1,500 W of daytime standby power in the event of a grid outage, SMA adds.

SMA: sma-america.com

 

Innotech Offering
EcoPlus Modules

PV module manufacturer Innotech Solar has introduced the EcoPlus modules, which are now available in the U.S. market.

The modules are manufactured in Sweden and feature SunArc glass, which the company says is capable of generating up to 5% more yield than other modules with oblique-incidence illumination. The reflection from the glass is reduced by approximately 2.5%. Based on standard testing conditions, the cell receives 25 W more light per square meter, according to Innotech.

The company provides a 12-year product warranty on the modules.

Innotech: innotechsolar.com

 

HSL Series
Makes Debut

Hanwha SolarOne Co. Ltd. has introduced the HSL Series, a new line of PV modules. Compared to previous generation modules, the HSL Series offers a smaller and lighter design, higher power output and enhanced durability, the company says.

The polycrystalline modules also feature anti-potential induced degradation technology, anti-salt mist corrosion, and increased snow and wind loads. They are designed for utility, commercial and residential applications.

Approximately 2% smaller than Hanwha SolarOne’s previous generation of modules, these products yield an average 2% higher module efficiency, the company adds. Additionally, at 1.5 kg lighter than the previous generation, the new HSL Series is expected to be easier and more cost-effective to pack, transport and install.

The modules are backed by a 25-year linear power warranty and 12-year workmanship warranty.

Hanwha SolarOne: hanwha-solarone.com

 

MKS Rolls Out
MultiTherm 1000

MKS Instruments Inc. has introduced the MultiTherm 1000 temperature controller, an all-in-one product for the solar manufacturing industry and other applications. According to MKS, the unit provides all the necessary means for highly uniform temperature control across multiple zones while minimizing system cost and real estate.

The controller features 16 precision sensor input channels accepting resistance thermometers and thermocouples, and provides 16 pulse-width modulation output channels. Built-in proportional-integral-derivative capabilities make the unit ideal for dynamic control applications where extreme temperature stability is required, the company explains.

MKS: mksinst.com

 

New Solar Thermal
Monitoring System

Solar thermal technology developer Sunnovations Inc. has launched the Ohm residential solar hot water monitoring system. According to the company, Ohm is the first system that can measure both solar and backup energy inputs as well as hot water energy usage, allowing solar hot water system owners to make smarter use of their solar-heated water.

The Ohm system is designed to provide homeowners with Web-enabled monitoring for unprecedented insight into their solar thermal system’s performance. Ohm is available for pre-order on Sunnovations’ website at a cost that the company estimates to be less than half of the retail cost of systems with comparable features.

The current technology paradigm in solar hot water monitoring is to measure the flow rate in the solar loop and extrapolate that rate into a measurement of solar energy put into the hot water tank. This approach is both inexact - it provides only an indirect measurement of energy input - and expensive, as flow meters are costly and time consuming to install, Sunnovations says. The Ohm system eliminates the flow meter and instead uses a patent-pending in-tank sensor to directly measure the energy in the hot water tank.

Sunnovations: sunnovations.com

 

Spectrolab Develops
New Solar Wafer

A new solar cell wafer created by Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab is projected to reduce customers’ costs by 10% to 15% through improvements in design and manufacturing, the company says.

The new wafers are 50% larger than the previous Spectrolab wafers, allowing for more than three times more cells grown on each wafer, thus reducing costs.

Spectrolab notes that it has produced space solar cells for more than 55 years and ground-based products for the past 10 years.

Spectrolab: spectrolab.com S

Products & Technology

Eyes On Improving Silicon Production

 

 

 

si body si body i si body bi si body b dept_byline

si depbio

author bio

si sh

si subhead

pullquote

si first graph

si sh no rule

si last graph

si sh first item

si sh no rule

sidebar_headline