Product Reviews

  • sunpreme

    SPI 2014: Sunpreme exhibits first 500W bifacial glass/glass PV module

    21 October 2014, 14:33

    Stealthy US-based start-up, Sunpreme will be showing what it claims to be the world’s first Bifacial double glass module with a measured STC output of 503W at Solar Power International (SPI 2014).  It is designed to maximize energy production in ground mount as well as tracker configurations and with a 15% Bifacial power boost, the effective panel wattage can be enhanced to 575W with an effective module efficiency of 22.2%, according to the company. Upon full market release, the product warranty will be backed by Munich Re.

  • enphase

    SPI 2014: Enphase develops next-gen energy storage system with bidirectional microinverter

    21 October 2014, 13:44 | Comments (1)

    Enphase Energy is showcasing its new ‘Energy Management System’, at Solar Power International (SPI 2014) in advance of a major product launch in the third quarter of 2015. The energy management system offers the next-generation, smart-grid ready bidirectional microinverter, plug-and-play storage, advanced control capabilities and load management.

  • cpr

    SPI 2014: Clean Power Research targets US interconnection soft cost reduction

    21 October 2014, 08:19

    Clean Power Research will be demonstrating ‘PowerClerk’ at Solar Power International 2014. The new software, funded by a US DoE SunShot Incubator award, takes solar interconnection online to streamline application processes, shorten time to interconnection and reduce soft costs.

  • nextracker

    SPI 2014: NEXTracker offer’s self-powered tracking technology to lower BOS

    20 October 2014, 14:41

    NEXTracker is unveiling its self-powered tracking technology with the NEXTracker SPT at Solar Power International.

  • jinglong

    SPI 2014: Ginlong’s ‘Solis-Mini’ claimed to be lightest PV string inverter

    20 October 2014, 13:29

    Ginlong Technologies is showcasing its latest ‘Solis-Mini’ PV string inverter at Solar Power International. The full-featured Solis-Mini is claimed to be the lightest single phase transformerless PV string inverter on the global market with a weight of less than 13lbs (5.6 kg).

  • sma solar

    SPI 2014: SMA Solar offers ‘Sunny Boy’ TL-US series inverters for large residential

    20 October 2014, 11:35

    SMA Solar Technology is showcasing an expanded range of ‘Sunny Boy’ TL-US inverters with ‘Secure Power Supply’ at Solar Power International. The higher power ratings of the new Sunny Boy 7000TL-US and 7700TL-US are designed to meet the needs of large residential PV projects and are able to provide daytime power in the event of a grid outage.

  • Canadian Solar

    SPI 2014: Canadian Solar launches glass/glass ‘Diamond’ module

    20 October 2014, 10:51

    Canadian Solar is introducing a new, glass/glass 1500V multicrystalline PV module at Solar Power International (SPI). The ‘Diamond’ module is designed for harsh environments as well as providing lower degradation over a 30-year lifespan, while enabling the use of longer strings with fewer combiners, cables, and other system parts to reduce the overall balance of systems (BOS).

  • Exosun

    SPI 2014: Exosun offers single-axis tracker with intelligent backtracking process

    13 October 2014, 09:56

    Exosun is now offering its ‘Exotrack’ HZ horizontal single-axis tracker with an intelligent patented backtracking process, called ‘SMARTracking’. Exosun’s Exotrack HZ will be on display at Solar Power International (SPI 2014), held October 21-23 in Las Vegas.

  • enphase

    Enphase teams C250 microinverter with design software, O&M, financial services for commercial market

    01 October 2014, 14:56

    Enphase Energy will be launching a new solar energy solution for the commercial market. The new offering combines Enphase’s microinverter technology with a comprehensive set of services and partnerships to assist the owner and installer of a commercial solar project from concept through implementation and eventually to maintenance—providing low-cost solar energy and long-term reliability.

  • ampt

    String optimizer from Ampt has double number of modules per string

    30 September 2014, 14:07

    Ampt has introduced a new string optimizer, a DC power converter with multiple maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and output voltage and current limits to optimize system design and maximize performance of large-scale PV systems.

  • solvay

    Solvay develops two high-performances PV film grades for frontsheet applications

    30 September 2014, 13:58

    Solvay Specialty Polymers has expanded its position in the PV market with the launch of two film grades of its ‘Halar’ ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene (ECTFE) for photovoltaic (PV) modules. The two new high-performance products, Halar PV ECTFE and Halar ECTFE ultraviolet (UV) blocking technology have been specifically designed for frontsheet applications.

  • SolarCity

    SolarCity’s ZS Peak mounting system provides higher panel density on commercial rooftops

    16 September 2014, 12:26

    SolarCity has launched a flat roof solar mounting solution that is claimed to be twice as fast to install and can generate significantly more solar electricity from each rooftop than alternatives for the commercial market. The ZS Peak mounting system provides an innovative snap-together system to simplify and accelerate installation.

  • innoals

    InnoLas provides half-cell cutting system for higher PV module performance

    15 September 2014, 13:03

    InnoLas Solutions is offering an automated laser cutting machine with an integrated soft wafer breaking process to produce half cells or quarter cells to reduce device-inherent resistivity, boosting overall module output by a claimed 10-15W.

  • Hitachi Chemical

    Wavelength conversion particles from Hitachi Chemical boost cell efficiencies by over 2%

    09 September 2014, 10:43

    Hitachi Chemical will begin sales of wavelength conversion particles (WCP) for solar encapsulant sheets that help increase the conversion efficiency of solar cell power generation. WCP series contains specialized phosphor within acrylic resin and converts short wavelength light (ultraviolet light) into long wavelength light (visible light).

  • Fujitsu Laboratories

    Fujitsu Laboratories software automates production-line image recognition

    09 September 2014, 10:15

    Fujitsu Laboratories has announced the development of a technology for automatically generating image-recognition programs that accurately detect the positions of components as captured by cameras in automated assembly processes by utilizing images of electronic components and IT equipment.

  • AE

    Advanced Energy’s AE 3TL string inverters benefit from space-saving mounting orientation

    08 September 2014, 13:42

    Advanced Energy Industries (AE) has developed a new mounting accessory for its ‘AE 3TL’ PV inverter that enables installers, site designers and project developers to conserve space and increase project yield on commercial rooftop systems by placing string inverters in a horizontal (0°) orientation. Advanced Energy will showcase its AE3TL string inverter technology, including the horizontal mount accessory, at the upcoming Solar Power International conference and exhibition, October 21 to 23, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

  • Nextronex

    Nextronex ‘Power Podium’ offers plug-and-play inverter operation

    01 September 2014, 14:47

    Nextronex has launched the ‘RAY-MAX’ Power Podium which integrates the RAY-MAX Inverters, MV Load Centers, DC Bus Power Strip and the Smart Controller on a factory installed platform, allowing for simple and fast-track field installation. Factory wiring and testing are designed to provide the required quality control. Nextronex Distributed Architecture is claimed to deliver up to 8% more energy output.

  • teamtechnik

    teamtechnik boosts throughput of single track TT1600 stringer system

    01 September 2014, 14:36

    PV module stringer specialist, teamtechnik has reduced cell-to-cell soldering cycle-times to below 2.25 second, boosting overall throughput of its single-track TT1600 stringer system to an annual output of 45MWp, inline with dual stringer systems, according to the company.

  • LHTS

    Lamers High Tech Systems chemical storage and distribution system offers greater operator safety

    29 August 2014, 13:49

    Lamers High Tech Systems (LHTS) storage and distribution systems for corrosive and toxic chemicals offer increased safety within PV manufacturing facilities. The IBC (Intermediate bulk container) handler is a system of LHTS in which reusable containers can be emptied automatically. The equipment is engineered and constructed in a modular manner to customer specifications.

  • Agfa’s ‘ARZONA BS+’ PV module backsheet

    Agfa’s ‘ARZONA BS+’ PV module backsheet provides humidity and UV protection

    12 August 2014, 11:47

    Agfa’s ‘ARZONA BS+’ PV module backsheet provides humidity and UV protection

  • panelclaw

    PanelClaw offers lower cost ‘Polar Bear’ flat roof mounting system

    30 July 2014, 16:24

    PanelClaw is introducing its ‘Polar Bear’ III, a new flat roof mounting system. The new Polar Bear product is said to take the best aspects of PanelClaw’s existing Polar Bear, ‘Grizzly Bear’ and ‘Kodiak Bear’ flat roof portfolio and combines them into a single platform with more competitive pricing.

  • DSM

    DSM’s ‘KhepriCoat’ maximizes light transmission for solar cover glass

    30 July 2014, 16:15

    DSM’s ‘KhepriCoat’ is claimed to maximize light transmission by minimizing reflection for solar cover glass, while boosting the cost/ performance ratio of solar energy. By enabling more-light to enter a solar device, KhepriCoat is claimed to significantly increase the device’s efficiency, and can make a major contribution in the quest for clean energy generation.

  • Power Electronics

    Power Electronics Freesun HEC Gen II central PV inverters offer advanced modular capabilities

    25 July 2014, 12:42

    Power Electronics has launched the second generation of its successful Freesun HEC Series central PV inverters, dubbed Freesun HEC Gen II. The new series ranges from 400kVA to 1700kVA are intended for the utility scale solar market, employing a modular design with redundant technology to be able to work in the harshest environments and provide the highest long-term performance.

  • ampt

    Intersolar North America: String optimiser from Ampt has double number of modules per string

    09 July 2014, 16:08

    Ampt has introduced a new string optimiser, a DC power converter with multiple maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and output voltage and current limits to optimize system design and maximise performance of large-scale PV systems. Ampt is showcasing the product at several partner booths during Intersolar North America, including Shoals and Bonfiglioli.

  • locus

    Intersolar North America: Virtual irradiance modelling tool from Locus Energy lowers O&M costs

    09 July 2014, 15:19

    Locus Energy has launched an advanced irradiance modeling tool, ‘Virtual Irradiance (VI),’ which provides solar fleet operators with data on the amount of sunlight that is striking the ground, enabling a highly accurate assessment of solar PV system performance.

  • HiQ Solar

    Intersolar N.A. HiQ Solar offers compact rugged commercial rooftop string inverter

    08 July 2014, 19:02

    HiQ Solar is showcasing its new ‘Liberty’ 480V 3-phase, 1,000Vdc inverter at Intersolar North America. The 8kW rated string inverter is designed into a NEMA6 enclosure and weighs 24 lbs and is targeted at the commercial rooftop and carport type markets.

  • MB

    Meyer Burger’s diamond wire saw enables ultrathin wafer production

    30 June 2014, 11:02

    Meyer Burger is offering the DW 288+ as the first diamond wire saw system designed specifically for monocrystalline solar wafer applications. The DW 288 platform enables the slicing of silicon bricks into ultrathin wafers.

  • CRITICAL Manufacturing

    CRITICAL Manufacturing MES system provides rapid operational information

    26 June 2014, 16:17

    CRITICAL Manufacturing has released cmNavigo 3.6, the latest version of its flexible and user-centered manufacturing execution and intelligence system (MES/MI).

  • Talesun

    Talesun’s ‘smart module’ provides higher system yield

    26 June 2014, 14:22

    Zhongli Talesun has launched the all new ‘TalesunSmart’ PV module series, which incorporates specialised electronics, which are able to collect real-time performance and safety data.

  • HPV

    Heraeus offers front-side metallization pastes with improved cell efficiencies

    23 June 2014, 13:34

    The Heraeus Photovoltaics Business Unit has launched two new high efficiency front-side metallization pastes for standard to ultra-lightly doped emitter cells – the SOL9620 Series and SOL9621 Series.

  • amat

    SNEC 2014: Applied Materials ‘Vericell’ system fully-automates production wafer inspection

    20 May 2014, 07:44

    Applied Materials has entered the solar wafer inspection market with ‘Applied Vericell’ system designed to fully-automate in-line wafer inspection to address the quality limitations of manual review, with the capability to automatically predict wafer cell efficiency through photoluminescence (PL) technology. The Vericell system is being introduced at SNEC 2014 in Shanghai, China.

  • centrotherm

    SNEC 2014: centrotherm’s low-pressure diffusion technology offers cost savings of up to 40%

    18 May 2014, 09:40

    centrotherm is highlighting low-pressure diffusion system at SNEC 2014, which it claims can offer up to 40% per wafer for solar cell emitter formation. The cost reductions are attributed to almost a doubling of the systems wafer throughput to more than 140MW per year and overall lower media consumption.

  • The Xcell X3 is ready to process any solar cell with up to 5 busbars, PERC, p-type, n-type, and/or half-cells.

    SNEC: Komax Solar’s Xcell X3 high-speed Stringer achieves 1800 cell per hour throughput

    06 May 2014, 11:35 | Comments (1)

    Komax Solar has launched its new next-generation solar cell stringer system, the Xcell X3. Key features include throughput of 1800 cells/hour and up to five busbar and half-cell capabilities. The all-new closed loop induction soldering is three times as efficient as the previous generation. Komax Solar is exhibiting at SNEC 2014, being held in Shanghai, China May 20-22, 2014 at booth, E3 520.

  • The PCT-1800

    Praxis Resources meets demanding PV field testing with IV curve tracers

    02 May 2014, 09:09

    Praxis Resources has launched the PCT-1800 IV Curve Tracer.  The unit is shock resistant, easy to operate and user friendly.  The large scale 10.4” color touch panel LCD and integrated computer are key to generating IV curves, completing PV array performance analysis and producing immediate performance feedback.

  • ROFIN-BAASEL Lasertech

    SNEC: Rofin’s ‘Dual Line c-Si’ laser processing system upgrades boost PERC cell productivity

    01 May 2014, 12:34

    ROFIN-BAASEL Lasertech is launching a new upgraded version of its production proven ‘Dual Line c-Si’ laser processing system that provides improved productivity and lowers processing costs in volume production of next-generation PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cells) solar cell design. The latest Dual Line c-Si™ modular platform will be unveiled at the forthcoming SNEC 8th 2014, International Photovoltaic Power Generation Exhibition, being held in Shanghai, China May 20-22, 2014 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center. ROFIN-BAASEL Lasertech’s booth is located in Hall 3, 615.

  • plant design that combines First Solar’s thin-film CdTe modules with GE’s new ProSolar 1500 Volt inverter/transformer system, which is claim

    First Solar and GE develop next-generation PV power plant

    19 March 2014, 16:55

    First Solar and GE’s Power Conversion business are utilizing their recently established technology and commercial partnership to develop a more cost effective and productive utility-scale PV power plant design that combines First Solar’s thin-film CdTe modules with GE’s new ProSolar 1500 Volt inverter/transformer system, which is claimed to be the largest inverter in the industry capable of accommodating 1,500 volt DC solar arrays.

  • The combination of the flexible grid and the segmented fingers results in lower resistive losses thereby increasing cell and module efficien

    GTAT ‘Merlin’ metallisation and interconnect technology reduces silver paste needs by 80%

    13 March 2014, 17:48 | Comments (2)

    GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) has announced an innovative cell metallisation and interconnect technology, dubbed ‘Merlin’ that is expected to provide substantial savings in both the manufacture and installation of solar modules. A key component of the new technology includes a flexible grid that replaces conventional two and three silver bus bars, while significantly reducing solver paste consumption.

  • JA Solar’s PERCIUM cell has surpassed a conversion efficiency of 20.3%, 1.3% higher than average mono-Si

    JA Solar’s ‘PERCIUM’ mono-Si modules surpass 20% conversion efficiencies

    27 February 2014, 12:04 | Comments (2)

    JA Solar is rolling-out globally a new series of high performance solar cells and modules in 2014. Highlights included the launch of its monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si) solar cell (156x156 mm2), ‘PERCIUM’ with 20%-plus conversion efficiency.

  • Sunny Boy 240 is designed for easy installation and connection due to the ready-made, easily identifiable plugs, pre-assembled AC cables and

    SMA Solar claims 50% less components in Sunny Boy 240 microinverter

    17 February 2014, 18:53 | Comments (1)

    SMA Solar Technology has launched a next-generation microinverter that claims to have 50% less component content than competitor versions. The ‘Sunny Boy 240’ microinverter is billed to be easy-to-install and provides an expandable modular solution for PV systems.

  • The latest rendition is said to assure layer adhesion that works after 3500 h damp heat testing.

    Isovoltaic’s ‘ICOSOLAR’ TPA HR backsheet offers harsh climate protection

    14 February 2014, 12:31

    Isovoltaic’s recently introduced PV module backsheet combines both ‘Tedlar’ and ‘Polyamide’ materials to provide improved characteristics for field durability and module efficiency increase, especially in challenging conditions.

  • The LGate 120 is a one-piece completely under glass meter which installs easily using a standard socket base. Performance data is uploaded i

    Locus Energy offers PV system fleet operators enhanced data collection

    28 January 2014, 16:50

    Locus Energy has introduced its next-generation of smart meters designed to allow solar installers and asset managers to more easily collect, monitor and analyse performance data from both residential and light commercial solar PV systems. The LGate 120 and 320 are the first cellular smart meters designed specifically to measure the performance of PV installations.

  • A new ‘FlexReportXL’ report generator produces plant performance reports that can include information from other sources, such as forecasts

    Skytron adds performance and planning enhancements to ‘PVGuard’ power plant software

    24 January 2014, 17:57

    Skytron energy has made considerable performance upgrades to its monitoring, control and supervision solutions for PV power plants. The ‘PVGuard’ Supervision Platform has been enhanced with improved SCADA software capabilities for energy production planning, performance analysis and system integration.

  • Eyelit has started the general availability of version 5.1 of its ‘Eyelit Manufacturing’ suite of MES (Manufacturing Execution System) softw

    Eyelit launches Version 5.1 of MES with capability to manage R&D products

    14 January 2014, 16:56

    Eyelit has started the general availability of version 5.1 of its ‘Eyelit Manufacturing’ suite of MES (Manufacturing Execution System) software with key enhancements that enable engineers to quickly configure special instructions and processing that enforce special work requests (SWRs) for research and development projects.

  • The new M215 includes Integrated Ground technology

    Enphase offers simpler microinverter installation and operational software management

    14 January 2014, 16:22

    Enphase Energy has introduced new hardware and software products that are claimed to lower solar system installation and operations costs for solar professionals.

  • The HIT-N245 module

    Panasonic’s upgraded HIT PV module available with 19.4 % conversion efficiency

    09 January 2014, 13:11

    Panasonic has launched the ‘HIT-N245’ and ‘HIT-N240’ PV modules. The HIT-N245 module has a conversion efficiency of 19.4% and comes with several upgraded features intended to provide overall improved operational performance, notably for residential rooftop markets.

  • Dow Corning’s silicone-based, next-generation Electrically Conductive Adhesive (ECA) ‘PV-5802’ will be used in Tianwei New Energy’s Metal Wr

    Dow Corning’s silicone-based ECA designed for MWT cell designs

    06 January 2014, 14:17

    Dow Corning’s silicone-based, next-generation Electrically Conductive Adhesive (ECA) ‘PV-5802’ will be used in Tianwei New Energy’s Metal Wrap Through (MWT) module production line, developed by ECN of the Netherlands. PV-5802 is said to provide improved electrical properties and stability, which will greatly enhance the electrical performance, reliability and durability of MWT modules.

  • The GCL ‘Monocrystalline G2’ wafer is claimed to be comparable in conversion efficiencies with that of conventional Czochralski-based monoc

    GCL-Poly’s quasi-mono wafer ‘G2’ offers comparable performance to monocystalline

    06 January 2014, 14:12

    GCL-Poly Energy Holdings has started commercial mass production for its second-generation quasi-monocrystalline silicon wafer product. The GCL ‘Monocrystalline G2’ wafer is claimed to be comparable in conversion efficiencies with that of conventional Czochralski-based monocrystalline wafers.

  • FLEXcon has expanded its solar module backsheet ‘multiGUARD’ offering with the addition of Black/White and Black/Black products.

    FLEXcon offer black backsheet for aesthetically demanding PV module markets

    03 December 2013, 13:02

    FLEXcon has expanded its solar module backsheet ‘multiGUARD’ offering with the addition of Black/White and Black/Black products. The new, more aesthetically pleasing black backsheet products appeal to the high-end commercial market and a much greater portion of the residential market.

  • 3D-Micromac relies on its ‘on-the-fly’ technology, which is claimed to offer the highest productivity with an excellent price-performance ra

    3D-Micromac’s PERC cell process offers improved price to performance ratio

    03 December 2013, 12:55

    3D-Micromac has developed a novel, highly productive laser system for opening the rear sides of PERC cells. Innovative on-the-fly technology makes it possible to achieve an improved cost-benefit ratio. The system is modular, combinable with different laser-source technologies, and achieves a typical efficiency increase up to one percentage point.

  • A key feature of the broad Protect PV inverter line is a power stack with advanced measuring and control technology enabling DC input voltag

    SPI 2013: AEG Power Solutions offering compact outdoor central inverters

    21 October 2013, 07:59

    AEG Power Solutions (AEG PS), a global provider of power electronics for renewable energies, introduces two new members of its broad inverter line for the Americas market.

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    In this issue we offer some insights into what the next wave of photovoltaic technologies may look like as that upturn gathers pace. Industry observers have been in broad agreement that the major next-gen PV technology innovations won’t happen straight away. But there’s also little doubt that the search is now on in earnest for the breakthroughs that will come to define the state of the art in the industry in the years to come.

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    Although the past few years have proved extremely testing for PV equipment manufacturers, falling module prices have driven solar end-market demand to previously unseen levels. That demand is now starting to be felt by manufacturers, to the extent that leading companies are starting to talk about serious capacity expansions later this year and into 2015. This means that the next 12 months will be a critical period if companies throughout the supply chain are to take full advantage of the PV industry’s next growth phase.

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