Product Reviews

  • panelclaw

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

    30 July 2014, 16:57

    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, 16:48

    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, 13:15

    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, 16:41

    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, 15:52

    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, 19:35

    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, 11:35

    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, 16:50

    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, 14:55

    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, 14:07

    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, 08:17

    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, 10:13

    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, 12:08

    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, 09:42

    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, 13:07

    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, 17:28

    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, 18:21 | 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, 12:37 | 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, 19:26 | 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, 13:04

    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, 17:23

    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, 18:30

    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, 17:29

    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, 16:55

    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, 13:44

    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, 14:50

    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, 14:45

    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, 13:35

    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, 13:28

    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, 08:32

    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.

  • Since the mechanism is frictionless, less force is required to move a tracker - which means that no external power source is required to mov

    Scorpius Trackers Vader-xFP tracking system uses frictionless technology and no bearings

    13 September 2013, 12:28

    Scorpius Trackers claims to be the first company to have pioneered a frictionless pivot system that does not require bearings for free movement in solar tracking systems. The Vader-xFP tracking system is claimed to have zero wear and tear of mechanical parts with less than 0.1% of the generated power being consumed for tracking a >1MW PV power plant.

  • SmartWafers comprise a 30 micron high quality multicrystalline silicon active layer.

    Scifiniti’s SmartWafer’ technology reduces high purity silicon usage by more than 90%

    13 September 2013, 12:23

    US start-up, Scifiniti is developing a low-cost ‘SmartWafer’ that is claimed to enhance the performance and significantly lower the cost of silicon-based products.

  • The 3.0 MegaWattBlock uses a maximum voltage of 1500 Volt. Developed in co-operation with GE and PADCON, the 1500 V inverter system reduces

    BELECTRIC’s 3.0 ‘MegaWattBlock’ PV plant offers high grid stability

    04 September 2013, 11:52

    BELECTRIC’s new 3.0 MegaWattBlock is claimed to set new standards in solar power production. The power plant unit is designed to create electricity at the lowest possible levelized costs of electricity (LCOE). On a par with the functionality of large conventional power plants, the grid-stabilizing plant technology is designed to intelligently integrate renewable energy sources in existing power grids.

  • The Hybrid Renewable Energy Forecaster represents advancements in weather modeling technology, stemming from innovations such as ‘Deep Thund

    IBM offers big data analytics and weather modeling to tackle intermittence issues of renewables

    12 August 2013, 10:40

    IBM has introduced an advanced power and weather modeling technology that will help utilities increase the reliability of renewable energy resources. The solution combines weather prediction and analytics to accurately forecast the availability solar PV energy. The Hybrid Renewable Energy Forecasting” (HyRef) technology uses weather modeling capabilities, advanced cloud imaging technology and sky-facing cameras to track cloud movements, while sensors on the turbines monitor wind speed, temperature and direction.

  • The SolarMax 360 TS-SV central inverter comes with an increased minimum input voltage and greater output voltage, enabling a rated output po

    The SolarMax 360 TS-SV central inverter provides PV plant flexibility and yield optimization

    11 July 2013, 14:47

    The SolarMax 360 TS-SV central inverter from Sputnik Engineering AG and the TS-SV Compact Station, with a rated output power of 720kW, are designed as a cost effective solution for large PV power plants. The 360TS-SV has a European efficiency of 97.4%.

  • The system fully replaces slow, error-prone and costly off-line analysis methods.

    Meyer Burger and LayTec team on first fully integrated EVA cross-linking metrology solution

    04 July 2013, 11:18

    Meyer Burger and LayTec have collaborated to produce the world’s first fully integrated EVA cross-linking metrology solution for PV module production lines.

  • PV backsheet material is specifically designed for copper-based back-contact solar cell module lamination.

    KREMPEL offers rear-side contacting backsheet material

    27 June 2013, 13:04

    Designed for solar modules with cells for rear-side contacting, ‘AKACON BCF’ PV backsheet is being offered by the KREMPEL Group and is ready for volume production. The backsheet comes with a copper layer and is structured according to customer’s design for back-contact cells.

  • The inspection system can be used for both mono and multicrystalline silicon cells. Its throughput achieves more than 2,400/h, and the sorti

    Camera system from VITRONIC provides retrofit solar cell colour classification

    30 May 2013, 12:54

    VINSPEC solar VCOFLC1 camera system from VITRONIC enables exact and reliable front print and color inspection.

  • The WV-9000 is Class 100 Cleanroom safe and comes standard with long-life pump and push-button wafer tip pen – VWP-500-2.5mm.

    Virtual Industries new WAFER-VAC wafer handling system offers wide applications

    23 May 2013, 13:43

    Virtual Industries, a supplier of manual vacuum handling solutions, has made available its new general-purpose wafer vacuum handling tool, ‘WAFER-VAC’ system with 8” molded wafer tip (WV-9000-MW8).

  • Designers can program the RD-195 to optimize the balance between arc-detection accuracy and false detection prevention to meet their system

    TI offers first reconfigurable DC arc detect reference solution

    16 May 2013, 11:32

    Texas Instruments has introduced the industry’s first fully programmable DC arc detect reference solution. The RD-195 makes it faster and easier for designers to address a growing need to safeguard high-power DC systems against the catastrophic damage that can result from arc faults.

  • HelioSeal PVS 120 is a butyl rubber based hot melt framing sealant which is delivered ready-to-use.

    Kömmerling’s ‘HelioSeal’ PVS 120 provides superior water and moisture vapour tightness frame sealing

    16 May 2013, 11:25

    Kömmerling has launched its new butyl based framing sealant ‘HelioSeal’ PVS 120. In contrast to existing framing sealants on the market HelioSeal PVS 120 is claimed to provide immediate green strength and superior water and moisture vapour tightness, while being hot applied and able to be used by hand or in fully automated high speed production lines.

  • Gallium arsenide nanowires are fabricated via a high-throughput process called ‘Aerotaxy’ invented by company founder and Lund University pr

    Sol Voltaics gallium arsenide nanomaterial to be low-cost ink process for solar cells

    09 May 2013, 10:36

    Start-up Sol Voltaics has unveiled ‘SolInk’, which is claimed to be an economical nanomaterial that promises to increase the efficiency of crystalline silicon or thin-film solar modules by up to 25% or more. Gallium arsenide nanowires are fabricated via a high-throughput process called ‘Aerotaxy’ invented by company founder and Lund University professor Lars Samuelson.

  • The new thin (35mm) frame design features a high-tech aluminum alloy that allows for wind loads of up to 5,400 Pa while reducing module weig

    Hanwha Q CELLS ‘Q.PRO-G3’ series module comes in a lighter and slimmer design

    02 May 2013, 13:35

    Hanwha Q CELLS has introduced its versatile polycrystalline-based ‘Q.PRO-G3’ series module. Using its ‘Q.ANTUM’ high-efficiency solar cell technology (19.5% conversion efficiencies) and performance induced degradation (PID) free technology, the module also employs a lighter and slimmer design, using higher tensile aluminum frame.

  • Manufacturing the Solar Future: a snapshot of a vibrant industry.

    Manufacturing the Solar Future: a snapshot of a vibrant industry

    25 April 2013, 15:23

    PV-Tech’s publisher Solar Media has recently produced the 2013 Production Annual, which brings together the best of our Photovoltaics International articles from the last year. Jef Poortmans, director of PV technologies at IMEC, offers his thoughts on what insights the annual offers into the state of PV technology.

  • The system offers a thermal conductivity of 0.7 W/mK together with a mix viscosity of only 1900 mPa s at room temperature.

    Huntsman develops a new encapsulating system for PV Inverters

    18 April 2013, 11:06

    Huntsman Advanced Materials has launched a new product for potting of solar inverters. The polyurethane system ‘Arathane’ CW 5660 / HY 5610 has been designed to meet the key requirements of inverters for PV applications. Fast processing, high thermal endurance combined with low temperature flexibility and high thermal conductivity are the key features of the new system.

  • The all-black module's change in appearance results from the use of an advanced, all-black edge seal technology combined with an innovative

    First Solar’s ‘Series 3’ CdTe thin-film module platform offers harsh environment capability

    18 April 2013, 10:58

    First Solar has launched a new evolution of its Series 3 CdTe thin-film PV module platform. The ‘Series 3 Black’ is said to incorporate First Solar’s latest advances in conversion efficiency as well as additional features to enhance its performance in utility-scale power plants.

  • The Enecsys second generation microinverter is currently offered in single versions in increments from 240W up to 300W maximum AC output.

    Enecsys’ second gen microinverter claims 33% improvement in maximum power output

    11 April 2013, 08:27

    Enecsys has introduced its second generation microinverter platform, including a new communications gateway and online monitoring service. The microinverter technology is said to power scale up to 300W AC enabling the use of many high powered 60-cell modules, providing maximum energy harvest in the smallest footprint.

  • Solar Cube calculates the ‘zenith angle’ and the ‘azimuth angle’, which together specify the exact position of the sun in the sky to withi

    IMO offers off the shelf controller designed for axis PV systems

    11 April 2013, 08:21

    The IMO Solar Cube has been developed by IMO Precision Controls as an easy to set up solar tracking and measurement controller with the flexibility to adapt to either one or two axis PV module installations to track the sun’s movement.

  • PSE AG has developed a new test stand, ‘Degratest Labtool,’ designed for the testing of light induced degradation (LID) effect of silicon so

    PSE provides analysis of solar cells light-induced degradation

    04 April 2013, 13:18

    PSE AG has developed a new test stand, Degratest Labtool, designed for the testing of the light-induced degradation (LID) effect on silicon solar cells. The testing technology monitors and records degradation effects, and offers manufacturers and research institutions a fast and reliable tool for testing and developing solar cells. The LID test system was developed at ISC Konstance.

  • The EddyCus Thin-Film lab employs the eddy current method that utilizes local conductivity variations of the test objects for the characteri

    ‘EddyCus Thin-Film’ lab designed for contactless real-time thickness

    21 March 2013, 11:10

    SURAGUS GmbH, a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Non-Destructive Testing Dresden, offers the ‘EddyCus Thin-Film lab’ specifically for contactless real-time thickness and sheet resistance determination of low and high conductive thin-films on glass, wafer, plastics or foils.

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  • Photovoltaics International 24th Edition

    Signs earlier in the year of the global industry entering a growth phase have now been confirmed beyond any doubt. Almost all the big-name suppliers have now announced some form of manufacturing capacity expansion, a trend that analysts agree will only gather pace as long as the levels of demand predicted over the next few years turn out to be correct.

  • Manufacturing The Solar Future: The 2014 Production Annual

    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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