Product Reviews > Power Generation

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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%.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • In addition to yield predictions and inverter setup, the new version of Polysun 6 is claimed to provide the optimal PV module layout on the

    ‘Polysun 6’ PV planner upgraded for battery employed self-consumption analysis

    21 March 2013, 11:05

    Vela Solaris has introduced ‘Polysun 6’ PV planner software that includes new features that ease the daily work of solar system planners as well as being enhanced to provide simulation analysis of battery storage requirements for self-consumption.

  • By reducing the module's glass thickness from the industry standard of 3.2mm to 2.5mm, and applying an antireflective coating to the front g

    Trina Solar to offer its first dual rated frameless module for harsh conditions

    04 February 2013, 16:59 | Comments (1)

    Trina Solar is planning to introduce the 60-cell PDG5, the first in a new line of dual rated frameless modules. The PDG5 is said to be resistant to potential induced degradation (PID) and micro-cracking, and does not require grounding. The PDG5 is optimized for reliable performance under stressful environmental conditions.

  • The 100 Mbit/s bus system provides plant operators with optimum data transmission rates for plant monitoring and fast processing of measured

    SMA’s ‘Cluster Controller’ can monitor 75 string inverters

    29 January 2013, 15:56

    SMA Solar Technology has launched its new SMA ‘Cluster Controller,’ which is designed to support the monitoring and control of decentralized PV power plants in connection with its string inverters up to the megawatt range.

  • Canadian Solar's ResidentialAC system comes with a 25-year long microinverter reliability to match Canadian Solar's module warranty by elimi

    Canadian Solar offers high-performance AC module for faster ROI

    22 January 2013, 17:47

    Canadian Solar has launched its next generation ‘ResidentialAC’ system less than six-months after the initial launch. The upgraded system combines the 250W PV module with its next generation microinverter while maintaining a standard 25-year system performance warranty.

  • The Bifurcated Wormetary gearing combines a right angle worm gear to turn the corner with a pair of efficient planetary gearboxes for a tota

    Dunkermotor’s new ‘Bifurcated Wormetary’ gearmotors provide reliable operation of CSP and PTC power

    03 January 2013, 13:33

    In the field of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), Parabolic Trough Collector (PTC) technology is one of the most widely used, and Dunkermotor’s new ‘Bifurcated Wormetary’ gearmotors are designed to meet that application’s requirements, while offering several unique benefits.

  • All Kipp & Zonen smart radiometers are individually addressable and can be linked together in a multi-drop configuration to a single RS-485

    Kipp & Zonen updates SHP1 smart pyrheliometer to measure DNI

    10 December 2012, 11:06

    Following the success of the SMP series of smart pyranometers released last year, Kipp & Zonen is continuing to develop smart instruments with the launch of its SHP1 smart pyrheliometer, designed for measuring Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) from the sun, which is essential for concentrating mirror or lens based CSP systems.

  • Bentek Solar’s MDSS with optional zone current monitoring is optimized to work with most inverters at both 600 and 1000VDC.

    Bentek Solar’s ‘PV 101 MDSS’ handles safety and code compliance under multiple power sources

    03 December 2012, 12:14

    Bentek Solar has claimed to have developed and introduced the ‘PV 101 MDSS’ as a cost-effective Multiple Disconnect Safety System (MDSS), which is designed to provide safety and code compliance for PV installations in the US under National Electrical Code (NEC) 2011 rules.

  • Growatt broadens PV string inverter offering with ‘High Frequency’ Series

    18 September 2012, 20:32

    Growatt North America has unveiled a new ‘High Frequency Series’ of residential solar PV string inverters, and their light commercial ‘TL3 Series’ string inverters during SPI 2012. The HF Series inverters are initially offered in 2.0kW, 2.5kW, and 3.0kW power classes, while the TL3 Series inverters are initially offered in 10kW, 12kW, 18kW, and 20kW power classes.

  • Atonometrics offers reduced uncertainty in irradiance measurements of PV power plants

    17 September 2012, 11:44

    Atonometrics, a developer of PV test and measurement technologies, has developed a new suite of product offerings, which include the Irradiance Measurement System, the PV Module Soiling Measurement System and the PV Module Degradation Measurement System. By quantifying the effects of various elements on PV plant performance using on-site testing, the tools allow operators to mitigate risk and maximize return on investment.

  • SPI 2012: Canadian Solar develops ‘ResidentialAC’ solar module with advanced electronics

    10 September 2012, 14:26

    Canadian Solar has introduced the ‘ResidentialAC’ module to its ‘Intelligrated’ Power product family, at Solar Power International 2012. Intelligrated Power integrates solar module electronics into the module to significantly reduce the cost of system design and installation. ResidentialAC is an AC solar energy solution with advanced technology that is claimed to deliver a double-digit increase in solar power production over traditional micro-inverters.

  • QBotix uses intelligent robots to offer low cost module tracking system

    10 September 2012, 07:42 | Comments (1)

    Start-up, QBotix, has revealed the ‘QBotix Tracking System’ (QTS), a dual-axis tracking system that employs rugged, intelligent and mobile robots to dynamically operate solar power plants and maximize energy output. QTS is claimed to costs as much as existing single axis systems but generates up to 15% more energy. QTS will generate up to 40% more energy than fixed mount systems.

  • PolyOne’s ‘Syncure Solar’ wire cable solution supports overall BOS cost reduction

    05 September 2012, 16:36

    PolyOne has introduced a new technology for PV systems wire and cable called ‘Syncure Solar.’ Available globally, this UV-resistant, cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) system is claimed to meet UL 4703 and VW 1-compliance in one material, eliminating the need to use two separate insulation and jacketing formulations.

  • Clenergy offers PV-ezRack mounting system for trapezoidal sheet roofs

    28 August 2012, 10:48

    Clenergy launched the PV-ezRack Trapezoidal module mounting system at Intersolar Europe, 2012. The new high-quality universal mounting system is designed for PV-systems on trapezoidal sheet roofs with thicknesses of 0.4mm and above.

  • REC’s ‘Peak Energy Plus’ Series module is first to use backside passivation technology

    22 August 2012, 16:55

    Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) has made commercially available its REC Peak Energy Plus Series module, based on cells with backside passivation technology. The module has a nominal power output in watt classes ranging from 245Wp to 255Wp with higher watt classes expected in the future. The backside cell passivation technology improves performance by enhancing the solar cell’s response to red light.

  • Siliken’s ‘energybox’ offers complete rooftop optimization solutions

    20 August 2012, 10:24 | Comments (1)

    Siliken has developed the ‘energybox’ PV system that offers more than 100 structural solutions for the design of any type of residential and industrial rooftops. The kit is scalable and therefore allows the covering of any rooftop size by connecting several energyBoxes in tandem. Siliken also developed a 72-cell module, which yields the same power with 20% fewer modules, therefore saving components, cutting operating costs and installation time.

  • AEG Power Solutions Protect PV.630 central inverter enables efficient use of thin-film modules

    13 August 2012, 10:25

    AEG Power Solutions has announced the expansion of its product portfolio with a new central inverter with 630kW capability. Protect PV.630 has an efficiency factor of 98.4%. With an appropriate transformer, it can also be adapted to the medium voltage grid (e.g. 10, 20, 33kV). The new inverter is said to be the company’s next step in offering high-end utility-class inverters.

  • vBoost 600 DC-to-DC converter module from eIQ Energy lowers installation costs

    01 August 2012, 14:36 | Comments (1)

    eIQ Energy has launched high-capacity addition to its vBoost DC Parallel System – the new vBoost 600 DC-to-DC converter module employs fewer vBoosts per solar array, enabling system installers and operators to save on both materials and labor on solar installations.

  • Power-One’s 2nd-Gen micro-inverters have 96.5% efficiency rating

    23 July 2012, 09:44

    Power-One has launched the second generation of its micro-inverters, the improved AURORA MICRO-0.3-I and AURORA MICRO-0.25-I. The new version version is claimed to offer a broader DC input voltage range with a maximum of 65Vdc, an extended MPP DC voltage range and an enhanced MPPT control with reduced DC input current ripple. Moreover, the new units are said to reach best-in-class efficiency ratings of up to 96.5%. Power-One is showcased the products at Intersolar Europe.

  • Evonik Cyro offers pre-fab lens panels for CPV modules

    11 July 2012, 08:32

    Evonik Cyro has launched ‘ACRYLITE’ Solar Pre-Fab acrylic lens panels, which are combined with a Secondary Optical Element (SOE) to create a complete optical train package for assembly directly onto Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) modules. This allows customers to bypass purchasing the tooling device needed to create the product and avoid the required time-consuming installation process.

  • Eltek’s ‘MultiSite Monitor’ capable of tracking 3,000 DC power systems employing solar power

    02 July 2012, 10:42

    Eltek, the world leader in high efficiency power systems, today announced MultiSite Monitor, an IP-based monitoring service for its DC power systems that enables carriers to monitor remote power systems around the world. This can be applied to both green power performance and for system health.

  • TAOKE ‘IOT’ is designed to protect and improve the operating efficiency of the PV power plant

    11 June 2012, 10:06

    Shanghai TAOKE Network Technology has developed the GPRS photovoltaic data acquisition (TK-G10-01/08/16/08S/16S) and Ethernet photovoltaic data acquisition the (TK-E20-01/08/16/08S/16S/32D) systems for a wide range of PV power plant applications, designed to protect and improve the operating efficiency of the PV system.

  • ‘Equinox LC’ inverters from Satcon are designed for the light commercial solar market

    11 June 2012, 10:02

    Satcon Technology has expanded its product portfolio to include certified inverter solutions for the light commercial solar market segment with the launch of ‘Equinox LC’ with a maximum efficiency of 98.2%. The new product line will include four UL certified power ratings of 12kW, 16kW, 20kW and 24kW, and five CE certified power ratings of 8kW, 10kW, 13kW, 17kW, and 20kW.

  • ABB’s 630kW central inverter series provides flexibility for integrators

    28 May 2012, 12:58

    The ABB central inverter series, rated from 100 to 630kW, is designed for multi-megawatt PV power plants as well as large and medium sized commercial and industrial PV installations.

  • Schueco offers ProSol TF+ tandem junction BIPV thin-film module

    30 April 2012, 10:38

    Schueco has launched an up-rated version of its ProSol TF module, claiming a 30% increase in electrical output over its standard offering. The new thin-film module, ProSol TF+, is a tandem junction module capable of being customized for a range of BIPV applications.

  • AlsoEnergy enhances ‘PowerTrack’ Energy Management Services software

    30 April 2012, 10:33

    AlsoEnergy has developed several new reporting and collaboration enhancements to its cloud-based ‘PowerTrack’ Energy Management Services software. The newest features allow developers and investors in solar energy systems to create performance models and compare operation between sites and models to quickly detect underperforming components and generate better system returns.

  • BISOL’s PV power plant monitoring system provides 24/7 real-time analysis

    20 February 2012, 18:57

    BISOL Group has developed a complete and elaborate real-time monitoring system. By detecting faults and conveying them to the maintenance team and to the owner, the system enables a rapid response when a defect in the PV system occurs.

  • DC cabling solution from Amphenol monitors for power generation, ground faults and fire protection

    13 February 2012, 10:54 | Comments (1)

    Amphenol Industrial is offering a new active trunk and drop cabling solution, in conjunction with Ampt, a designer of active electronics for photovoltaic (PV) solar modules. The new cabling solution is claimed to reduce the cost of commercial and utility-scale PV systems.

  • GeoModel Solar’s latest software suite quickly and accurately plots a PV project’s potential

    10 February 2012, 14:39

    GeoModel Solar has launched a new generation of solar installation software - iMaps and pvPlanner that is claimed to offer a new standard for the PV industry. iMaps provides access to key solar resource parameters with a spatial detail of 250 meters, thus allowing for accurate site selection while pvPlanner allows fast comparison of various sites and technology options.

  • Weather station from Rainwise offers continuous and accurate environmental data on installed panels

    08 February 2012, 17:25

    Rainwise has recently released the PVmet Solar Energy Efficiency Monitor, a weather station specifically designed to improve accurate monitoring of PV plant performance parameters. The monitoring system is said to be the first weather station to be recognized by SunSpec Alliance for compatibility with industry plant management systems and has already sold 500 units to 2 of the top inverter manufacturers worldwide.

  • Munich Re covers PV power plant operators from module manufacturers’ insolvency risk

    23 January 2012, 08:54

    Munich Re has launched a new insurance product that insures against the risk of PV manufacturers’ insolvency. It covers the risk borne by commercial and utility-scale PV power plant operators that solar module output may, in the course of time, fall below the level guaranteed by a manufacturer which can no longer be held liable under its warranties due to insolvency.

  • New mounting system from TTi provides for a 100% watertight system for shingle roofs

    18 January 2012, 23:33

    TTi has introduced its next generation of residential solar roof mount, the patented TTi Flat Jack Comp Shingle Mount. As a durable and reliable mount for installing PV panels on composition shingle roofs, the TTi Flat Jack now requires no shingle trimming or sealants, reduces labour costs and protects roofs.

  • Conergy’s PowerPlus module now available in black cells and backsheet

    18 January 2012, 23:16

    Conergy’s PowerPlus Premium module will be available in sophisticated black. As an alternative to the polycrystalline, classic blue module, the Hamburg-based company is now offering its “Edition Noir” as a second design option, with black cells and a black backsheet. Monocrystalline modules in four different performance classes, from 240 to 255W, will be available in this new look. The Conergy SunTop mounting system is also available in the new “Noir” look, so now all your roof installations can be in black and the mountings and modules can be perfectly matched.

  • Trina Solar’s offering of a three-pronged service solution for large rooftop installations

    11 January 2012, 16:11

    Trina Solar is offering a three-pronged service solution featuring complimentary design services, newly available high performance Honey modules and the rapid install Trinamount racking system specifically for the installers, developers and other customers requiring large rooftop PV installations in the North American market.

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    This issue of Photovoltaics International, our 23rd, offers key insights into some of the technologies that are ready to move from lab to fab in support of these goals. ISC Konstanz offer a glimpse of what the low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells of the future might look like. On page 35 the institute’s authors give an overview of what they call Konstanz’ “technology zoo”, encompassing their so-called BiSoN, PELICAN and ZEBRA cell concepts, all of which are aimed at increasing energy yield at the lowest possible cost.

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