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