Ampt said that its patented String Optimizers are being deployed in 600 volt photovoltaic (PV) solar systems at installed costs in cents per watt that rival that of 1000 volt systems. Ampt String Optimizers are designed to allow the use of 1000 volt inverters that are claimed to lower inverter cost by 40% and also reduce DC BOS costs by 50%.
Suntech has announced the introduction of a new smart solar module to its product portfolio. The new application will enhance Suntech’s smart DC module system’s performance through the accessibility of wireless communications, the optimisation of power output, and the availability of real-time monitoring, while ensuring a reduction in the overall maintenance costs.
SunPower has launched its ‘Helix’ platform that is claimed to be the world's first fully-integrated commercial solar solution combining PV power production and energy management. Every component is said to be precision-engineered for fast installation, long-term reliability and features snap-in panel installation, a plug-and-play electrical system, and a fully ballasted power station.
Kipp & Zonen has added six new smart instruments that are intended to complete a full range of solar radiation measurement solutions. A totally ‘smart’ solar and sky radiation monitoring station is now available at all performance levels that include its SMP6, SMP21 and SMP22 pyranometers, the SGR3 and SGR4 pyrgeometers, and the SUV5 total UV radiometer.
3D-Micromac has introduced the new ‘microDICE’ OTF volume production system designed for the separation of full (156mm x 156mm) silicon solar cells into half cells. The system uses Thermal-Laser-Separation (TLS) technology for cutting of cells. With TLS, the separated cells show a significantly higher mechanical strength, better edge quality as well as a lower power reduction compared to laser scribing and cleaving approaches. By using half cell technology the average module power yield can be increased significantly.
Luvata has launched an online solar ribbon calculator called the Sunwire Calculator. The Sunwire Calculator enables photovoltaic module manufacturers to make more informed decisions concerning their solar ribbon needs such as weight, ribbon length per spool and ribbon length per solar panel. ‘Sunwire’ is Luvata’s branded photovoltaic solar ribbon.
HORIBA has developed a Phosphorus Oxychloride (POCl3) delivery systems that is being implemented for atmospheric and low pressure diffusion furnaces in Europe and Asia. The system comprises HORIBA’s advanced bubblers mounted in the diffusion furnace linked to HORIBA’s automatic bulk refill system. More than 120 production furnace tubes are running with the HORIBA system with a further 100 tubes installed before the end of 2015, according to the company.
RENA’s ‘InCellPlate Cu’ inline equipment for direct plating of a Ni/Cu/Ag stack on silicon, when combined with laser ablation of the silicon nitride layer and subsequent inline anneal, is said to provide complete front-side metallization for solar cell manufacturing. Compared with screen-printing, the technology allows cutting the cell production cost by US$0.06 (cents) and at the same time offers potential for cell efficiency improvement.