With an expected 40,000 visitors and 943 exhibitors at the 24th EU PVSEC event being held in Hamburg, Germany this week, many of these companies are announcing or showcasing new products and technologies. Below is a summary of some of the key product announcements related to solar modules and manufacturing equipment issued before and during the first day of the exhibition.
Mitsubishi Electric using high efficiency cells with four bus bars
Mitsubishi Electric is now using solar cells with four bus bars and larger modules to boost module power output to as much as 235 watts per module. The move from 2 to 4 bus bars required a new in-house developed soldering process. By increasing the number of cells used in each module from 50 to 60 in addition to the use of four-bus-bar cells, module output power increased by up to 24% per module compared to Mitsubishi’s 190-watt module.
The new high-output modules are on display (Hall B7 Stand 68), use lead-free solder and incorporate PV cells with four bus bars. Larger output means that fewer modules are needed to build a system, helping to reduce total system cost.
Mitsubishi Electric has also developed a 4-layer junction box based on the company’s current triple-layer junction box design, increasing the module’s overall safety and reliability.
Bosch Solar Energy demonstrates first prototype of a monocrystalline MWT module
Bosch Solar Energy, formerly ersol Solar is presenting its high-efficiency crystalline and thin-film products at this years EU PVSEC in Hamburg, in Hall B6, Stand 80. Bosch Solar is showing for the first time its monocrystalline MWT rear-side contact cells (metal wrap-through cells), developed together with Fraunhofer ISE. As the front bus bars have been shifted to the back of the panel the cells become more efficient.
Suntech’s 60 cell module
Suntech is displaying a new 60 cell multi-crystalline PV module on its booth (Hall B7 Stand 75). The new Wd module series features positive peak power tolerance of 0/+5 watts, weighs about 20kg, which is designed for customers that have plenty of roof space, but want to avoid the challenges of mounting a heavier 72 cell module. The modules come in two power ratings, 220 watt or 225 watt.
“With high quality components and extensive vetting through our 52 step quality control process, we believe this will be one of the most reliable modules on the market and well-suited to operate in extreme weather conditions,” noted Andrew Beebe, Suntech’s VP of Global Product Strategy.
Day4 Energy ‘Guardian Technology’ tackles shading issues
Day4 Energy is showcasing its new ‘Guardian Technology,’ at its booth (Hall B6, Stand 63) which its claims improves the performance of its PV modules when exposed to partial shading, snow and other obstacles. Used with its 60MC-I modules with Guardian Technology is said to be three times less sensitive to these external factors and offers as much as 25% greater power yield from the same installation area due to higher installation density and enable viable PV installations on many sites that have been previously considered not suitable for this purpose.
“This new technology offers a great advantage for system performance under real world conditions. It will now be possible to install in areas that were thought of as unsuitable and still produce positive returns on the solar investment”, says Leonid Rubin, Chief Technology Officer of Day4 Energy.
Guardian Technology is applicable to a wide variety of PV cell designs including back contact cell concepts and high efficiency cell designs currently under development at Day4 Energy.
Konarka launches portable panels for charging
Konarka Technologies is displaying in Hall B5 Stand 71, a new range of portable solar panels for charging applications. The Konarka Power Plastic 20 Series includes the Power Plastic 120 (1-watt), Power Plastic 320 (3-watt) and Power Plastic 620 (7-watt) products. The panels vary in size and are available with and without integrated connectors, ready to be used or integrated into a manufacturer’s device or product.
Komax premiers new range of module manufacturing equipment
Komax Solar will be premiering not one but ten new module manufacturing machines in Hall B6 Hall 54, including the stringer Xcell X2, the laminator XLam and various items of testing equipment. Komax can now supply all key module-manufacturing processes in both the crystalline and thin-film application segments.
Bekaert enters backsheet lamination market
Bekaert Specialty Films a subsidiary of the Bekaert group and well known for its sputtering targets has entered the PV module backsheet lamination market with a new range of materials under its Solar Gard PV T series. Bekaert said that it has capacity to produce more than 4 million square meters per year (400MW) at its San Diego, U.S.A facility. The Solar Gard PV T series can be seen in Hall B2G Stand 42.
Solar Gard PV backsheets are available in roll form that fits a wide range of crystalline silicon photovoltaic panel sizes and configurations and are being offered in two thicknesses for different electrical insulation performance.
KUKA Systems and partner tesa showcase its tape head module
KUKA Systems will be represented for the second time this year at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference on the tesa SE stand (Hall B Stand 86). KUKA Systems will be exhibiting its tape head module, ROBO TAPE R, which is used in the final automated application of adhesive tape to solar modules.
3S displays new module manufacturing innovations
3S Swiss Solar Systems and Pasan is presenting its latest developments at stand 40 in hall B5 which include the highly automated turnkey production lines, the CERTUS string soldering machine, automatic laminating lines and a new process for string testing.