Glass meets solar meets glass

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Although a common lamentation in the PV industry is that there is an excessive amount of conferences and exhibitions, making it increasingly difficult to identify which events are a must to attend, a technical conference was recently brought to my attention that has perhaps for the first time attempted to bring the glass industry into the PV realm.

The Glass & Solar Technology Conference (GPD), now in its 11th year, is being held in Tampere (Finland) June 12-15, 2009. This year a series of papers will be presented that will allow solar specialists to benefit from the exposure to glass technology, architectural applications, energy-economy and processing experiences in hands-on workshops and presentations. On the other side, glass specialists should be able to benefit from getting a better perspective on the future requirements of the solar industry in order to be able to support the continued growth of this industry with both new solutions and applications.

Although the BIPV market is relatively small now, few doubt that it will become a major sector in the future. This conference certainly targets the dialogue required between architects’ builders and solar players. As thin-film technologies are inherently beneficial to BIPV, thin-film manufacturers should be aware of events such as this.

This also opens itself to the potential expansion of both CPV and thermal technologies where closer collaboration between glass and solar will be required to drive down costs and enable the manufacturing scale required for success. This would also seem to be addressed at this conference.

For those interested in attending, I have linked to the final programme here:

http://www.gpd.fi/images/pdf/final_programme.pdf

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