SPI 2011: More on modules in Dallas from Europe

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Higher performance and aesthetics is a common new theme when PV module manufacturers launch new products. In the US, during Solar Power International 2011 the ACM products have dominated but that hasn’t stopped others following the tried and tested route to market, especially well known names from Europe wanting to stake a claim to the growing US market.

Q-Cells

Ticking both the high-performance and aesthetics boxes, Q-Cells is gradually rolling-out its Q.PEAK modules to a global audience, having introduced the product at EU PVSEC in Hamburg a few months ago it is using SPI to officially launch the product in North America at its booth, 3219.

Hard to believe that Q-Cells only entered the US market just over a year ago but is positioning itself as premium module supplier.

According to Q-Cells, Q.PEAK modules offer a yield of up to 265Watt-peak, with efficiencies of up to 15.9%. They are designed to guarantee a 97% performance level in the first year, and linear degradation of not more than 0.6% per year thereafter, achieving at least 83% of rated output power after 25 years.

“We continue to execute against our go-to-market strategy for the North American market with the introduction of the Q.PEAK series,” stated Marc van Gerven, managing director of Q-Cells North America. “Our modules are more reliable with regard to long-term power generation and our linear warranty guarantees are 7 percent higher yield over a complete lifetime compared to the market standard modular warrantee.”

The use of monocrystalline wafers and an optional black anodized frame should meet the aesthetically demanding US customer’s needs. The Q.PEAK series will be available in North America beginning November 2011.

Saint-Gobain Solar

The world's largest building materials company, Saint-Gobain is also active in the PV manufacturing, having acquired CIGS thin-film firm, Avancis as well as supplying conventional modules via its other subsidiary, Saint-Gobain Solar.

On its booth, #4438 the company is launching a new module for the North American market that is targeting the need for versatility. Saint-Gobain Solar said that it had observed the industry's need for an adaptable, high-performance solar system and engineered ‘Suneka’ modules in a variety of sizes, wattages and cell types. This is supported with a full range of mounting systems suitable for single and multi-family residential applications as well as commercial and industrial applications.

The 60-cell monocrystalline and 60-cell polycrystalline models offer a 200Wp – 240Wp power range and provide efficiency up to 14.75%. The 72-cell monocrystalline model offers a power range of 185Wp-190Wp and up to 14.88% efficiency.

With its building materials expertise, ‘Suneka’ modules can be used as an integrated solar roof system or simplified building-integrated solutions, including flat and sloped roofs.

Featured at the booth will be Saint-Gobain's other range of solar energy products from its subsidiaries CertainTeed and Saint-Gobain Solar, including the recently introduced Apollo, Avancis ‘PowerMax’, ‘EnerGen’ and soon-to-be introduced to the North American solar market, ‘Sunlap’ products.

Schott Solar

Targeting the commercial and utility markets in North America, Schott Solar is showcasing its new 72-cell ‘SCHOTT POWER’ POLY 275 – 285W module at SPI in booth 3209. The new module offers a 10 year product warranty, 25 year linear power warranty, and positive sorting tolerance.

Schott Solar claims that the modules have an ‘optimal form factor’ at 43 lbs, reducing installations times and costs when employed in large fixed tilt and tracker system installations.

“Commercial and utility project developers understand that reliable performance over time and higher output for the life of the project maximizes their financial return,” said Tom Hecht, President and Chief Sales Officer of Schott Solar PV, Inc.

Sovello

Filling the void left behind by Evergreen Solar, German-based String Ribbon licensee, Sovello is highlighting at booth 6339 that the unique wafers within its modules carry a much lower risk of light-induced power loss in early operation, compared to conventional ingot-based production processes.

The result is that Sovello can offer a module warranty that now provides a linear performance guarantee with a starting point of 99% of the minimum rated power for the first year of operation. Annual degradation is said to not exceed 0.6 % for the next 24 years. This means that Sovello modules are guaranteed to maintain no less than 85% of their rated power after 25 years in operation.

Sovello noted that its expanded performance warranty is effective retroactively from October 1, 2011 and valid for all module deliveries from Sovello and its wholesalers worldwide. Sovello modules are also backed by a 10-year warranty on workmanship.

Sovello is also launching a new solar module ‘Pure Power SV-L low voltage’ at SPI. Adding around 10% module surface area, the SV-L series is claimed to reduce balance-of-system costs, notably for larger-scale installations, such as commercial and agricultural roof-top or ground mounted systems

“The SV-L module complements Sovello's product portfolio of high-performance quality modules and solutions which has allowed us to achieve a solid market position.” says Ted Scheidegger, CEO of Sovello AG. The letter L stands for “large” and “low voltage”.

aleo solar

Back to black aesthetics, another European module manufacturer, aleo solar is touting its new monocrystalline high-performance cells for its new S_79 modules at SPI on booth 3906. These modules will have a rated output of up to 245W and an efficiency rating of up to 15%.

Mechanical stability for the solar modules is provided by a 50 mm-wide black anodized frame, constructed from a corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy. As with all aleo solar modules, the frames are precision snap-fitted and free of any screws or bolts.

The company is using SPI in the hope of building its dealer network further in the US as consumers can acquire its modules via authorized specialist dealers.

Dunmore
 
Though not a module supplier, Dunmore does supply backsheet materials for modules and low and behold has launched a black backsheet that is designed to blend into residential rooftops. 
 
The DUNMORE Black FPE (fluorinated polyester) film is a PV backsheet consisting of a polyester core finished with a fluorinated layer that combines durability with high-performance physical, optical and electrical properties. According to the company, modules using the Black FPE resemble skylights, improving the look of the home. 
 
“Every time we sit down with a customer, they ask us for a black backsheet,” noted Dunmore Vice President John Jordon. “It sounds like a minor thing, but broader solar adoption depends on blending into a home or business' appearance. Customers are much more likely to invest in solar energy if it doesn't erode their property's value by changing its appearance.”  
 
You can sit down with John at Booth #5312 and ask the same question!

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