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Maximizing PV solar project production over system lifetime

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By Sam Arditi, CEO & Chairman, Tigo Energy; Jeffrey Krisa, Vice President, Tigo Energy

Anyone familiar with the PV industry can attest to the remarkably accelerated pace of innovation aimed towards generating solar power more cost effectively relative to conventional means of producing electricity. Many of high-technology’s best minds are bringing expertise in materials, manufacturing process, and electronics to tackle the challenge. The resultant gains in cost effective manufacturing, silicon availability and greater irradiance conversion efficiency will make continuous and sustainable impact to cost per kW generated akin to the predicable improvements in transistors per mm2 which has fuelled the semiconductor industry for the past 25 years (although we are not yet so bold as to devise the PV version on Moore’s Law). As less than 0.01% of electricity generated comes from PV installations [1], demand will materialize and the need for public subsidies will decline as the economics improve. This paper will investigate the steps required to make every solar project a “perfect” project by putting forth parameters for evaluating solutions for the problem areas.

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The second edition of Photovoltaics International was published in November 2008. It includes the cost benefits of conversion of used 200mm semiconductor fabs for the PV industry by CH2M Hill in Fab & Facilities, in-line plasma-chemical etching from Fraunhofer IWS in Cell Processing and NREL presents design criteria for back- and front-sheet materials in PV Modules.

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