Volume 45, Issue 3 - March 2010

SolarWatch


company news

Helios Energy Systems Agrees to Develop BeyondPV’s Thin Film BIPV

Helios Energy Systems announced that it has entered into an agreement with an international manufacturer of thin film solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, BeyondPV, to develop and market building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products in the Eastern United States. Helios Energy Systems, a subsidiary of window and door manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems in Flushing, N.Y., currently installs and distributes the more traditional crystalline silicon solar power systems in the New York metro area. BeyondPV, headquartered in Taiwan, manufactures high efficiency thin-film amorphous silicon solar cells and PV systems for worldwide distribution.

Through this agreement, Helios plans to sell and distribute BeyondPV thin-film solar panels for residential and commercial applications, initially in the New York area and then expanding throughout the Eastern United States.

“As the market grows, we plan to perform final assembly of the panels and fabricate appropriate frames and support structures to create complete systems tailored specifically for the U.S. construction and real estate markets,” says Andrew Lai, manager of Helios.
www.helioses.com


DuPont Opens Photovoltaic Application Facility in Geneva
To address the needs for the fast-growing photovoltaic (PV) market, DuPont has opened the Meyrin Photovoltaic Application Laboratory at its European Technical Center to develop next-generation products.  

The Meyrin Photovoltaic Application Lab will operate as an open center, enabling technological exchanges between the company and customers, industrial partners, institutes and academia. The lab is designed to advance solar module design, accelerate time to market in PV innovation and deliver cost-effective, high-performance solutions for the
PV industry.

DuPont anticipates that the PV market will grow by about 30 percent in 2010 and will continue to grow rapidly over the next three years. DuPont sales exceeded $500 million in 2009, and the company expects overall sales of its family of products into the PV industry will exceed $1 billion by 2012. 

More than 50 representatives from the PV industry joined government leaders and Ellen Kullman, DuPont chair and chief executive officer, and Ian Hudson, president of DuPont Europe, Middle East and Africa, for the facility’s opening. 
www.photovoltaics.dupont.com

product news
Bystronic Grinds Clean Edges for Solar Market
Cleanly ground glass edges are essential to ensure a smooth production process for solar modules. That’s why Bystronic offers champspeed’grind, which grinds edges from a minimum finished dimension of 200 by 200 mm to a maximum finished dimension of 2,200 by 2,600 mm with C grind or K grind. The yield is 99.5 percent.

By using a mineral cast machine bed, champ’speed-series machines are vibration-free and therefore can provide high precision. Substrates can be ground with extremely fine tolerances of +/- 0.1 mm on absolutely perpendicular sides, even if the starting substrate has large deviations in the angles. As the machines are designed as polar grinding machines with a play-free table, both edges and corners are polished in one pass, with radius or facet. All axes are equipped with maintenance-free and dynamic CNC direct drives. The new spindle design works in seconds, with two grinding wheels arranged one over the other.
With its modular layout, champ’speed machines can be expanded to create large manufacturing cells with an integrated handling device and additional drilling machine.
www.bystronic-glass.com


Silicon Energy Produces Glass-Glass PV Modules with DuPont Encapsulant
Silicon Energy LLC and DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions have introduced the first glass-glass polycrystalline silicon (cSi) photovoltaic (PV) power-generating modules made with DuPont™ PV5300 series ionomer-based encapsulant for module strength and durability. Traditionally, protection of the fragile semi-conductive wafer material has been provided by surrounding the silicon wafers in a polymer called EVA, supplied in a sheet form. 

Compared with EVA and other available encapsulants, the new DuPont™ PV5300 sheet is based on ionomer, which the manufacturer says is up to 100 times stiffer, five times stronger and more resistant to moisture intrusion.

PV5300 Series encapsulant sheets provide clarity and impact resistance, high strength and adhesion to glass, allowing Silicon Energy to build modules suited to not only high wind loads, but also heavy snows. Because the new DuPont encapsulant is more resistant to moisture intrusion than other products, Silicon Energy reports that is able to innovate with an open-edged framing design. This allows snow, water and dirt to slide off, which increases module performance. The new modules are designed with frames and wiring channels along the sides, for simple installation.
www.dupont.com

Applied Materials’ Gains Interest from Glass Industry in Vacuum Coaters

Applied Materials Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., reports that it has received an order for an applied glass coating system from a glass manufacturer to deposit transparent conducting oxide (TCO) films on large-area glass substrates for the solar photovoltaic (PV) market. The TCO film layer is a critical part of the thin film PV panel that allows sunlight to enter the cell without significant transmission losses and forms a low-resistance contact layer.

Applied Material’s vacuum coating systems allow glass manufacturers to produce functional glass greater than 18 square meters in size. Providing high coating capacity, flexibility, speed and throughput, the coating systems are suited for large-scale thin film PV applications where they can enable glass manufacturers to produce high-value products at competitive cost.
www.appliedmaterials.com

GMW Designs Glass Cleaner for the Solar Industry
Glass Machinery Works (GMW) of Ellwood City, Pa., is offering horizontal and vertical glass cleaning equipment to the solar panel industry. The company’s conveyorized aqueous cleaning system was specifically designed for deep cleaning specially coated and non-coated panels. It was designed to occupy minimal floor space, while providing a maximum amount of cleaning through the pre-washing, brush-rinsing, final rinsing and drying sections of the machine.

The company says its washers offer effective use of water, with minimal cross contamination and carry over, and easy access to particulate filters on all wash and rinse sections. Precise water temperature control provides long and efficient heater life. All wetted parts are corrosion-resistant, while drive parts are maintenance free. The machine-mounted control panel includes an operator-friendly interface.
www.glassmw.com

briefly ...
ASTM International Committee E44 on Solar, Geothermal, and Other Alternative Energy Sources met in November in Atlanta as part of ASTM Committee Week and, through its Glass for Solar Applications Subcommittee, is now focused on developing and maintaining standards for glass and glass coatings for solar applications …





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