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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Recent Spring 2009 Photovoltaic posts at

As the summer solstice approaches on June 21, 2009, and the powers that be at Google are not indexing my Sitemap this week, many search visitors are finding GUNTHER Portfolio here at the legacy Blogspot home.

[Graphic Credit: Molly Zisk for the Ocean County Register.]

Here are few recent posts and topics to entice a visit to my current domain:

SEIA trashes Gainesville Solar Feed-in Tariff

Intersolar 2009: My Photovoltaic Top 10 List

SolarMagic, Solar Magic Category: SolarMagic

Enphase Energy and Tigo Energy at Silicon Valley Photovoltaics Society

Green Jobs Platform for Solar

2nd European Solar Days

In Search of Skyline Solar – Part 2 Category: Skyline Solar

OPEL International asserts second BETASOL HCPV deal

NanoGram Solar pitches at ThinkGreen

Egg Harbor Township Middle School first to go Solar

I’ve been thinking about using a partial RSS feed to combat RSS abuse by unscrupulous aggregator sites. Common abuse includes not linking back to the original content in the headline, altering the post headline, and stripping the original author information and acting as though the site admin or owner is the author.

If that wasn’t egregious enough, the doctored and laundered content is send out via RSS! And Google seems to turn a blind eye to these practices and gives the unscrupulous aggregators decent page rank and Google Alert results.

To maintain my preferred Full RSS feed approach, I am working on a post tagline footer I’ll append to each post. Here is my first attempt. Maybe I should just go with GUNTHER Portfolio inside?

Please visit GUNTHER Portfolio for genuine posts by Photovoltaic Blogger Edgar A. Gunther.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What have you been missing at

And Holiday Greetings.

Since GUNTHER Portfolio launches, I've contributed a lackluster though high quality thirteen (13) posts. This should improve as the new year approaches.

I didn't have the time or positive material for a Christmas Eve post, so I decided to wish email and RSS subscribers a Happy Holiday. Please see Best Wishes for the Holidays and a fine 2009! for my online greeting card.

I do wonder if photovoltaic industry analysts are too negative about 2009. If polysilicon is supposed to be in oversupply and solar module prices are projected to decline by 20-30%, shouldn't this spur additional demand because of price elasticity? In Germany, is there a better guaranteed investment than photovoltaic panels on one's home or business?

Per "Fachbücher als Geschenk" from the Märkische Allgemeine, Nanosolar GmbH donated books focused on solar technology to the Luckenwalde Public Library just before Christmas. Good Christmas Spirit deal!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

GUNTHER Portfolio launches

My new, self-hosted domain goes Beta!
The tagline is revised to Photovoltaics, Solar Energy, and Energy Policy.

After about two and a half years, the fine sandbox at Blogger was getting too small for GUNTHER Portfolio.

The domain change is transparent to RSS and Email subscribers as demonstrated by the new post, Concentrix Solar installs 100kW of FLATCON Power Plants at Casaquemada. If you have the Blog bookmarked, please update this to

What does Beta mean? All the original content from Blogger blogspot has been imported into WordPress at However, there are occasional issues with the content from the automated transfer process. These may or may not be fixed since the original Blog will remain at as an archive reference. There will be numerous formatting tweaks as the site evolves from Beta.

I’ve learned more about Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) than I ever wanted to know. I had a few errant moments yesterday trying to get Internet Explorer to behave after I had perfected my theme in Firefox. The IE Developer Toolbar is invaluable for debugging Microsoft eccentricities.

And, yes, I ignored my own advice from Solar Photovoltaic company Rebrandings hit new High and agreed to an updated GUNTHER Portfolio logo.

Thanks are in order to those who helped me achieve this new milestone. I have mentioned many of you before:

Many thanks again to all the readers, subscribers, and friends of GUNTHER Portfolio.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Solarvalue: Second Ruše Surprise

Solarvalue delays production again and will invest remaining capital in test furnace.
Solarvalue shares to split 8:1 effective today, October 24, 2008.

It’s been 179 days since my last Solarvalue AG (FRA:SV7) post. I hinted at a Ruše Surprise repeat in my last post, Solarvalue produces Solar Grade Silicon sample material. My hint became truth with “Solarvalue reorganizes planning cycle; Deferment in industrial production ramp up” (Deutsch) earlier this month.

Key points from the production deferment press release include:

  • Solarvalue now plans to build a test furnace enabling delivery of some hundred kilogram samples to potential customers.
  • John Mott said: “To reduce the phosphor level we use unidirectional solidification. To lower boron concentration we use a slagging technique. Both processes work properly, however, we did not achieve all target specifications yet.” (underline added)
  • Solarvalue AG CEO Claudia Boehringer said: “It is very unlikely that we will start industrial production in 2008. With our limited funds we are able to finance the planned test furnace. However, we are currently not able to finance the planned initial production capacity of 1,000 metric tons per year.
  • Based on the adjusted monthly burn rate we expect to have sufficient liquidity until mid of 2009.

This article, “Unreines Silizium sorgt für saubere Energie” (German only), by Sascha Rentzing had poor timing just days before the Solarvalue production deferment announcement.

These press releases:

Issuing of „bonus shares“ will become effective tomorrow” (Deutsch)
Approval proceeding won, final decision, Shareholders’ meeting resolution entered in the commercial register” (

announced the final regulatory approval of a capital increase from company assets already approved by shareholders at the Solarvalue AG Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on March 28, 2008. Frau Boehringer also said:

The capital increase planned for 2008 could not be performed due to a law suit initiated by one shareholder with one share and the unexpected financial market crisis that significantly lowered the Solarvalue share price.

And there are two new entries by John Mott in NEWS FROM RUSE - THE BLOG (Deutsch). Reading between the lines, it looks like Boron removal may still be a challenge for Solarvalue.

Solarvalue post split shares traded early in the €0.41 to €0.99 range in Frankfurt or visit XETRA:SV7 for the latest quote.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nitol Solar delivers initial Polysilicon production volumes to Trina Solar

Trina Solar succeeded in manufacturing monocrystalline solar modules using the Polysilicon.

Per “Nitol Solar Supplies Trina Solar with Initial Deliveries of Polysilicon to Manufacture Solar Modules” released Monday, October 13, 2008, on the eve of Solar Power International 2008:

Trina Solar tested the polysilicon through the entire production process from monocrystalline ingots, wafers and cells to solar modules. The results demonstrated compliance of polysilicon made by Nitol Solar with the modern PV requirements.

Trina Solar Limited (NYSE:TSL) and Nitol Solar Limited entered into a long-term polysilicon supply agreement last year with “Trina Solar Signs Long-Term Supply Agreement with Nitol Group”. Nitol Solar will deliver sufficient Polysilicon in 2009 from their polysilicon plant in Usolie-Sibirskoe, Irkutsk region, Russia, for Trina Solar to produce over 200 MW (MegaWatts) of solar modules.

In this September 2008 Investor Relations Presentation, Trina Solar claims:

  • Silicon usage of 7.2 gram/W in 2Q08, and with further reduction going forward
  • Reduction of mono and multicrystalline wafer thickness
  • Cell conversion rate of up to 17.2% monocrystalline & 16.0% multicrystalline

Not long after my Nitol Solar scores International Finance Corporation Investment post, Nitol Solar secured up to USD $190 million in project financing from the Russian Alfa-Bank for polysilicon production per “The Alfa-Bank will finance the solar industry component production project”.

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE:STP) followed by announcing “Suntech Completes Investment in Nitol Solar. Suntech Successfully Tests Initial Batches of Polysilicon” completing “the final round of its $100 million in aggregate purchase of a minority interest in Nitol Solar”, and Suntech said “it was pleased with the test results from the initial batches of polysilicon that it has received from Nitol.”

Clarifying their ersol Solar Energy AG relationship, a Nitol Solar spokesperson said:

Ersol isn't a customer of Nitol. We did sign the Letter of Intent but we have never entered into the agreement with Ersol.

My checked bag was held hostage by Iberia Airlines for twenty-four (24) days before being released (returned) to me. The TSA compliant lock had been removed and various items were missing including my gadget bag. I have filed a claim with Iberia, but I have not gotten a response yet. I was home from Valencia, Spain, for over two weeks before it resurfaced.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Virtual Solar Power International 2008

Almost as good as being there?
Some 22,500 attendees thought it was better to go in person.

Official Video Coverage of Keynotes, Plenary Sessions, CEO Panels, and Sponsor/Paid Advertiser Showcases (was I not supposed to say that?) produced by are available for viewing via the Solar Power International website or on Brightcove.TV. Right click on the links below to open a new tab or window with each video.

Monday, October 13, 2008
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Addresses SPI 08
The Governator made a surprise visit and speech before the Opening Reception.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Tuesday Keynote Speeches
General Wesley K. Clark (ret) spoke last. However, the Brightcove player is designed to prevent fast forwarding.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
CEO Panel – Market Development includes First Solar CEO Mike Ahearn.
CEO Panel – Driving Down Costs
The frank talk of MMA Renewable Ventures CEO Matt Cheney steals the discussion from the ever thoughtful insights of Q-Cells CEO Anton Milner. If you have time for a one video, this is it. I intend to write a post about this CEO Panel.

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Closing Plenary Session
United States Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) delivered the last Keynote, and “Cantwell Receives National Solar Energy Champion Award” was the news per a press release from her own Office.

And Katie Fehrenbacher at Earth2Tech had two photovoltaic scoops this past week:

Nanosolar CEO: No More Easy Money for Solar Companies Without Cash Flow
OptiSolar to Turn on Solar Power Soon

I spoke with the same OptiSolar Vice President, Corporate Communications, Alan Bernheimer, who admitted OptiSolar was at the Expo to “Show the Flag” and had no products to display for the public. I guess Katie asks better questions than I do?

I have a pseudo surprise in the works. I believe some of you have already been visiting the pre-alpha site. The search engines have found it, but Please Stand By.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

GreenVolts CarouSol debuts at Solar Power International 2008

[San Diego, California USA]

Can’t Photo (Touch) This!

As suggested in my Solar Power International 2008 Preview post, GreenVolts, Inc., did indeed display a CarouSol unit for the first time, and a sparse CarouSol datasheet is also available.

On Tuesday, October 14, 2008, right after the Expo opened at 10AM, I headed straight to the GreenVolts stand to check out their exhibit. I was not disappointed to see a crowd gawking at a complete GreenVolts CarouSol unit. Up close, my first photo was of the receiver unit. Perhaps because this was seen as aggressive, I was directed by a GreenVolts representative to not take photos! Even though I pointed out I was official, accredited Press, I got a nonsensical statement about the official Solar Power Expo photo policy. Referring to the Media Kit, I pointed out there was no such rule to waning attention. Please see Solar Power: Photos of GreenVolts, Sopogy, SkyFuel by Katie Fehrenbacher for another mention of this.

My official photo policy is to get the damn photos or videos. In addition to the Picasa slideshow above, here are two very unofficial videos of the CarouSol. I apologize in advance to anyone who did not realize they were being recorded. Please note this unit was static and the two-axis tracking function was not demonstated.

Perhaps the concern was regarding close up photos of the CarouSol underside like those in my second visit slideshow?

I didn't even think to look under the unit during my first visit. Perhaps I was distracted by the photo policy?

If you have noticed a drop in recent posting activity, I have been dealing with numerous personal and professional issues the past month or so. Expect my average two to three posts per week to resume this month. And email? Let's not talk about how far
behind I am replying to Blog subscriber and reader emails.

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