Please visit
for new posts.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Schmid Silicon Technology: Polysilicon Update

Silicon strategy covers the gamut of quartz and metallurgical silicon to polysilicon.

There has been a dearth of news regarding Schmid Silicon Technology (SST) since the Sunways AG enters polysilicon production business announcement and my Schmid Silicon Technology: From East Germany with Polysilicon post.

At PHOTON’s 6th Solar Silicon Conference on April 1, 2008, part of the Photovoltaic Technology Show 2008 Europe, Gebr. Schmid GmbH + Co. (Deutsch) representatives, Frank Tinnefeld and Jochem Hahn, presented From sand to module – a fully vertical integrated approach for the PV Industry.”

Schmid has observed the Euro price of silicon metal has increased almost fifty percent since 2005. As a result, Schmid has formed a joint venture in Kazakhstan, Schmid Silicon Kazakhstan, to mine quartz (SiO2), not sand, and to build and operate a metallurgical silicon (mg-Si) production facility. In the first phase, Schmid plans (“investments will be explored”) to invest about USD $150 Million to construct a facility with 30,000 metric tons per year of mg-Si production capacity:

  • 10,000 metric tons per year of mg-Si will be processed by Schmid Silicon Technology into 6,000 metric tons per year of Polysilicon
  • 20,000 metric tons per year of mg-Si will be sold on the world market

Having secured land and mining rights at a location northeast of Taraz, Kazakhstan, construction of the mg-Si facility will start in July 2008, and silicon metal production is slated to start in the second half of 2009.

Schmid believes they have developed a new way to produce polysilicon using the UMOSI process:

single step catalytic disproportion of chlor silane mixture to monosilane and pyrolysis of monosilane:
4 HSiCl3 = 3 SiCl4 + SiH4; SiH4 = Si + 2 H2
Optimized total process structure in respect to:
Hydrochlorination, Hydration, Disproportion and Pyrolysis

SST claims the UMOSI process produces polysilicon with a cumulative cost structure 28% cheaper than the Siemens process. SST has partnered with Spectrum for “Monosilan Technology and Process Know-How” forming a joint venture called (I presume) Schmid Silicon Ukraine (SSU). And yet another joint venture, Schmid Silicon Engineering (SSE) has been formed with an unnamed EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) firm for engineering and chemical plant construction.

SST plans to construct pilot production, TCS (Trichlorosilane, HSiCl3), and 6,000 metric ton (6 x 1000 metric tons) production facilities at the Schwarze Pumpe Industrial Park (Industriepark) located between Spremberg and Spreewitz, Germany. Per the SST schedule, the first 2,000 metric ton production facility will begin construction in the third quarter of 2008 and be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2009.

SST is still looking for additional investors in the 6,000 metric ton polysilicon fab (Silicon Fab “Schwarze Pumpe”) project in 1,000 metric ton modular clusters. SST touts silicon independence, scalability, cost savings at 6,000 metric ton scale, a 3 to 5 year return on investment (ROI), and “highly innovative technology and equipment with high potential for future development” as key investment drivers.

To date, Sunways AG (FRA:SWW) has been the only investor named in the SST project. In the Sunways investor Presentation Feb. 2008 on slide 19, Sunways notes Schmid is responsible for the “construction, installation and utilities operation of a turnkey plant for the production of 1,000 tons solar silicon as of 2010”. This arrangement appears to be a corollary to the Foundry/Fabless joint venture business models that evolved in the semiconductor industry. Will Schmid Silicon Technology operate these turnkey polysilicon plants for their customers or expect them to take the keys and drive as with Schmid’s turnkey production equipment solutions for solar wafers, cells, and modules? I believe many solar companies will find a “Fabless” polysilicon business model with guaranteed capacity at industry competitive costs attractive.

And in 1366 Technologies Wins Solar Startup Competition, Ucilia Wang at Greentech Media reports that GreenVolts CEO Bob Cart "announced it is bidding for a 26-megawatt project that would ramp up to a capacity of 1,000 megawatts per year by 2015." I wonder if this was the mysterious project mentioned in my post, GreenVolts at BIG Solar?

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cool Earth Solar also at BIG Solar

More from the Berkeley-Stanford CleanTech Conference on “Utility Scale Solar Power Generation”

As I mentioned in GreenVolts at BIG Solar, I attended the 2nd Berkeley-Stanford CleanTech Conference, BIG Solar: Utility Scale Solar Power Generation”, to also cover the participation of Cool Earth Solar (CES) on the "Innovations in Technology" panel.

There has been little news from CES since Cool Earth Solar attracts a Hot $21 Million in Series A Financing other than COOL EARTH SOLAR OPENS NEW HEADQUARTERS just before the conference.

Cool Earth Solar, Inc. CEO Rob Lamkin began his reshaping solar energy presentation by sizing world electricity demand at 30,364 TWh (TeraWatt-hours) in 2030 with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 42% from 2008 to 2030. Citing 14.7 TWh of world solar energy production in 2007, the enormity of the opportunity for solar and renewables to address this worldwide electricity demand growth becomes crystal clear.

Recognizing the opportunity, CES is focused on exploiting the scalability of their photovoltaic concentrator solution using plastic thin film (PET or Mylar) instead of metal mirrors and glass envisioning GigaWatt scale power plants.

Two sheets of 25 micron thick plastic films are used to construct the concentrator balloon; one side is aluminized. Once inflated, the aluminum coated side concentrates sunlight at a ratio of 300-350 times onto a solar cell located in the focal area. The solar cell is mounted to a round receiver extended by a boom from the side of the balloon structure.

Photo Credit: Cool Earth Solar, Inc.

The concentrator balloon interconnection system includes active elements for:

  • Air inflation (and deflation I expect)
  • Water cooling for the solar cells
  • A 2-axis tracking control system

Mr. Lamkin said:

Shorter term we’re building our first pilot power plant right now. And that needs to be done like yesterday. And my staff and the team at Cool Earth get tired of hearing me say this truly needs to be done yesterday.

Per Mr. Lamkin, CES will manufacture the Mylar solar concentrator structures. In an audience questions and answers session, Mr. Lamkin stated Cool Earth Solar would begin by using III-V Double and Triple Junction terrestrial solar cells, for example from Emcore, but they plan to later switch to silicon solar cells out of concerns for GigaWatt scalability.

For further information, I have been able to find two Cool Earth Solar patent applications published by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).

USPTO Patent Application Publication Number US 20080057776

USPTO Patent Application Publication Number US 20080047546

In order to view the USPTO images, your browser will require a TIFF image plug-in capable of displaying “TIFF files using ITU T.6 or CCITT Group 4 (G4) compression”. Please see “Patent Full-Page Images for details. I am using the AlternaTIFF Plug-in ( with Firefox.

I am certain the team at Cool Earth Solar has a solution for this issue:
Mylar balloon sparks power outage by Banks Albach with the Palo Alto Daily News.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Very High Efficiency Solar Cells at PVSC 33

[San Diego, California USA]

Dr. Allen Barnett presented an update on the Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) program.

On Thursday morning, May 15, 2008, Dr. Allen Barnett, presented the paper, “INITIAL TEST BED FOR VERY HIGH EFFICIENCY SOLAR CELLS”, at the 33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 33). The paper was renamed from “Very High Efficiency Solar Cell Modules” in the abstract and three University of Delaware students were added to the paper credits as you will hear in the 18:31 minute video below. As usual, I apologize for the video quality (320x240 @ 30 frames per second) and the infernal clicks as I adjust the zoom. Download it as you prefer.

Below is the area and paper citation. It is available for download from the PVSC 33 website by conference attendees after logging into their accounts, finding the abstract, and clicking the View Manuscript link.

Area 3: Oral - Concentrator Modules, Components and Systems (I)
Allen Barnett1, Xiaoting Wang1, Nick Waite1, Paola Murcia1, Christiana Honsberg1, Doug Kirkpatrick2, Dan Laubacher3, Fouad Kiamilev1, Keith Goossen1, Mark Wanlass4, Myles Steiner4, Richard Schwartz5, Jeff Gray5, Allen Gray6, Paul Sharps6, Keith Emery4, Larry Kazmerski4
1University of Delaware, Newark, DE, United States; 2Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Arlington, VA; 3E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, DE; 4National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO; 5Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; 6Emcore, Albuquerque, NM.

For further information, please see:

In addition, High Efficiency Photovoltaics is a presentation by Christiana Honsberg (Publications) and Allen Barnett at the University of Delaware Energy Institute Symposium on March 17, 2008.

I am scheduled to appear tomorrow, Tuesday, May 20, 2008, between 5:00 and 6:00PM EST on "The Blog Bunker" program from SIRIUS Satellite Radio INDIE TALK CHANNEL 110. The Blog Bunker is a political talk channel, not party affiliated, that is described as "political talk for people who hate politics". The discussion is supposed to center around solar energy technologies, global warming, and how solar energy works. I hope to weave in a bit of (lacking) US energy policy if possible.

If you don’t have a SIRIUS subscription, you can sign up for a free three (3) day trial here. I just hope the Oregon and Kentucky primaries don’t preempt the regular program.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, May 19, 2008

PVSC 33 Closing Session

[San Diego, California USA]

Including Outstanding Student Papers and Presentation Winners and Honorable mentions.
PVSC 33 has a record 1642 registrants.

Kicking off the closing session of the 33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 33) just after Noon on Friday, May 16, 2008, Conference Chair, Dr. Tim Coutts, began with a quip, thanked all the folks who helped make the conference possible, and deferred to the Student Paper Awards.

Here are the Outstanding Student Papers/Presentations recognized by PVSC 33. I’ve segmented these by Area Winners and Area Honorable mentions. The unique number (#) was assigned by PVSC 33 to identify each paper.

Paper Award Winners by Area

Area 1: Oral - Inorganic Nanostructures
Plasmon-enhanced Absorption and Photocurrent in Ultrathin GaAs Solar Cells with Metal Nanoparticle Arrays
Katsuaki Tanabe, Keisuke Nakayama, Harry A. Atwater
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA

Area 2: Oral - CdTe and CIGS Deposition
Analysis of the Dielectric Functions of CdS and CdTe for Grain Size, Strain, and Temperature: Potentialities for On-line Monitoring
Jian Li, Robert W. Collins
Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA

Area 3: Oral - Concentrator Modules, Components and Systems (I)
Spectrometric Outdoor Characterization of CPV Modules using Isotype Monitor Cells.
Gerhard Peharz, Gerald Siefer, Andreas W. Bett
Fraunhofer ISE, Freiberg, Germany

Area 4: Oral - Crystalline Silicon Surface and Bulk Passivation
Hydrogen Diffusion in Silicon from PECVD Silicon Nitride Film at High Temperature
Manav Sheoran1,2, Dong Seop Kim1, Ajeet Rohatgi1, HFW Dekkers3, Matthew Young4, Sally Asher4
1University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics Research and Education, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA, 2School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA, 3IMEC, Leuven, Belgium, 4National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, USA

Area 5: Oral - High Efficiency Amorphous, Nano/Microcrystalline, and Thin Film Si Solar Cells
Influence of Ion Bombardment on Microcrystalline Silicon Material Quality and Solar Cell Performance
Gregory Bugnon, Andrea Feltrin, Fanny Sculati-Meillaud, Julien Bailat, Christophe Ballif
Institute of Microtechnology (IMT), Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Area 6: Poster - Space Photovoltaics
Radiation Effects on Strain Compensated Quantum Dot Solar Cells
Cory D. Cress1, Seth M. Hubbard1, Ryne P. Raffaelle1, David M. Wilt2, Sheila G. Bailey2
1Rochester Institute of Techology, Rochester, NY, USA, 2NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, USA

Area 7: Poster - PV Modules
Sweep Time, Spectral Mismatch and Light Soaking in Thin Film Module Measurements
Johannes Kuurne1, Antti Tolvanen2, Jaakko Hyvärinen3
1Endeas Oy, Espoo, Finland, 2Endeas Oy, Espoo, Finland, 3Endeas Oy, Espoo, Finland

Paper Honorable mentions by Area

Area 1: Oral - Contacts and Novel Concepts
4.8% Efficient Poly(3-hexylthiophene)-Fullerene Derivative (1:0.8) Bulk Heterojunction Photovoltaic Devices using Surface Modifications to the Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) Anodes through Plasma Oxidized Silver
Woo-Jun Yoon1, Paul R. Berger1,2
1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA, 2Department of Physics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Area 1: Oral - Inorganic/Quantum Dots
Band Structure Calculation for Quantum Dot Solar Cell using k.p Method
Som N. Dahal1, Christiana B. Honsberg2
1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA, 2Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA

Area 2: Oral - Materials and Processing
Bridgman-grown CuInSe2 with Added Na2Se and Na
Hadley F. Myers, Clifford H. Champness, Ishiang Shih
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Area 3: Oral - Concentrator Modules, Components and Systems (I)
Two Mirror Kohler Integrating CPV System
Luke D Reed, Roland Winston, Alexander Ritschel
UC Merced, Merced, CA, USA

Area 4: Oral - Advanced Characterization in Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells
Modeling the Generation and Dissociation of the Boron-Oxygen Complex in Cz-Si
Bianca Lim, Karsten Bothe, Jan Schmidt
Institut für Solarenergieforschung Hameln/Emmerthal (ISFH), Emmerthal, Germany

Area 4: Oral - Back-Contact Silicon Solar Cells
Shading Effects in Back-Junction Back-Contacted Silicon Solar Cells
Martin Hermle, Filip Granek, Oliver Schultz, Stefan W. Glunz
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Freiburg, Germany

Area 5: Poster - Optical and Electronic Properties of Amorphous and Thin Film Si (I)
Wide-Gap a-SiC:H Solar Cells with Graded Absorption Layer for Triple Cell Applications
Ihsanul A Yunaz1, Kenji Hashizume2, Shinsuke Miyajima1, Akira Yamada3, Makoto Konagai1
1Department of Physical Electronics, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, 2Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, 3Quantum Nanoelectronics Research Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan

Area 6: Oral - Space Photovoltaic Devices
Advanced Concepts for High-efficiency Germanium Photovoltaic Cells
Jara Fernández, Eduard Oliva, Frank Dimroth
Fraunhofer ISE, Freiburg, Germany

All the PVSC conference papers are expected to be available for download by conference attendees on Monday, May 19, 2008, from the PVSC 33 website.

After presentations regarding upcoming conferences:

Program Chair, Dr. Tim Anderson, reviewed the PVSC 33 statistics. There was record registration of 1642 attendees: 269 IEEE members, 845 non-IEEE members, 238 Students, 7 Press, and 283 Exhibitors. Only about 1000 attendees were registered 30 days before the conference opened. Abstract submissions were led by the United States (255), Germany (47), and Japan (44) from 577 total abstracts.

As mentioned in PVSC 33 Opens, the 34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 34) will be co-located with the SEIA PV America Conference from June 6 - 11, 2009, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA.

To close the conference, Tim Coutts quoted former Prime Minster Tony Blair and said:

That’s it. The end.

I forgot to note a Blog milestone in the last post. On May 16, 2008, GUNTHER Portfolio turned two years old.

Labels: ,

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cherry Award presentation at PVSC 33

[San Diego, California USA]

On Tuesday evening, May 13, 2008, at the 33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 33), the Cherry Award was presented to Dr. Masafumi Yamaguchi after introductions by Conference Chair, Timothy J. Coutts, and WILLIAM R. CHERRY COMMITTEE Awards Chair, Ajeet Rohatgi.

About the Cherry Award per PVSC 33:

This award is named in honor of William R. Cherry, a founder of the photovoltaic community. In the 1950's, he was instrumental in establishing solar cells as the ideal power source for space satellites and for recognizing, advocating, and nurturing the use of photovoltaic systems for terrestrial applications. The William R. Cherry award was instituted in l980, shortly after his death.

Eight (8) significant Scientific Contributions to Photovoltaics accomplished by Dr. Yamaguchi were outlined in his introduction by Dr. Rohatgi:

  1. Discovered minority-carrier injection-enhanced annealing of radiation-induced defects in InP in 1984.
  2. Developed radiation-resistant InP cells with efficiencies of 17% at AM0 in 1984, which led to the launch of the MUSES-A Lunar Orbiter solely powered by InP solar cells in 1990.
  3. Proposed a double-hetero structure tunnel junction for realizing a high performance and stable multi-junction cell interconnection in 1987.
  4. Developed record high-efficiency (20.2% at AM1.5G) AlGaAs/GaAs dual-junction solar cells in 1987.
  5. Demonstrated record high 20% AM1.5G GaAs cells on Si through dislocation density reduction in 1989.
  6. Discovered superior radiation-resistance of InGaP materials and top cells in 1997.
  7. Developed world-record efficiency (33.3% at AM1.5G) InGaP/GaAs/InGaAs 3-junction cells in collaboration with Japan Energy and Sumitomo Electric in 1997.
  8. Developed high efficiency InGaP/InGaAs/Ge triple-junction solar cells with efficiencies of 38.9% (500-suns AM1.5) in collaboration with Sharp Co., Daido Steel Co. and Daido Metal Co. in 2004.

After the award presentation, Dr. Yamaguchi conducted a “lecture” to review his photovoltaic career and accomplishments. I defer to the comprehensive bio for Dr. Yamaguchi on the PVSC 33 website.

Before the Cherry Award Reception, Masafumi Yamaguchi took the time to pose for photos with friends, colleagues, and conference attendees.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

PVSC 33 Opens

[San Diego, California USA]

First Solar dominates the Keynotes.

The 33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 33) opened on Monday, May 12, 2008, with two Keynote Sessions. Although I arrived on time for once, the conference was opened earlier than the planned 8:30AM start by Conference Chair, Dr. Timothy J Coutts.

SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) President Rhone Resch’s forty minute address, The US Solar Revolution, highlighted Keynote Session I. As usual, the ITC or Investment Tax Credit extensions were the focus policies. The SEIA is seeking:

  • 8 year, 30%, solar ITC extension for business
  • 6 year, 30%, solar ITC extension for residential (eliminate the $2000 cap)
  • AMT (Alternative minimum Tax) relief regarding the ITC
  • Elimination of the public utility exception to the ITC

With these polices in place, the SEIA and PVNews project US Solar market demand growth to 1590MW by 2010.

Mr. Resch also announced a new conference called PV America 2009. Set to debut in Philadelphia around June 2009, this new conference will be presented in partnership with the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) to “put solar front and center” encompassing research and development, market development, finance, and policy in emerging US regional markets. Any profits from PV America will be reinvested to benefit the advancement of photovoltaics.

Echoing sentiments like vote the bums (in the US Congress) out in the 2008 Election if they don’t support solar policies, Mr. Resch said:

It’s Not a Revolution Unless Blood is Spilled.

As is their habit, First Solar’s messaging dominated Keynote Session 2 even though Dr. Swanson’s keynote on The SunPower Story was both informative and entertaining.

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) VP of Technology Dave Eaglesham’s presentation, Thin Film Technology: pathway to Grid Parity, detailed the company’s compelling plans to increase production to 1GWp (GigaWatt-peak) by 2009 while increasing module efficiency to 12 maybe 13% (percent) and lowering manufacturing costs to $0.70 per Watt by 2012!

First Solar continues to set the benchmark for every established and start up PV company in the world.

One question regarding Tellurium supply was dodged by Mr. Eaglesham. First Solar appears to be concerned “speculators” will drive up Tellurium prices before their sourcing arrangements are finalized. Given their market capitalization, perhaps First Solar should just take a minority stake in or acquire a mining company with significant Tellurium reserves?

The First Solar Media team says this presentation will not be posted to the First Solar website even though they are a high profile, public company. Those interested are directed to purchase a Conference Proceedings CD or visit the IEEE Xplore library.

SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) President and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Dr. Richard Swanson had the PVSC 33 favorite keynote, The SunPower Story: The Path from R&D Concentrator Cells to a High Volume PV Panel and System Manufacturer. The story began with Thermophotovoltaics (TPV) research in SunPower’s life B.C. (Before Cypress). Optimizations for TPV led to the innovations integrated into the A300 back contact silicon solar cell.

Dr. Swanson finished his presentation with the announcement of the Gen 3 silicon solar cell with 23.4% efficiency.

What are my quick impressions of PVSC 33 so far?

  • Concentrators, multijunction solar cells, and thin films have almost as much session emphasis as silicon in the technical program.
  • I’ve been spoiled by EU PVSEC. The coffee urns were empty when I arrived from Keynote Session I after waiting to ask Mr. Resch a few questions. There are zero snacks at the coffee breaks.
  • Of course, the Special Invited sessions from 8:00 to 9:30AM are of particular interest. I’ve had trouble with 8:00AM start times for a number of years now after university.
  • Poster sessions do not conflict with Oral presentations so there is time allocated to meet and discuss the topics with the researcher(s).
  • The PV Velocity Forum is a welcome addition to the conference this year and seeks to bring "investors and policy-makers face-to-face with these solar industry leaders to explore methods for driving superior emerging technologies through production and into the market."

I’ve managed OK with crutches at the conference, but I was so tired yesterday afternoon I had to switch to the wheelchair before the poster session. I decided to take a break today and rest up for the final two days of PVSC 33.

And I echo the congrats to Greentech Media regarding:


Labels: , , ,

Monday, May 12, 2008

GreenVolts at BIG Solar

[Menlo Park, California USA]

Berkeley-Stanford CleanTech Conference on “Utility Scale Solar Power Generation”

The 2nd Berkeley-Stanford CleanTech Conference, BIG Solar: Utility Scale Solar Power Generation”, took place Wednesday afternoon, May 7, 2008, at SRI International. Although the agenda included keynotes and a first panel discussion on "California's Policy Leadership", my focus was on the second panel, "Innovations in Technology", with presentations by Blog stalwarts GreenVolts and Cool Earth Solar (CES).

For GreenVolts, I will highlight updates and deltas from GreenVolts presents at Alternative Energy Innovations 2007.

For the PG&E GV1 project, the 1MW (MegaWatt) Phase 1 is now scheduled for completion by the end of 2008, one quarter later than indicated in GreenVolts does it again with 2MW Solar Electric Plant deal with PG&E.

Bob Cart, founder and CEO of GreenVolts, Inc. said:

The first megawatt we’re actually manufacturing right now for deployment later on this year. This is a photograph of one of our test units. Actually, this is the first public time we’ve shown this.

Photo Credit: GreenVolts, Inc.

The above photo is of the “T6” or “sixCarouSol system under test at three sites. Optical concentration for the Off-Axis Microdish power units has been increased to 1000x. The two-axis CarouSol systems have succeeded in tracking with winds as high as 43mph (miles per hour) or 69.2kph (kilometers per hour).

GreenVolts has adopted LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) as a metric for BIG Solar and projects $0.15/kWh (15 cents per kilowatt-hour) as the value of solar in 2010.

In a teaser, Mr. Cart said:

This is a project that we’ll be announcing at some point in the future we hope.

Please see the Picasa slideshow for additional photos and the respective slides from the presentation.

I arrived in San Diego last night, and I look forward to covering the 33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 33) this week.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sol3g lands 800kW High Concentration PhotoVoltaic deal with Flix Solar

Installation scheduled for August 2008 completion.

In Sol3g signs an agreement for building an 800kW installation in Flix (Español), Sol3g, S.L. announced an agreement with Flix Solar, S.L., part of grupo Finances Personals, for an 800kWp (kilowatt-peak) High Concentration PhotoVoltaic (HCPV) installation.

Project developer Flix Solar has ordered 26,880 M40 Modules for integration with FEiNA SCP SC16 two-axis trackers at the Solar Park Ramón Escriche in Flix (Tarragona) Spain. The Solar Park Ramón Escriche has a system capacity of 8MW today on an area of 40 hectares (~98.8 acres) and is undergoing an expansion to 12MW. MPbata has performed project management for the solar park. For local Flix Blogs coverage in Spanish on the existing solar park, please see Flix posa en marxa el parc solar més gran de Catalunya and PARC SOLAR "RAMON ESCRICHE".

The Flix Solar deal is the largest project to date for Sol3g since it was founded in 2004. Sol3g now expects to increase production capacity to only 3MWp (MegaWatt-peak) by year end 2008 versus the five (5) MWp indicated in Sol3g inaugurates High Concentration PhotoVoltaics factory.

I believe the Sol3g claim this is the “largest worldwide installation based on triple-junction cells” will be true if the project is completed by August 2008.

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 02, 2008

KGO Radio Solar Project Update: SolFocus install delayed

[Newark, California USA]

KGO Radio partners with PG&E to solar power their transmitter facility

Back on February 12, 2008, KGO RADIO LAUNCHES SOLAR POWER ACTION PLAN announced a joint project between KGO Radio and PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) to power KGO Radio’s transmitter with two (2) solar power systems. KGO Radio’s transmitter is located here on the eastern side of the Dumbarton Bridge in the San Francisco Bay area.

Installed by Premier Power, the first system consists of GE photovoltaic arrays ground mounted by and roof mounted on the transmitter buildings. The second system will consist of three (3) SolFocus, Inc., CPV (Concentrating PhotoVoltaic) solar arrays.

KGO Solar Transmitter Project: Work in Progress

The KGO Solar Blog by Art Lebermann has tracked progress on the installation since the announcement.

The KGO Radio Solar Project was supposed to be completed by mid-March 2008, but the project has been delayed by SolFocus as first noted in Progress Report on March 25, 2008. In What's the Delay?, Nancy Hartsoch, SolFocus Vice President, Corporate Marketing, said:

Some very recent upgrades to our solar tracking technology have caused a slight delay in the installation of the SolFocus CPV panels at KGO's transmitter site. However, there is no doubt it will be worth the wait! The new technology, developed in Spain and custom-designed for us, allows us to track the sun more accurately, resulting in a more efficient, effective and long-lived system. The significance of this project demands that we 'get it right' and use the best technology available. Stay tuned...

Although Major Progress! from April 23, 2008, said:

And in other good news, work on the SolFocus system is scheduled to resume next week.

I didn’t see any activity at the site when I took these Picasa slideshow photos on April 30, 2008.

While the KGO Radio press release states “the two systems will generate 12KW of power”, Premier Power informed me their portion of the installation used fifty (50) 200Wp (Watt-peak) GE solar modules for a 10kWp (kilowatt-peak) system capacity. This would leave a scant 2kWp for the three SolFocus CPV arrays!

By comparison, the SolFocus CPV arrays installed at ISFOC (please see ISFOC First Phase 1.7 MegaWatt Installations Underway) were each rated at 6.2kW. However, the KGO Solar Blog has a photo of a smaller SolFocus array with twelve (12) modules instead of the thirty (30) modules shown in the ISFOC installation.

SolFocus did not respond to my questions before post time. I will add a comment or post a follow up when I can clarify the details.

Labels: , , ,