sexta-feira, 28 de agosto de 2009

Swiss researchers tout record-efficient CdTe cells for roll-to-roll
esearchers from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) near Zurich have produced cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film solar cells with a record 12.4% efficiency, made with a low-temperature process compatible for roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing. The flexible CdTe thin-film cells (measuring Voc= 823 mV, Jsc= 19.6, FF= 76.5% under standard AM1.5 illumination) were made on a lightweight polymer (polyimide) film using a low-temperature (<450°C) vacuum evaporation process to grow the layers, and subsequent annealing in air. The indium tin oxide (ITO) layers used in previous 11.4% efficient cells was replaced with a bi-layer of ZnO/ZnO:Al as a transparent electrical contact; this improved process yield and reproducibility, and is cheaper than expensive ITO, they noted.
Spectrolab touts record CPV efficiency
Spectrolab says it has developed a concentrated solar cell with record 41.6% efficiency, surpassing the 41.1% mark attained by the Fraunhofer Institute. The technology specifically is an advanced version of Spectrolab's lattice-matched cell technology, a triple-junction gallium arsenide solar cell already being used in space and terrestrial applications. Improvements in wafer processing reduce metal grid shadowing and series resistance, raising the cell's overall efficiency, the firm notes in a statement. The efficiency mark was independently tested and confirmed by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO.

segunda-feira, 24 de agosto de 2009

Solar panel prices to slide into next year
A steep fall in the price of solar panels has chipped away at manufacturers' profits this year, and relief is unlikely to come soon, as many in the industry believe pressure will intensify and push prices even lower into 2010 and perhaps even 2011. (...)[S]olar companies worldwide -- including heavyweights like China's Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd, U.S.-based First Solar Inc and Germany's Q-Cells AG -- have been forced to cut the price of their panels, hampering and in some cases erasing profits. (...) After peaking at $4.20 a watt in 2008, prices for solar panels have dived as much as 50 percent to about $2.40 a watt for European and U.S. companies that make silicon-based panels and $2.00 a watt for Chinese suppliers, Chase said. Prices on lower-cost thin film panels are between $1.00 and $2.00 a watt. The bottom-out price "could be as low as $1.50 for crystalline silicon, which would be a shockingly low price". Lower prices are good news for solar customers as the cost of the renewable energy source reaches toward that of power created from dirtier sources such as natural gas and coal. Still, the drastic pace of the tumble has sent many companies scrambling.
Chinese Solar Companies Report Weak 2Q Results, [but with] Rising Shipments
Solar-equipment manufacturers based in China have taken hits from the global recession and rapidly escalating industry competition. But there are signs that Chinese solar firms could emerge stronger than many of their competitors. While their bottom lines look bad now, most companies say shipments of photovoltaic (PV) module are rising fast, a sign that demand for solar power is rebounding.
Portugal sonha com futura geração da tecnologia solar
As zonas de Porto Alto, Trafaria, Setúbal, Évora, Alqueva, Estói e Portimão foram as escolhidas para acolher os primeiros projectos portugueses de inovação e demonstração de energia solar concentrada termoeléctrica e concentrada fotovoltaica [num total de] 33.5MW. (...) A estreia portuguesa confina-se para já às zonas com grande exposição solar e onde há mais disponibilidade da rede eléctrica para receber energia. Serão aprovados um máximo de 14 projectos "com forte componente de investigação e desenvolvimento tecnológico", em função de três critérios, o mais restritivo dos quais é a valorização de parcerias com entidades com carreira nestas tecnologias, as quais não existem em Portugal. Os outros dois são a ligação às universidades com relevância na área da energia solar e a eficiência energética associada ao projecto.
Palácio da presidência do Chile vai ser iluminado e aquecido por painéis solares
O palácio da presidência chilena de La Moneda, em Santiago, será aquecido e iluminado a energia solar, o que ilustra o objectivo do país de transferir 15 por cento da produção energética para energias renováveis, anunciou quinta-feira o Governo.

US President Obama's grandmother joins the Solar Generation
Young Kenyans working with Greenpeace’s Solar Generation are tackling the twin problems of energy poverty and climate change today, by installing solar panels on the Senator Barack Obama School in Kogelo and on the roof of the house of Mama Sarah – the US President’s grandmother.

sexta-feira, 21 de agosto de 2009

Suntech Claims New World Record in Silicon Panel Efficiency
Suntech Power said Wednesday it now holds the world record in producing the most efficiency multicrystalline silicon panels, beating a record previously held by Sandia National Laboratories. A panel sporting the company's newly developed Pluto cells was able to convert 15.6 percent of the sunlight that strike it into electricity, Suntech said. (...) The new record is a boost to Suntech's plan to market panels assembled with Pluto cells, which it developed with technology licensed from the University of New South Wales [where] Suntech's founder and CEO Zhengrong Shi taught for years. The university holds the world record for silicon cells made in a lab, which were tested by Sandia and yielded 25 percent efficiency. (...) The Pluto technology focuses on improving the cell's ability to trap light to boost electricity production. Pluto cells also use copper instead of silver for its collector and bus lines.
Q-Cells Cuts 500 Workers, Posts €696.9 million in Loss
Q-Cells, which has struggled to deal with a market slump, said Thursday it is cutting 500 jobs and implementing other measures to reduce production costs by 25 percent. (...) Q-Cells is shutting down older production lines at its factory in Thalheim because it no longer has the scale or technical ability to make cells at least as cheaply as its competitors, the company said.(...) Solar cell pricing fell about 20 percent from the first quarter to the second quarter this year, Q-Cells said. The company said the contracts it has signed with its wafer suppliers have become too expensive.
The solar industry moved from a boom in 2008, when companies worked quickly to boost production, to a bust in 2009. The credit crunch has made it difficult for developers to line up money to build solar power plants. The global market is so saturated with unused solar panels that one research firm recently predicted that the glut would last until 2012.

terça-feira, 11 de agosto de 2009

Bangladesh wins World Bank solar power loan
The World Bank said on Saturday it will loan Bangladesh $130 million to install solar energy panels to power 300,000 households. (...) Only around 40 percent of Bangladeshis have access to electricity. Power shortages are severe, especially in rural areas. (...) A part of the financing will also be used to purchase and install about 10 million energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps in densely populated areas, replacing an equivalent number of incandescent lamps. "Replacing these lamps, which will be free of charge for residential consumers, is expected to reduce the peak demand by about 360 MW," said Raihan Elahi, senior energy specialist of the World Bank.

sexta-feira, 7 de agosto de 2009

Projectos para produzir energia solar abrem em Setembro
A partir do dia 1 e até 15 de Setembro vai abrir o Período de Informação Prévia (PIP) para projectos de produção de energia solar(...) o ministro Teixeira [dos Santos] declarou também que será lançado o «concurso para projectos de maior envergadura e maior capacidade de produção energia».