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The Solar Thread: Energy from the Sun


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#41 chas and dave

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 08:41 AM

I spent some time reading about thin-film technology and Energy Conversion DeviceS ~ United Solar Ovonic

I asked about energy sums compared with crystalline PVs and got the following reply, which I thought was interesting.

###

Studies say that in general thin film amorphous technology has a energy pay back time of about 9 month, compared to crystalline silicon modules needing 3.5 years.

Two numbers: our techno Si crystalline

Thickness 0.001 mm 0.3 mm

Process temp 300 degr.C 1420 degr.C

Hence much less material at much lower temperatures, plus sawing losses with crystalline cells of about 0.2 mm, plus our technology does not employ glass.


United Solar Ovonic Europe GmbH

#42 DrBubb

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 02:09 PM

"has a energy pay back time of about 9 month"

that is very interesting.
and makes me want to have more detail on an actual project
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#43 chas and dave

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 11:55 AM

United Solar Ovonic is a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices.

ECD seems to have a fine range of alternative technologies, however the thin film solar panel production is being ramped up with two factories - a continuous-stream kind of production technique. The company seems to be getting installations int oEurope and it looks good to me. Cheaper, relatively hard to damage & flexible.

There are a good number of example installations linked to these pages.

ECD info can be read here ~
http://www.ovonic.co...ar_overview.cfm

Plus solar images here ~
http://www.ovonic.co...ntact_sheet.cfm

And solar specific uni-soalr with illustrated projects here.
http://www.uni-solar.com/

#44 webmaster

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 02:13 PM

One unnamed solar enthusiast (with tens of millions of dollars from a family trust at his disposal) still has not invested in any solar stocks. Why? “My cost for installing solar panels was $2.70 per watt in 2002; now, its $4.00 per watt,” he said. “The cost of money has risen as has the cost of solar panels, insurance, labor, gasoline for service vehicles, etc. In short, the days of fat margins have vanished.”
. .
“PV is the most popular and promising of the renewable technologies because it can be applied and used anywhere in the world without an infrastructure,” states Solar Outlook, a Navigant Consulting study released in June 2006. This aspect is both appealing and alarming. “With PV, private ownership of the means of electricity production is possible, and this represents an unsettling revolution to the current electricity structure and to the politicians,” notes Navigant.

Recent growth in solar PV remains largely driven by subsidies. Grid-connected systems accounted for 85% of total sales demand in 2005. Navigant sees slow growth in solar through mid-2008. Thin-film solar (which use less silicon) is ramping up in capacity, but cannot yet fill the gap. Between 2000 and 2005, thin film technologies grew at a compound annual growth rate of 27% (compared to 42% for the dominant crystalline technology), states Navigant.

According to the federal Energy Information Administration domestic solar PV shipments reached a record high of 134.5 Megawatts (MW) in 2005, a 72% increase over 2004 shipment figures. And a report released this past October by the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development of Cambridge, Massachusetts (and entitled Polysilicon: Supply, Demand & Implications for the PV Industry) claims that the silicon supply bottleneck should ease by 2008."

The report forecast sufficient supplies of silicon – currently the feedstock for 95% of the world’s solar PV panels – to allow the solar PV industry to grow to 8,000 MW by 2010. The authors of this silicon supply report – Hilary Flynn and Travis Bradford – go so far as to say that along with seven major polysilicon producers, nearly 20 emerging new producers are entering the fray, and there is even the possibility of a silicon glut before the end of the decade.

...more: http://www.altenergy...ecast.html#more

#45 DrBubb

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 05:14 PM

(according to Gerald Reid, of Hornet):

This week will also see the most significant solar IPO of the year. First Solar Inc, which makes solar modules using thin film technology, expects to raise USD 222.8 million in net proceeds from its IPO. The company is offering 17.5 million shares for an estimated price of USD 17 to USD 19 per share. Following the placement there will be approximately 69m shares outstanding and the company will have a market capitalisation of approximately USD 1.2bn. First Solar is currently increasing its production capacities from 75MW to 175MW with the construction of the new 100MW plant in Germany and the new funds will primarily be used to build a manufacturing facility in Asia. First Solar achieved an average manufacturing cost of USD 1.50 per Watt in the first nine months of 2006, which is significantly lower than the per Watt manufacturing cost of producing crystalline silicon solar modules.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#46 DrBubb

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 06:32 AM

The Role of New Technologies in a Sustainable Energy Economy

In this lively and intense discussion, Belcher looks to the oceans, and Nocera to the sun for answers to an impending global energy shortage.

SPEAKERS:
Angela Belcher
Germeshausen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Biological Engineering

Daniel Nocera
W. M. Keck Professor of Energy and Professor of Chemistry

@: http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/414/

At 20:38, Durant reads audience questions.

At 23:44, Angela Belcher responds to the question of whether it is safe ecologically to start engineering microbes along the lines she described.

At 31:20, Belcher discusses the kind of contribution her technology could make over time.

At 32:46, Nocera discusses whether bio engineering can capture and reutilize carbon.

At 36:02. Belcher and Nocera discuss harvesting ocean organisms to understand their energy machinery.

At 39:04, the speakers answer the question, “Is this pie in the sky, or really coming?”

At 45:48, the speakers discuss the issue of distribution costs of new technologies and their impacts at large scale.

At 52:50, Nocera describes the earth’s energy needs, and the speakers discuss the energy costs of new technologies.

At 1:08:01, the speakers discuss funding issues in new energy research, including the competing priorities of government and corporations and the contribution of the military.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#47 DrBubb

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 07:20 AM

(From Prof. Dan Nocera's talk - see MIT interview):

Energy Requirement for our Planet

Each person : 100 watt lightbulb, needs powering

12.8 trillion watts, measured per time

ENERGY USE:
2050: 28 kerawatts
2006: 10 kerawatts
differ: 18 kerawatts, to be found

(But that need assumes current living standards and rising population,
if the world goes to US living, it is 102 kerawatts, 90 needed- that's impossible)

Possible sources:
crops...: 7 kerawatts, if we stop growing food, and grow only energy
nuclear: 8 kerawatts from 8,000 new plants (1 giga-each)
wind....: 2 kerawatts from windpower covering all the land surface

The real answer, long term:
The Sun: 800 kerawatts on land mass
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#48 DrBubb

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 02:38 AM

Alternative energy goes after investor dollars
Executives tell big investors the cost of producing power in the sector is dropping.
By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer ... February 21 2007:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Executives from some of the world's leading alternative energy companies argued their case to big investors Wednesday, outlining why money thrown into the red-hot sector will pay off.

Much of the rationale centered around costs, which leaders of renewable energy firms contend are dropping at a breakneck clip.

"We need to make sure solar is becoming cost effective compared to other energy sources," Erik Thorsen, president of the Norwegian solar firm Renewable Energy Corporation told the crowd at Piper Jaffray's second annual conference on investor opportunities in alternative energy.

Thorsen said the company planned to cut silicon costs by 70 percent by 2010 by using less silicon in solar energy devices, combined with higher efficiency solar cells.

Silicon costs have been a major hurdle to developing solar power, as the price of the material, which is also used in computer chips, has soared in recent years due to skyrocketing demand.

California-based Applied Materials (Charts), which makes semiconductor production equipment and recently moved into making equipment for manufacturing solar power cells, also outlined strategies to reduce production costs.

Applied Materials presented a solar panel design four times larger than current panels, basically something the size of a large garage door.

The company said the design would save up to four times on costs associated with framing and connecting a solar set-up.

Sunpower Corporation (Charts), also based in California, said it was looking at shaving 30 percent off installation costs, partly by designing solar panels that take the place of normal construction materials, like roofing tiles.

Sunpower's executive, Tom Werner, also pointed to the massive potential of the electricity market, which he said was valued at over $1 trillion annually, and that the company is poised to take an ever larger share of that pie with each corresponding drop in solar's price.

"The upside opportunity here is fantastic," said Werner.

While there may be tremendous opportunity in investing in alternative energy companies, investors should always understand that the companies are often new and small, and can therefore be very volatile.

Take ethanol darling Verasun (Charts), which debuted last summer at over $30 a share, quickly lost half it's value, rose to near $30 again, and now trades at $15.

Among larger companies at Wednesday's conference, DuPont (Charts) outlined its emerging bio program, saying it is nearly ready to introduce a plant-based material that can replace petroleum-based plastics in things like carpet fiber, molded parts and packaging.

John Ranieri, general manager of the company's bio-based materials division, said DuPont is also big in developing organisms that create ethanol or butanol, that later of which he said could be more promising than ethanol for certain fuels because it has a higher energy yield.

In response to a question about when cellulosic ethanol might be cost effective, Ranieri said that "by 2010 we'll be looking at commercial possibilities."

Piper Jaffray, a Minneapolis based investment bank, organized the conference to bring together what a spokeswoman said were top companies and the bank's clients, which include mutual funds, hedge funds, and other institutional investors.

Other publicly traded companies presenting at the conference included MEMC Electronic Materials, Energy Conversion Devices, First Solar, Metabolix, Nova Biosource Fuels, The Andersons, Beacon power Corporation, Akeena Solar, Canadian Solar, Fuel Cell Energy, Active Power, Ormat Technologies, EMCORE Corporation, Medis Technologies, Suntech Power Holdings, Evergreen Solar, Active power, Altair Nanotechnologies, Ultralife Batteries, SatCon Technology Corporation, Power Integrations, Power-One, Spire Corporation and American Superconductor Corporation.

@: http://money.cnn.com...oney_topstories
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#49 DrBubb

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 10:47 AM

Suntech Power profit up 56% as demand surges

By Simon Kennedy
Last Update: 5:13 AM ET Aug 9, 2007


LONDON (MarketWatch) -- China's Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP )
: (suntech pwr hldgs co ltd adr / Last: 43.35+2.90+7.17%)

said Thursday that its second-quarter net profit rose 56% to $41.3 million, or 25 cents a share, from $26.5 million, or 17 cents a share, as revenue more than doubled to $317.4 million from $128.2 million. The solar energy company said "unprecedented demand" for solar panels helped it exceed its output target for the quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 23 cents a share on revenue of $288 million

@: http://www.marketwat...t...&siteid=rss
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#50 sossij

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 08:38 AM

Great thread this! I work in the semi-conductor supply industry and I don't know whether you might be interested in the activity of one of our main competitors (and largest SCS player) Applied Materials (AMAT) has been thinking re. solar:

http://www.ft.com/cm...1dc...dse=&dsz=
and
http://search.ft.com...2...5000333&x=0

Both links require registration, sorry.

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AMAT

#51 sossij

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 10:45 AM

KLA positioning into solar by acquiring Belgian photovoltaic wafer inspection company.

QUOTE
KLA-Tencor to buy photovoltaic solar inspection specialist

Already a leading supplier of inspection and metrology systems, the $465.8 million acquisition of Belgium-based ICOS Vision Systems signals an expansion for KLA-Tencor into the strong emerging markets of photovoltaic solar technologies and LED lighting products.


KLA-Tencor Corp has made a $465.8 million (316.9 million Euros) offer for ICOS Vision Systems Corp NV, a Belgium-based maker of inspection equipment for semiconductor packaging and interconnect applications.

Already a leading supplier of inspection and metrology systems, the acquisition signals an expansion for KLA-Tencor beyond its fab operations business base. The San Jose-based company pointed to ICOS’ strength in the inspection of photovoltaic solar technologies and LED lighting products, two strong emerging markets.


http://www.edn.com/a.../CA6534149.html

KLA-Tencor:
http://uk.finance.ya...com/q/bc?s=KLAC

#52 last ninja

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 10:24 AM

QUOTE
A Price Drop for Solar Panels

Solar electricity is about to get much cheaper, industry analysts predict, because a shortage of the silicon used in solar panels is almost over. That could lead to a sharp drop in prices over the next couple of years, making solar electricity comparable to power from the grid.

High demand generated by government subsidies worldwide and a shortage of processed silicon have kept prices for solar-generated power much higher than average electricity prices over the past few years.
...
"It takes about two or three years to add capacity," says Travis Bradford, an industry analyst for the Prometheus Institute. The shortage has been severe enough to drive up silicon prices to more than 10 times normal levels, to $450 a kilogram, adds Ted Sullivan, an analyst at Lux Research.

The added silicon production capacity is now starting to begin operations. While only 15,000 tons of silicon were available for use in solar cells in 2005, by 2010, this number could grow to 123,000 tons, Sullivan says. And that will allow existing and planned production of solar panels to ramp up, increasing supply. "What that means, practically, is that [solar] module prices are going to come down pretty dramatically in the next two or three years," Bradford says.


http://www.technolog.../Biztech/20702/


#53 littledavesab

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 12:39 PM

I remembered the other day that when I used to play SIM City the best way of keeping my SIMS happy was to have Microwave energy where the energy was created up in space somewhere and beamed down to a satellite dish. Now if only BSB could come up with that!
Inflation / Deflation ?? How about STAGFLATION everyone is right but everyone is wrong!
- (Update) Everyone wrong...... except Goldman Sachs apparently !!!!!!!

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#54 sossij

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 08:38 AM

Interesting article from EETimes:

QUOTE
Scientists at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel claim they have found a way to construct efficient photovoltaic cells costing at least a hundred times less than conventional silicon based devices, and with similar or better energy conversion efficiency.

The reactive element in the researchers' patent pending device is genetically engineered proteins using photosynthesis for production of electrical energy.

The scientists applied genetic engineering and nanotechnology for the construction of a hybrid nano -- bio, solid state device. According to the researchers, although using photosynthesis for photovoltaic application is not new, their specific technique is the first to enable the production of useful photosynthesis-based photovoltaic cells.
.
.
.
EETimes Europe has learned that Ramot will probably use the industrial facilities of solar energy specialist Millennium Electric T.O.U Ltd. (Raanana, Israel) for making prototype devices, including engineering of the prototype up scaling, automation of production and the integration of the university's photovoltaic cell with other components in the final device. Ramot aims to develop a cost effective device of 10mm X 10mm in size within three years.


http://www.eetimes.c...cleID=207403402

Two orders of magnitude cheaper - interesting!

Edit: to add link smile.gif

#55 gwizzie

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:56 PM

someone please tell me he is not leaning on the product in question?

Clicky de link!
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#56 Ologhai Jones

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:12 AM

Harnessing sunlight on the cheap

QUOTE
A team of students, led by mechanical engineering graduate student Spencer Ahrens, has spent the last few months assembling a prototype for a concentrating solar power system built from simple, inexpensive industrial materials selected for price, durability and ease of assembly.

"The technical challenge here is to make it simple," Ahrens explains. The team is keeping careful track of all the costs for parts and the time spent on assembly, to provide a baseline for figuring out what an eventual large-scale field of such dishes would cost. "We're using all commodity materials that are all in high production," he says.


Article on PhysOrg.com.

#57 gwizzie

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:33 AM

QUOTE (Ologhai Jones @ May 9 2008, 08:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Harnessing sunlight on the cheap



Article on PhysOrg.com.

Intresting. Being students i have no doubt they will find a way to hook it up to the sky digibox now
"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." - Frederick Bastiat

#58 Ologhai Jones

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:40 PM

"IBM Research Unveils Breakthrough In Solar Farm Technology"

QUOTE
IBM scientists are using a large lens to concentrate the Sun’s power, capturing a record 230 watts onto a centimeter square solar cell, in a technology known as concentrator photovoltaics, or CPV. That energy is then converted into 70 watts of usable electrical power, about five times the electrical power density generated by typical cells using CPV technology in solar farms.


Article on PhysOrg.

#59 bakachu

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 05:27 AM

Japanese Government to introduce tax credits for household Solar energy

http://www.triplepun...olar-003262.php

Could be interesting to watch who and what technology becomes the market leader in the Japanese market, although the 3-5 year time-scale is a bit disappointing..

#60 Ologhai Jones

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 02:03 PM

Citing Need for Assessments, U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects

QUOTE
The decision to freeze new solar proposals temporarily, reached late last month, has caused widespread concern in the alternative-energy industry, as fledgling solar companies must wait to see if they can realize their hopes of harnessing power from swaths of sun-baked public land, just as the demand for viable alternative energy is accelerating.


Article in New York Times.




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