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The Solar Thread: Energy from the Sun

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

 

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/article/CA6534149.html

 

KLA-Tencor:

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

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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.technologyreview.com/Biztech/20702/

 

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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!

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Interesting article from EETimes:

 

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.

.

.

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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.com/news/latest/showArt...cleID=207403402

 

Two orders of magnitude cheaper - interesting!

 

Edit: to add link :)

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Harnessing sunlight on the cheap

 

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.

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"IBM Research Unveils Breakthrough In Solar Farm Technology"

 

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.

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

 

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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I wonder if that's why my solar stock has been tanking....trying to decide whether to sell now, wait for this possible stock market crash, and buy up later. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

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

 

 

 

Article in New York Times.

 

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

 

Article in New York Times.

 

Further developments:

 

U.S. Lifts Moratorium on New Solar Projects

 

Under increasing public pressure over its decision to temporarily halt all new solar development on public land, the Bureau of Land Management said Wednesday that it was lifting the freeze, barely a month after it was put into effect.

 

Article in New York Times.

 

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Organic dye lets window panes harvest the Sun

 

Harvesting sunlight before turning it into electricity could become easier thanks to an exotic organic dye developed in the US.

 

Coated onto an ordinary sheet of glass, the dye traps light inside the glass allowing it to be channelled to photovoltaic cells placed along the edges of the sheet.

 

Article on New Scientist's website.

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thermal solar is great,

but suffers from being somewhat boring, and in need of alot of messy plumbing

 

It is not as boring as one might think.

 

Terresol Energy is commisioning a plant this year: http://www.torresolenergy.com/en/proyecto_gemasolar.html

 

It is nice looking, fairly compact and generates a sufficient power output to take care of 30,000 households.

 

I presume it's fairly easy and relatively easy to build one of those plants: 1 sq mile of land, 2500 flat mirrors with stepper motors, trivial small steam power generation plant and isulated tanks for molten salt.

As far as the plumbing is concerned then it will be nothing in comparison to the one used in conventional coal-fired power plants.

 

 

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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

 

 

I agree entirely, the Earth receives 60,000 times the amount of energy that mankind needs, and therefore it seems as the main power generation option for the future.

 

I have had a look at the graphs and indicies for the most of the solar energy related companies mentioned in this thread. All of them seem to be grossly oversold at present.

I would not hesitate to invest in them only if I knew that they are not out of business in a year time. Either the short time investments or long time is very tempting.

Dr Bubb, what are your thoughts on this?

 

I have noticed from the other threads that you are keeping your eye on possibility of re-investing into the semiconductor sector. Although some people are rather sceptical about this sector due to the downturn in auto and electronic industries, I think I now understand that you look at the role that semiconductor industry is going to play in PV solar generation in future. Am I correct in my understanding?

 

S60R

 

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I would not hesitate to invest in them only if I knew that they are not out of business in a year time. Either the short time investments or long time is very tempting.

Dr Bubb, what are your thoughts on this?

 

That was a very very good day for my 'green' selection. Very good indeed..

 

Canadian Solar UP 9.0%

Energy Conversion Devices UP 12.6%

Evergreen Solar UP 21.0%

Sunpower UP 15.3%

Suntech Power Holdings UP 21.3%

General Electric UP 19.7%

 

with the mean rise of 16.5%

 

I have no illusion that these stocks will be falling much quicker than the oil&gas-related stocks once this rally is over

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That was a very very good day for my 'green' selection. Very good indeed..

 

Canadian Solar UP 9.0%

Energy Conversion Devices UP 12.6%

Evergreen Solar UP 21.0%

Sunpower UP 15.3%

Suntech Power Holdings UP 21.3%

General Electric UP 19.7%

 

with the mean rise of 16.5%

 

I have no illusion that these stocks will be falling much quicker than the oil&gas-related stocks once this rally is over

 

Then again, Chinese whispers and all that ;)

 

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/chi...idies-5964.html

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UK tariff due late this year/ early next year, with a set price for solar generated power fed back into the grid from households.

 

Waiting for the pullback to add to my first solar

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UK tariff due late this year/ early next year, with a set price for solar generated power fed back into the grid from households.

 

Waiting for the pullback to add to my first solar

 

Yes and i'm waiting for costs to fall, before installing my system.

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Yes and i'm waiting for costs to fall, before installing my system.
Me too, housing costs first, then when I have bought me, Mrs D and little D our future home, we will install, solar :D

 

Will go for passive and CdTe PV. (First Solar about to start selling to public).

 

 

 

 

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Prices... update ...................................................... : SOLAR- 3 key stocks /Aug.14 : update : ESLR, STP, SIT.L : 3 Solar Shs

moduleprices06-4.gif.bighw6.gif

Solar cell prices are rising because of the shortage of silicon feedstocks (i believe)

 

STOCKS include : Q-Cells Ag, SunPower Corp., and Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.,

 

Opportunity : WHERE is the Sun strong enough...

 

SolarWorld.gif

 

WHERE is the technology employed

The seven world leaders in solar energy production include Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. The percentage of the total world solar production from these seven countries and other facts are shown in the table below.

 

Country- - - MW.total Hr.Sun/yr Elec/kWhr w/cap %world

Japan........ 301-2001 1200-1600 : 24cents : 2.4 : 45%

Switzerland. 15-2000 - - 1700 - - : 12cents : 2.1 : - ? -

Germany... 170-2001 1700-1800 : 15cents : 2.0 :. 6%

Australia..... 29-2000 2500-3000. : 4 cents : 1.5 : - ? -

U.S.A. ..... 139-2000 2000-2500. : 8 cents : 0.5 : 27%

Canada........ 7-2000 1500-2500. : 4 cents : .22 : - 0 -

U.K. ............ 2-2000 1500-1700 : 12 cents: .03 : 0.75%

 

The map above divides the world into four daily solar radiation zones based on daily hours of sunlight and temperature. The amount of available sunlight varies across the globe. The areas with the most hours of daily sunlight are found near the equator.

= = =

 

Solar Technologies

Photovoltaics (PV)

Photovoltaic solar cells, which directly convert sunlight into electricity, are made of semiconducting materials. The simplest cells power watches and calculators and the like, while more complex systems can light houses and provide power to the electric grid.

 

Passive Solar Heating, Cooling and Daylighting

Buildings designed for passive solar and daylighting incorporate design features such as large south-facing windows and building materials that absorb and slowly release the sun's heat. No mechanical means are employed in passive solar heating. Incorporating passive solar designs can reduce heating bills as much as 50 percent. Passive solar designs can also include natural ventilation for cooling.

 

Concentrating Solar Power

Concentrating solar power technologies use reflective materials such as mirrors to concentrate the sun's energy. This concentrated heat energy is then converted into electricity.

 

Solar Hot Water and Space Heating and Cooling

Solar hot water heaters use the sun to heat either water or a heat-transfer fluid in collectors. A typical system will reduce the need for conventional water heating by about two-thirds. High-temperature solar water heaters can provide energy-efficient hot water and hot water heat for large commercial and industrial facilities.

 

Issues

Solar Resources

Solar resource information provides data on how much solar energy is available to a collector and how it might vary from month to month, year to year, and location to location. Collecting this information requires a national network of solar radiation monitoring sites.

 

Solar Access

The availability or access to unobstructed sunlight for use both in passive solar designs and active systems is protected by zoning laws and ordinances in many communities.

 

Green Power

Consumer demand for clean renewable energy and the deregulation of the utilities industry have spurred growth in green power—solar, wind, geothermal steam, biomass, and small-scale hydroelectric sources of power. Small commercial solar power plants have begun serving some energy markets.

 

@: http://www.eere.energy.gov/RE/solar.html

 

 

= = = = =

LINKS:

Solar Buzz website..... : http://www.solarbuzz.com/

Solar Plaza news........ : http://www.solarplaza.com/content/news.php

Evergreen's Link page : http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/petersj.html

Steps on applying Chinese Eximbank financing for your green enegery proejcts, including solar, wind and other power plants project against sovereign guarantee. http://www.china-power-contractor.cn/Government-finance.html

 

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That was a very very good day for my 'green' selection. Very good indeed..

 

Canadian Solar UP 9.0%

Energy Conversion Devices UP 12.6%

Evergreen Solar UP 21.0%

Sunpower UP 15.3%

Suntech Power Holdings UP 21.3%

General Electric UP 19.7%

 

with the mean rise of 16.5%

 

I have no illusion that these stocks will be falling much quicker than the oil&gas-related stocks once this rally is over

 

any further updates?/

 

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Beijing plans subsidised prices for solar projects

 

+ Mainland is largest producer of PV components, with 98%, but mainly for export

+ Subsidy to be paid by fund, collected from all electricity users

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