Given the government’s attention, solar power is expected to increase substantially in future. The Twelfth Five Year Plan targets to add 3800 MW of solar power. Accordingly, the fund requirement for solar projects in the plan is expected to be Rs 49,400 crore. The Thirteenth Plan targets an addition of 16,000 MW of solar power. […]
Greenvolts – CPV Company While bankruptcies of leading crystalline silicon and thin film companies like Solyndra, Q-Cells has received a lot of attention, the shutdown of CPV companies have received less press. Like other solar technologies, Concentrated PV has been getting murdered by the relentless cost cuts being made by leading silicon PV solar technology. […]
Crystalline Silicon PV Solar Technology is beating other rivals in the solar race hands down, with other technologies like thin film solar, solar thermal and concentrated PV facing survival questions. Tons of companies with their business models based on alternative solar technologies have already shut down with even the biggest thin film solar company, First […]
Solar Panels have grown exponentially in the last few years driven by declining costs and growing energy prices.The advent of the low cost manufacturers of silicon solar panels from China,falling raw material polysilicon costs,subsidies from governements fighting climate change have all contributed to the more than 150% increase in world solar demand in 2010.Solar Panels are not only being used on roofs and giant rooftop ground plants,but also are being integrated in buildings known as BIPV applications.Solar Panels are also available in flexible forms which can be used in backpacks and other innovative ways.Now there is another niche for solar panels that is growing.Note most of these companies are using the Concentrated Photovoltaic Technology (CPV).The traditional CPV suffers from heating problems as high concentration of sun power leads to high temperature.Building the CPV systems on water will help them solve their problems according to these companies.
A lot of confusion exists about solar cells efficiency about which technology results in how much efficiency and the difference between solar cells and the solar panels efficiency.Note the biggest differentiator of a solar cell besides its cost is its efficiency.Not only do different materials give different efficiencies,even different companies have conversion efficiencies which differ for the same technology.Silicon Solar Cell Efficiency also depends on the purity of the solar wafer which is used as raw material to print solar cells besides whether it is monocrystalline or multicrystalline solar cells.With most of the low lying fruit already gathered in respect to lowering cost of the silicon solar cells,most of the big Chinese solar companies are concentrating their efforts in improving the efficiency in order to cut down costs in the cutthroat solar industry where the stars of yesterday are fighting to stay alive (Energy Conversion Devices,Evergreen Solar).This rising tide of the solar industry in 2010 has not been able to revive the fortune of some companies though European companies have made enough to fight another day.Solar Cells Efficiencies also differ in the champion cells tested in labs like NREL and on commercial lines.But here is a general range of efficiency of different types of solar cells made from different technologies
Solar Cell Efficiency Improvement is the best way to reduce the costs of solar power and reach grid parity in most places in the world.Solar Cell Efficiencies have improved continuously and with a number of companies and startups investing billions of dollars in research,it will keep improving.However cost considerations are an important factor as well and the technology which balances the two will win the solar energy race
CPV companies have recently started winning some utility scale power plant projects in recent times with Amonix wining a deal to supply 30 MW for a project being built for Xcel Energy.Now speciality wafer French company Soitec subsidiary Concentrix has won a massive 150 MW solar plant order from Tenaska Solar Ventures to produce 150 MW which will be supplied to Californian utility San Diego Gas & Electric under a PPA signed earlier.Note California has a RPS to generate 33% of its electricity from Renewable Energy Sources.Soitec will also build a new factory in the San Diego region to manufacture its proprietary CPV modules with 200 MW capacity.Note this will be the largest CPV plant in the world when built by 2015 much bigger than any CPV plant on the drawing board right now.This also pushes Soitec ahead of the other US CPV companies like Amonix,Solfocus