Category: Talking Point

Performance and efficiency measurements of outdoor PV systems

Founded in 2008, EKO Instruments Europe B.V. is a European centre of competence, offering products and services to the photovoltaic industry. The heart of its work is related to the provision of highly accurate and reliable solar radiation measurement equipment for outdoor use, as company Director, Dr Los, explains… Solar radiation is not only the… Read more »

Bright ideas for better solar glass

“Glaston is known for providing customers with superior machines, tools and solutions to help them take the lead in their chosen business area. As the solar panel business continues to surge, we have designed the most innovative pre-processing and heat treatment solutions for solar applications to help customers increase capacity, improve output and cut costs,”… Read more »

Identifying efficiency losses in crystalline silicon solar cells made easy

Many solar cell developers may fancy a machine where you can put a solar cell in, push a button, and receive a full diagnostic report of the solar cell – instead of spending considerable time on the measurement equipment park and understanding the methods. This article describes how a complete analysis of a solar cell… Read more »

Tech focus: A novel circuit topology for the largest central inverter system

A maximum uptime is especially important for large commercial and utility-scale solar plants. Herein the inverter system plays a key role, being responsible for the maximum energy harvest. In order to meet the requirements of large solar parks even better, Dr. Marco Trova from Power-One and his team developed a new circuit topology and cooling… Read more »

Aerial surveys: offshore wind farms and the natural environment

A well-respected figure in the industry, Stuart Clough joins us to discuss offshore wind farms and APEM’s Remote Sensing team, which uses the most powerful medium format camera in the world. The importance of environmental surveys to offshore wind farm developmentLocation is important to the energy sector, but none more so than wind farms, where… Read more »

Six best practices for effective wind farm operation

Using industrial Ethernet switches to assure maximum uptime A high-speed, industrial-grade network infrastructure offers wind farm operators many benefits, including improved operational management, visibility and access to key data. Real-time data access enables operators to monitor wind turbine uptime, performance and power output – even from remote locations. This data, which is used to track… Read more »

A turbine built for offshore

Earlier this year, Alstom – a global leader in the world of power generation and transmission – announced that it was to build four new factories in France. In today’s uncertain economic environment, it could be perhaps considered a brave move, but with production of the Haliade 150 at the beating heart of the expansion,… Read more »

Testing times for EU wind energy

PES speaks to Morgan Troedsson, Product Manager from FORCE Technology, a leading global technological consultancy and service provider in Scandinavia, employing specialised engineering know-how for practical and efficient solutions to the wind energy business. Wind turbine blades are highly sophisticated products, composed of a variety of materials and composites. During operational life the blades are… Read more »

Danish Export Association paves the way for increased internationalisation

Rikke Berg, Business Sector Manager for Danish Wind Energy Group of the Danish Export Association provides PES with an in-depth analysis of the organisation and its many benefits. HistoryThe Danish Export Association was founded in 1965 by a number of forward-thinking business leaders in Jutland with Grundfos as one of the main players. The association… Read more »

Thermal processes open the way to competitive CIGS manufacture

2012 promises to be a good year for CIGS. Among others, Japan’s Showa Shell Sekiiu KK and France’s EDF have announced major new CIGS production projects. However, questions remain whether high volume CIGS production can really become competitive. This is where Smit Ovens’ thermal processes can make the difference… Amorphous silicon and CdTe may have… Read more »

In-line measuring of spectral reflectance and transmittance under vacuum conditions with lab-like tolerances

Chris Hellwig, Product Manager for Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH, explains how imaging your in-line metrology equipment gives you the results you would expect from laboratory instruments, without the need for time-consuming alignment… Since the mid-90s, Carl Zeiss has constantly aspired to lab-like accuracy in in-line applications. We achieved the same tolerances expected from a laboratory… Read more »

Ultrafast ALD compared to other technologies

SoLayTec, Manager Marketing and Sales, Roger GörtzenIn the 1980s, when solar cell production was not as substantial as it is today, titanium dioxide (TiOx) was the anti-reflection coating (ARC), a layer that could easily be deposited by atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition (APCVD). This type of deposition was simple and cheap, but it did not… Read more »

A passion for perfection

Stéphane Carpentier, Market Management Coating for Pfeiffer Vacuum joins PES for an interview that highlights the company’s dedication to the very highest levels of service and quality. For more than 120 years, Pfeiffer has been setting standards in vacuum technology with these attributes, and it looks set to continue on this admirable course for a… Read more »

Certification of Grid Compatibility

Before photovoltaic (PV) systems can be connected to the power grid they must pass a comprehensive certification process. Time and again important documents are missing, causing delays in the certification process. What aspects are important for the owners of PV systems and units to ensure grid connection compatibility? PV systems adding up to a total… Read more »

Driving offshore

Given the challenges of building a wind farm offshore, and the ongoing difficulties posed by maintaining turbines in the tough marine environments, PES looks at how medium voltage equipment is being adapted and developed to meet increasingly high requirements. Growth of installed wind power capacity by year (figure1) The expected expansion of wind power, along… Read more »

Be a smooth operator

Using an inferior lubricant can achieve short-term savings but can cause risky long-term effects. Castrol Industrial’s global product manager, Daryl Luke, discusses how the right lubrication can not only improve productivity but potentially reduce your overall total operating costs. While budgets are tight, there is a temptation to use cheaper lubricants without the necessary additives… Read more »

Quality assessment of wind turbine blades

Morgan Troedsson, Product Manager, FORCE Technology FORCE Technology is among the leading technological consulting and service providers in Scandinavia as well as internationally. Our target is to sell highly specialized engineering know-how for practical and efficient solutions to the wind energy business area… The solutions enhance customer competitiveness and are based on the customer and… Read more »

Are tooling assets really worth managing?

The simple answer is yes, argues John Tremblay, Wind Energy Segment Manager for Snap-on Industrial… Conventional wisdom within the wind energy sector says that millions of dollars in tool assets are lost each year. In addition, the hidden or less obvious results of poor tool management may actually have a greater impact on the bottom… Read more »

Community wind power: a vision of the future?

John Mitola, President of community-based development leader Juhl Wind Inc. speaks to PES about the future for both the community-based sector the wider industry. He shares his views on the problems facing wind power, and how community-scale projects can avoid some of the issues hampering future development. One common trait all of us in the… Read more »

Addressing every aspect of offshore

Words: Jan-Hein Reeringh, Damen Shipyards Group As Europe strives to reach its ambitious 2020 renewable energy targets and with the trend for offshore wind farms to move into deeper and more challenging waters further from the shore – using bigger turbines and foundations – Damen Shipyards is making sure it is developing innovative solutions to… Read more »

The Case For A Safety Critical Culture

Alexander Hill, Energy Business Development Manager at Critical Software Technologies, discusses the importance of a standards-led, safety critical culture within the wind industry. Safety critical systems are entrusted to perform crucial tasks, ones that cannot be allowed to fail. They are systems that are essential to our modern life yet rarely contemplated by the people… Read more »

Wind farms pose maintenance challenge for operators

With many wind farms now well established, operators must consider the provision of maintenance and examine the latest component technology available to protect their investment and ensure continued reliability, warns industry expert Phil Burge… Clean power With the attraction of clean, free renewable energy, wind power is one of the fastest growing energy sources and… Read more »

Upscaling with UpWind

20 Megawatt wind turbines are feasible, according to a new report from the EU-funded UpWind project. The group explored the design limits of upscaling wind turbines to 20 Megawatt (MW) and found that they would have rotor diameters of around 200 metres, compared to some 120 metres on today’s five MW turbines. PES presents an… Read more »

Introducing an innovative concept for offshore metmast installations

Innovation has always been the beating heart of the wind power industry, and the sector is all the better for it. In keeping with this constant quest for improvement, Marika van Pol presents Mercon and ALE’s new concept for offshore metmast installations – called EMI for Eco Metmast Installation. Construction company and installation specialist join… Read more »

The search for better sensors

The common goal to increase energy efficiency is driving the development of ever more reliable pressure sensors for use in wind turbines, says Mike Powers. Maximising energy efficiency protects profit margins and strengthens businesses; it also satisfies our human need to know that we are all working towards sustainability. Pressure sensors have played a major… Read more »

the evolution & development of medium voltage switchgear designed for special wind farm applications

A worldwide increase in energy demands and supportive renewable energy policies have been key factors in the growth of renewables over the last decade. Between 1998 and 2007, wind power’s installed capacity has grown by 30.4 per cent each year, and international organisations are expecting similar figures until the year 2030. The expected expansion of… Read more »

Introducing the ever-expanding PV parks

PES takes a look at how the continent’s biggest and brightest PV power plants stack up against the largest in the world, and offers a glimpse of the mega-plants of the future. At the beginning of the year, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced the creation of a photovoltaic park in Kozani, a city in… Read more »

Meeting market needs in all fields

PES is proud to welcome Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH back to its pages. We catch up with Product Manager Chris Hellwig who discusses how the company are supporting high quality in manufacturing – from the lab to the production line. When measuring surface properties like spectral reflectance and transmission at fast moving and dynamic mass… Read more »

A view into the black box

Where do defects show up in solar modules? Which cells contribute to producing energy? Are there parts of the cell that function in a restricted way, or not at all? Manufacturers and developers have faced such questions since the birth of this innovative technology. For the first time, they have the technical means to answer… Read more »

Photovoltaic fraud: a creeping menace

While it’s no secret that Feed-in Tariffs across the continent are being slashed, it may come as a surprise to some to learn that one of the primary reasons for these reductions is the rise in fraudulent claims. PES considers the situation in Europe’s key PV battlegrounds… At the beginning of the year, it emerged… Read more »

Taking rail transport to the next level

An iconic American company that enjoys a near legendary reputation across the country and beyond, BNSF Railway delivers a effective transportation solution for the emerging wind energy industry. The company has the personnel, network, equipment and technology to make your wind shipment cost-effective and convenient, and provides a customized shipping solution for all your wind… Read more »

Ceramics give the industry a bright future

The emerging solar technology industry faces increased pressure to drive down production costs, increase efficiencies and thus increase competitiveness in the marketplace. Jaime Schmitt, Phil McGraw and Kevin McAloon look at the growing use of ceramics in solar cell production, which is bringing grid parity for solar power closer than ever before. World energy consumption… Read more »

Module quality: a critical consideration

When installing off-grid solar PV systems that often last for a quarter of a century, quality and reliability are perhaps the two most two vital factors. But with a vast (and growing) portfolio on offer to the consumer, it can be difficult to make the right decision. PES asked Richard Lowe of Dulas to takea look at the technologies… Read more »

Get ready for the European gold-rush

The European Commission recently launched its first call for proposals for the world’s largest programme of investment in low carbon and renewable energy demonstration projects. But what does all this mean for the future of wind? The so-called NER300 initiative will provide around €4.5bn in financial support for at least eight projects involving carbon capture… Read more »

Overcoming the offshore obstacles

When it comes to wind turbines and winning the public relations charm offensive, offshore is definitely the way to go. The very nature of siting wind turbines out at sea ensures there are fewer objections from protesters, environmental pressure on the brownfield sites of Europe is considerably eased and, most importantly, higher and more constant… Read more »