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Well, I started here –

because it was still open from yesterday and I had intended to get the link and follow to find more information – and to see if anyone is going into the manufacturing of this –

Glitter-Sized Solar Panels Use 100 Times Less Silicon to Generate Electricity

by Jennifer Lance in Alternative Energy, Solar Energy/PV

As a preschool teacher, glitter is part of my world. These tiny, shiny flecks are loved by little children, yet are detested for the problem their tiny size makes clean-up. Solar energy used to have the opposite problem: the large size of photovoltaic panels needed to produce energy was considered prohibitive for many applications.  Such concerns are no longer, as scientists have successfully developed “tiny glitter-sized photovoltaic cells that could revolutionize the way solar energy is collected and used.”

Photo by Mykl RoventineImagine glitter-sized solar panels!Imagine glitter-sized solar panels!

Developed at Sandia National Laboratories in Washington, DC, researchers believe the glitter solar panels could be applied to our clothing and accessories.

The tiny cells could turn a person into a walking solar battery charger if they were fastened to flexible substrates molded around unusual shapes, such as clothing…

Sandia lead investigator Greg Nielson said the research team has identified more than 20 benefits of scale for its microphotovoltaic cells. These include new applications, improved performance, potential for reduced costs and higher efficiencies.

“Eventually units could be mass-produced and wrapped around unusual shapes for building-integrated solar, tents and maybe even clothing,” he said. This would make it possible for hunters, hikers or military personnel in the field to recharge batteries for phones, cameras and other electronic devices as they walk or rest.

Although I am not sure I want solar panels in my clothing, no matter what the size, it is exciting to think of the versatile applications of this tiny sized PV cell.

Another exciting development regarding these glitter-sized solar cells is that they use “100 times less silicon” to generate the same amount of electricity as conventional cells.  Silicon shortages have long been a concern of the solar industry, but relief is in site.  The Christian Science Monitor explains:

Quartz, the raw material for solar panels, is one of the most abundant minerals on earth. But for years, the solar industry has faced a bottleneck in processing quartz into polysilicon, a principal material used in most solar panels. The problem stalled a steady decline in prices for solar panels.

Now the silicon shortage may be coming to an end, predict some solar analysts, thanks to new factories coming online.

If true, the price for solar panel modules could start falling by as much as a third by 2010, says Travis Bradford, president of the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development in Cambridge, Mass. That’s good news for an industry that remains one of the most expensive power sources.

Although this shortage has eased up in recent years, using less silicon to generate the same amount of energy is a positive move from a conservation viewpoint.  All that glitters may not be gold, but it may produce energy from the sun!

http://greenlivingideas.com/topics/alternative-energy/glittersized-solar-panels-100-times-silicon-generates-electricity

***

My Note –

To be honest, I first had looked at the NOAA site where they list the current news which is found on the top right side of the opening page. And, I checked the placement of the oil spill projected – which might be yesterday’s idea of it – and the number of sea turtles and dolphins listed on this page –

http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/dwh.php?entry_id=809

Then I went to the –

Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center

and clicked on the top bar link “Current Ops” and clicked on the Fish and Wildlife Report – picked yesterday’s pdf report from the list and looked at the number of birds, sea turtles, dolphins (and it doesn’t really list the others.)

Then, I went to the page about the glitter sized solar cells and clicked the link in the text – which goes here –

http://www.electroiq.com/index/display/photovoltaics-article-display/9981129920/articles/Photovoltaics-World/industry-news/2010/january/glitter-sized-solar.html

This article is from

Glitter-sized solar photovoltaics produce competitive results

by Neal Singer, Sandia National Labs
[From RenewableEnergyWorld.com]

Sandia National Laboratories scientists have developed tiny glitter-sized photovoltaic cells that could revolutionize the way solar energy is collected and used.

The tiny cells could turn a person into a walking solar battery charger if they were fastened to flexible substrates molded around unusual shapes, such as clothing.

The solar particles, fabricated of crystalline silicon, hold the potential for a variety of new applications. They are expected eventually to be less expensive and have greater efficiencies than current photovoltaic collectors that are pieced together with 6-inch- square solar wafers.

The cells are fabricated using microelectronic and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) techniques common to today’s electronic foundries.

Sandia lead investigator Greg Nielson said the research team has identified more than 20 benefits of scale for its microphotovoltaic cells. These include new applications, improved performance, potential for reduced costs and higher efficiencies.

“Eventually units could be mass-produced and wrapped around unusual shapes for building-integrated solar, tents and maybe even clothing,” he said. This would make it possible for hunters, hikers or military personnel in the field to recharge batteries for phones, cameras and other electronic devices as they walk or rest.

Even better, such microengineered panels could have circuits imprinted that would help perform other functions customarily left to large-scale construction with its attendant need for field construction design and permits.

Said Sandia field engineer Vipin Gupta, “Photovoltaic modules made from these microsized cells for the rooftops of homes and warehouses could have intelligent controls, inverters and even storage built in at the chip level. Such an integrated module could greatly simplify the cumbersome design, bid, permit and grid integration process that our solar technical assistance teams see in the field all the time.”

For large-scale power generation, said Sandia researcher Murat Okandan, “One of the biggest scale benefits is a significant reduction in manufacturing and installation costs compared with current PV techniques.”

Part of the potential cost reduction comes about because microcells require relatively little material to form well-controlled and highly efficient devices.

From 14-20µm thick (a human hair is approximately 70µm thick), they are 10× thinner than conventional 6-inch-by-6-inch brick-sized cells, yet perform at about the same efficiency.


Representative thin crystalline-silicon photovoltaic cells, 14-20µm thick and 0.25-1mm across. (Source: Sandia Labs, image by Murat Okanadan)

100 times less silicon generates same amount of electricity“So, they use 100× less silicon to generate the same amount of electricity,” said Okandan. “Since they are much smaller and have fewer mechanical deformations for a given environment than the conventional cells, they may also be more reliable over the long term.”

Another manufacturing convenience is that the cells, because they are only hundreds of micrometers in diameter, can be fabricated from commercial wafers of any size, including today’s 300mm (12-inch) diameter wafers and future 450mm (18-inch) wafers. Further, if one cell proves defective in manufacture, the rest still can be harvested, while if a brick-sized unit goes bad, the entire wafer may be unusable. Also, brick-sized units fabricated larger than the conventional 6-inch-by-6-inch cross section to take advantage of larger wafer size would require thicker power lines to harvest the increased power, creating more cost and possibly shading the wafer. That problem does not exist with the small-cell approach and its individualized wiring.

Other unique features are available because the cells are so small. “The shade tolerance of our units to overhead obstructions is better than conventional PV panels,” said Nielson, “because portions of our units not in shade will keep sending out electricity where a partially shaded conventional panel may turn off entirely.”

Because flexible substrates can be easily fabricated, high-efficiency PV for ubiquitous solar power becomes more feasible, said Okandan.

A commercial move to microscale PV cells would be a dramatic change from conventional silicon PV modules composed of arrays of 6-inch-by-6-inch wafers. However, by bringing in techniques normally used in MEMS, electronics and the light-emitting diode (LED) industries (for additional work involving gallium arsenide instead of silicon), the change to small cells should be relatively straightforward, Gupta said.

Each cell is formed on silicon wafers, etched and then released inexpensively in hexagonal shapes, with electrical contacts prefabricated on each piece, by borrowing techniques from integrated circuits and MEMS.

Offering a run for their money to conventional large wafers of crystalline silicon, electricity presently can be harvested from the Sandia-created cells with 14.9%efficiency. Off-the-shelf commercial modules range from 13% to 20% efficient.

A widely used commercial tool called a pick-and-place machine — the current standard for the mass assembly of electronics — can place up to 130,000 pieces of glitter per hour at electrical contact points preestablished on the substrate; the placement takes place at cooler temperatures. The cost is approximately one-tenth of a cent per piece with the number of cells per module determined by the level of optical concentration and the size of the die, likely to be in the 10,000 to 50,000 cell per square meter range. An alternate technology, still at the lab-bench stage, involves self-assembly of the parts at even lower costs.

Solar concentrators — low-cost, prefabricated, optically efficient microlens arrays — can be placed directly over each glitter-sized cell to increase the number of photons arriving to be converted via the photovoltaic effect into electrons. The small cell size means that cheaper and more efficient short focal length microlens arrays can be fabricated for this purpose.

High-voltage output is possible directly from the modules because of the large number of cells in the array. This should reduce costs associated with wiring, due to reduced resistive losses at higher voltages.

Other possible applications for the technology include satellites and remote sensing.

The project combines expertise from Sandia’s Microsystems Center; Photovoltaics and Grid Integration Group; the Materials, Devices, and Energy Technologies Group; and the National Renewable Energy Lab’s Concentrating Photovoltaics Group.

Involved in the process, in addition to Nielson, Okandan and Gupta, are Jose Luis Cruz-Campa, Paul Resnick, Tammy Pluym, Peggy Clews, Carlos Sanchez, Bill Sweatt, Tony Lentine, Anton Filatov, Mike Sinclair, Mark Overberg, Jeff Nelson, Jennifer Granata, Craig Carmignani, Rick Kemp, Connie Stewart, Jonathan Wierer, George Wang, Jerry Simmons, Jason Strauch, Judith Lavin and Mark Wanlass (NREL).

The work is supported by DOE’s Solar Energy Technology Program and Sandia’s Laboratory Directed Research & Development program, and has been presented at four technical conferences this year.

The ability of light to produce electrons, and thus electricity, has been known for more than a hundred years.

The article was written by Neal Singer, a science writer at Sandia National Laboratories.  His freelance articles have appeared in Science, Smithsonian, Scientific American, the World and I, and other magazines.

***

And then, I went here through a link at the bottom of that page among the newsy stuff from the solar voltaics world –


which took me to this page –

http://www.electroiq.com/index/display/article-display/9347379372/articles/Photovoltaics-World/thin-film_solar_cells/amorphous-silicon/2010/may/analyst_-why_amat.html

This article is from

Analyst: Why AMAT’s thin-film Si fears are exaggerated

May 11, 2010 – Recent bad news surrounding Applied Materials’ SunFab turnkey solar technology and some of its customers have put industry watchers in a bearish mind about thin-film silicon solar technology in general — but that’s a bad rap, says one analyst.

The news hasn’t been good lately about AMAT’s SunFab line: new orders have plummeted, existing deals have been scaled back, clients are pulling back in the face of module oversupplies. Rumors have been circulating that the company may be heading for the exits in the TF Si business — including comments from none other than CEO Mike Splinter suggesting it’s time the unit swims (or sinks) on its own merits.

As with many other thin-film solar technologies, times were good when silicon was scarce and prices were high. But with contract prices plunging past $75/kg on their way to possibly $45/kg, AMAT’s x-Si module prices of $1.95/W can’t keep up with the ~$1.50/W (COGS $1.05) or lower for silicon.

Nevertheless, “the current desire to bury the technology is as much of an overreaction as was the initial hype,” claims Lux Research analyst Ted Sullivan, in a research note. ” There is significant room for TF-Si in the long-term technology mix — maybe just not AMAT’s variant.” The firm pegs it as a 2.4GW market by 2015, built “on the backs” of not just AMAT but firms including Sharp and Kaneka, which are still investing heavily. Sharp has a 1GW facility in Sakai with on-site silane and glass manufacturing, and started 180MW initial production (with JV equipment partner Tokyo Electron, which ironically is No.2 in semiconductor tools behind AMAT). Meanwhile, Oerlikon has pushed to >10% module efficiency with its TF-Si technology, vs. AMAT’s 9.5%.

Nor are the problems with AMAT SunFab adopters a big surprise. “Since we estimate SunFab’s TF-Si panel manufacturing costs at $1.40/W, including depreciation, $45/kg polysilicon would wipe out smaller-scale AMAT clients,” Lux notes. In this category would be recently-insolvent German PV module maker Sunfilm, and there have been rumors of others in similar straits; “we have heard of similar troubles with other AMAT clients and expect announcements of bankruptcy or production shutdowns soon [and] a few have quietly happened already,” Sullivan notes.

Nonetheless, AMAT’s x-Si time may not be up just yet, he suggests. The company may have “overreached with SunFab,” but can tap its “strong technical pedigree” to correct flaws in its approach, since equipment upgrades will be a continual need for TF-Si. Moreover, AMAT is familiar with a spike/trough market ride from its semiconductor industry pedigree, and is “not likely to get spooked by the current thin-film silicon panic.” And even if its x-Si plans ultimately gets scaled back, Sullivan hints the company is probably tinkering with CIGS, organic PV, and other non-silicon technologies in the background.

AMAT “has lost a battle, but certainly not the war,” he proclaims.

***

My Note –

And, I was thinking this explains what happens to our brilliant technology and technologies generally when they get into the hands of business. And, then they are shelved. So, I thought – what is making it happen this time and who is all behind it – hmmmmm………

So, I picked this one and went to the page linked to it –

(from the text of the page above)

recently-insolvent German PV module maker Sunfilm,which went to this page –

This article is from

// //

Germany’s Sunfilm goes insolvent

April 5, 2010 – German PV module maker Sunfilm has filed for insolvency citing current conditions and uncertainty regarding the government’s feed-in tariff, but it hopes the move will position it to find help from a new investor.

Current investors “have stopped their financial support,” and the company is “in discussions” with lenders, the company says. Three hundred employees have been working reduced hours since the end of 2009 — that’s three-quarters of the company’s 400-strong workforce it boasted when it finalized its merger with Sontor in July 2009, which also widened its capacity to 146MWp (between two sites, Bitterfeld-Wolfen and Grossroehrsdorf).

“By filing for insolvency we are aiming for a strategic realignment of the company with a new investor,” said Sunfilm chairman Wolfgang Heinze. Attorney Rainer M. Bähr has been appointed as temporary insolvency administrator.

SunFab certified its thin-film tandem-junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) line Grossroehrsdorf, Germany in April 2009 and ramped to volume production in June 2009, citing efficiencies of up to 8%.

But the company was at the center of a spat between AMAT and PV tool rival Oerlikon — in May of last year the EU Patent Office invalidated a patent from the U. of Neuchatel related to amorphous silicon PV technology licensed to Oerlikon, and the crux of a suit against Sunfilm (and other module makers).

http://www.electroiq.com/index/display/semiconductors-article-display/5836690507/articles/Photovoltaics-World/thin-film_solar_cells/amorphous-silicon/2010/april/germany_s-sunfilm.html

***

My Note –

It would seem obvious that there was more to this than a simple price / cost ratio in the decision-making process, so I clicked on this one from that article – to understand what is destroying our opportunities to thin-film solar –

the crux of a suit against Sunfilm

which took me here –

Press releases

Oerlikon Solar takes legal action against Sunfilm AG

11 Jun 2008

Patent infringement investigated Oerlikon Solar takes legal action against Sunfilm AG

Patent infringement investigated
Oerlikon Solar takes legal action against Sunfilm AG
Truebbach/Switzerland, 11 June 2008. – Oerlikon Solar, the leading supplier of proven thin-film silicon PV solutions is taking steps to defend its strong Intellectual Property portfolio. In addition to its own proprietary IP, Oerlikon is the worldwide exclusive licensee for production systems for thin film photovoltaic cells on glass for several patent families, in particular under EP 0 871 979 B1. This exclusivity includes the right to enforce the patents against third party infringements. “With this action, Oerlikon Solar is taking steps to protect our core assets and those of our customer’s.

Oerlikon’s intellectual property is being knowingly infringed upon by Sunfilm AG”, says Jeannine Sargent, CEO Oerlikon Solar. “Our IP represents the cumulative work product of thousands of scientists and engineers for over twenty years, including millions of dollars of investment.”
Oerlikon Solar’s IP Portfolio includes European Patent EP 0 871 979 B1, which describes fundamentals of micromorph® tandem cell technology, an exclusive license to which was obtained by Oerlikon in 2003, from IMT, University of Neuchatel (Switzerland). (now invalidated by EU patent ofc, my note?)
Sunfilm AG of Grossroehrsdorf in Germany has publicly announced plans to enter the market with tandem junction photovoltaic modules, in violation of Oerlikon’s exclusive license. In Oerlikon’s view, Sunfilm’s manufacturing setup in Saxony, Germany, is designed to infringe upon both method and product that are protected under EP 0 871 979 B1. Oerlikon has decided to exert its right to enforce EP 0 871 979 B1 against Sunfilm. A complaint for patent infringement has been filed on June 10 with the German District Court of Duesseldorf.
The relevance of this patent has been made clear by the fact that several
companies, including Sunfilm AG, have filed a notice of opposition with the
European Patent office.
Sargent: “Oerlikon wants to assure our stakeholders that we will enforce and
protect our intellectual property and will aggressively pursue all parties who are suspected of violating these rights.”

http://www.oerlikon.com/ecomaXL/index.php?site=OERLIKON_EN_press_releases_detail&udtx_id=6027

***

And, then my first thought was – who is behind this action and who is making these kinds of decisions? I clicked up to the investors’ relations tab to find the board of directors and executive staff members –

Choosing this one from the drop down menu under investors’ relations –

Corporate Governance

brought me to this page –

http://www.oerlikon.com/ecomaXL/index.php?site=OERLIKON_EN_investor_relations_new_governance

And I chose this one from the left-hand sidebar –

Board of Directors

http://www.oerlikon.com/ecomaXL/index.php?site=OERLIKON_EN_investor_relations_new_board

So, I picked the first one – figuring he’s actually the one running the place –

Current members of the Board of Directors:

Vladimir Kuznetsov
Vladimir Kuznetsov
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Chairman of the Human Resources Committee
Profile

***

then clicking on his profile yields this – amazing where his background has been –

http://www.oerlikon.com/ecomaXL/index.php?site=OERLIKON_EN_investor_relations_new_board_detail&udtx_id=4015

Board of Directors

Vladimir Kuznetsov

Vladimir Kuznetsov

Chairman of the Board of Directors
Chairman of the Human Resources Committee

Vladimir Kuznetsov (1961; Russian citizen) was born in Moscow and has been living in Zurich since 2004. He has been involved with Renova group since 2001, and in 2004, he was appointed Chief Investment Officer of Renova Management AG, Zurich. In December 2007, he was appointed member of the Board of Directors of Sulzer AG, Winterthur. Still incumbent as a Renova executive, he became Chairman of the Board of Venetos Management AG in Zurich in October 2008 – a subsidiary of Renova Management AG.

Before joining the Renova group Vladimir Kuznetsov held several management positions at Goldman Sachs, Moscow, and at Salomon Brothers, Moscow and London, and in 1998, was appointed Managing Director of Financial Advisory Services, Moscow.

Vladimir Kuznetsov graduated in economics from the State University of Moscow in 1984, and holds a Master degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, New York.

***

And I noticed this that seems very interesting –

Oerlikon Solar
The total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and landmasses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year. We receive more energy in approx. one hour than the world uses in a year. Photosynthesis captures approximately 3,000 EJ per year in biomass.

(and)

Did you know
Oerlikon Systems
Nearly 50% of all the hard disks in the world originate from an Oerlikon system.
more

***

How about that?
– cricketdiane

***

My Note –

Also, as in the first article about the business part of the thin film solar –

Analyst: Why AMAT’s thin-film Si fears are exaggerated

As with many other thin-film solar technologies, times were good when silicon was scarce and prices were high. But with contract prices plunging past $75/kg on their way to possibly $45/kg, AMAT’s x-Si module prices of $1.95/W can’t keep up with the ~$1.50/W (COGS $1.05) or lower for silicon.

“Since we estimate SunFab’s TF-Si panel manufacturing costs at $1.40/W, including depreciation, $45/kg polysilicon would wipe out smaller-scale AMAT clients,” Lux notes.

The firm pegs it as a 2.4GW market by 2015,

(etc.)

I was going to note – that these companies choose their concept of the market in which they believe they are competing. The fact is, a hard panel solar energy system is not the competition for flexible film solar energy technology although they have chosen that for comparison. (and investment community players may be cohesively insisting on that comparison despite reality.)

The reality is that multiple solar technologies and other alternative energy technologies and innovations do not necessarily compete with one another for some small market slice. The applications are too endless and overwhelmingly large to look at it that way.

But most of all, it is making an excuse for institutional investors to pull out their money rather than supporting these innovations and solar technologies past the development phase in the marketplace and often, apparently at the critical time when the introductory foundations have been made but before profitability can be flexibly created by harnessing multiple markets for these products and their introductions into building systems and products.

Hmmmmm……

Now I can see part of it. What is the other part?

– cricketdiane

***

Renova Group is a large Russian conglomerate with interests in aluminium, oil, energy, telecoms and a variety of other sectors. The main owner and president is Viktor Vekselberg.

The Renova Group is primarily active in Russia, the C.I.S. states, Switzerland, South Africa and the United States. Its major assets include participation in the oil company TNK-BP and in aluminum producer RUSAL.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renova_Group

Board of Directors

Dr. Urs Andreas Meyer

Dr. Urs Andreas Meyer

Member of the Board of Directors
Chairman of the Strategy Committee
Member of the Audit Committee

Dr. Urs Andreas Meyer (1964; Swiss citizen) is Chief Executive Officer of Venetos Management AG in Zurich, a 100 percent subsidiary of Renova Group, and entrusted with managing its industrial investments. He earned a PhD in Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) in 1993, and completed a Harvard Advanced Management Program in Boston, USA, in 2004. Dr. Urs Andreas Meyer joined Rieter Spinning Systems in 1990, where he held several management positions until 1997. He served as Managing Director of Otto Suhner AG, Brugg (Switzerland) from 1997 to 2001. Before joining Renova he was CEO of Satisloh, Baar (Switzerland), a division of Schweiter Technologies, Switzerland. Since 2007, Dr. Urs Andreas Meyer has been a member of the Board of Directors of Sulzer, Winterthur (Switzerland).

http://www.oerlikon.com/ecomaXL/index.php?site=OERLIKON_EN_investor_relations_new_board_detail&udtx_id=1441

***

Board of Directors

Carl Stadelhofer

Carl Stadelhofer

Member of the Board of Directors
Member of the Human Resources Committee
Member of the Strategy Committee

Carl Stadelhofer (1953; Swiss citizen) is a Senior Partner at Klein Attorneys in Zurich, Switzerland. He graduated in law from the University of Berne in 1979, and specializes in banking and finance law as well as the resource and commodity business, including M&A. In 1982, he was admitted to the Bar of the Canton of Zurich. Carl Stadelhofer is Chairman of Renova Industries and Renova Holding, and Vice President of Renova Management. He is also the Chairman of NZB Neue Zürcher Bank and NZB Holding. Carl Stadelhofer is Chairman of several other organizations including JTE Finanz, LogObject and Calle Services Management. Besides these chairing mandates, he is a member of a number of boards such as Conrad Electronic, Stadelhofer Enterprises, Terraco Holding, Valamur Enterprise Ltd., Widex Hörgeräte and Wincap. He is also actuary of the International Brachet Foundation, Vice-President of the Foundation Jean-Pascal Imsand and Chief Legal Counsel of Renova group.

http://www.oerlikon.com/ecomaXL/index.php?site=OERLIKON_EN_investor_relations_new_board_detail&udtx_id=1442

***

My Note –

I just had to look up this one because several times its listing was included in the executive and board members bios of the company above –

– cricketdiane

***

Adtranz (alternately ADtranz, complete name ABB Daimler Benz Transportation) was a German-Swedish rail rolling stock equipment manufacturer which designed rail cars and engines. It was created in 1996 in the merger of ABB Henschel and AEG Transportation. Initially it was owned with equal shares by Daimler-Benz and ABB. In 1999 DaimlerChrysler bought ABB’s shares and renamed Adtranz to “DaimlerChrysler Rail Systems”.

Bombardier Transportation acquired the company in 2001, making Bombardier the largest rail equipment manufacturer in the world. At the time of its purchase, ADtranz was the world’s second largest manufacturer of such equipment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adtranz

***

Hmmmmm………

looks like monopoly – seems most of our subway cars come from them, too.

very interesting.

Now, I’m going back to the business parts of solar technology and maybe battery technology too.

Which reminds me, that I was watching the Crumbling of America show on the History International channel last night from 2009 – I’ve seen it before, but I took some more notes including this one –

Americans driving covers 3 Trillion miles per year.

There were some great things in it about the 85,000 dams in the US and info about the upwater dam from Nashville which was known to be in trouble, etc.

But, quickly about the information above this – it looks like the players in the solar cell and solar thin film corporate decision world and their influx of investors are more interested in destructive plays rather than incorporating these alternative energy tools into the larger markets quickly.

Hmmmm…….

I need a bread sandwich.

– cricketdiane

Let me see what else I can find.

***

German researchers ring 20% CIGS bell (May 4, 2010)
Researchers from Germany’s Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) are claiming a new record for thin-film solar cell efficiency, and say the mark is achievable beyond the demonstrated material (CIGS) to thin-film technology in general.

Low-cost “continuous flow” method for CIS (Apr 28, 2010)

Researchers in the US and Korea have demonstrated feasibility to use continuous flow microreactors to produce thin-film absorbers for solar cells, a process they say is a promising low-cost alternative for thin-film PV manufacturing.

More Thin Film Solar Cells Articles

http://www.electroiq.com/index/photovoltaics/Thin_Film_Solar_Cells/cis_cigs.html

***

And then I chose this one  – (from the list above the entries)

Dye-Sensitized Cells

which wandered about to here

Timminco cuts off UMG output, no rescue in “foreseeable future” (Mar 22, 2010)
Business for general-use silicon metal has been brisk enough to justify a complete ramp-up of Timminco’s three furnaces to full production (since October), but the company has decided to suspend its upgraded metallurgical silicon (UMG-Si) operations on lack of demand for the solar-grade material.

(from)

http://www.electroiq.com/index/photovoltaics/Thin_Film_Solar_Cells/Thin-Film.html

Caltech builds flexible solar cells with silicon wire arrays (Mar 9, 2010)
Researchers at Caltech have devised a flexible solar cell that incorporates silicon wire arrays each acting as a high-efficiency solar cell, which also greatly reduces the amount of silicon material required.

Suntech plants first US flag in AZ (Jan 28, 2010)
Suntech Power Holdings has narrowed its planned first US manufacturing plant in Arizona to the town of Goodyear. The site will start with 30MW of initial production capacity, eventually ramping to >120MW.

LG launches 120MW line for solar cells, modules (Jan 6, 2010)
LG Electronics is readying to launch a new crystalline silicon solar cell production line in Gumi, about 200km southeast of Seoul, South Korea, with 120MW capacity and projected annual output of ~500K solar modules.

ECN and REC hit 17% efficiency with multicrystalline solar panel (Dec 17, 2009)
Energy Research Centere of the Netherlands (ECN) has made the world’s first multicrystalline silicon solar panel with 17% efficiency. The full findings will be reported in the January 2010 issue of the journal “Progress in Photovoltaics” and represents a 1.5% improvement over the previous 15–year old listing of 15.5% efficiency held by Sandia National Labs.
SunPower unveils 20.4% efficient panel (Oct 29, 2009)
SunPower says it has produced a full-size solar panel (333W, 1.6m2 including frame) with an NREL-confirmed record 20.4% total area efficiency.
Cu-plated contacts enable 18.4% conversion efficiency for large area solar cells (Sep 23, 2009)
At the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference EUPVSEC in Hamburg, Germany, IMEC presented a large-area solar with a conversion efficiency of 18.4%. Compared to the consortium’s standard i-PERC cell process, IMEC’s solar cell features a shallow emitter and advanced front metallization using copper plating. The results were obtained on large-area cells (125cm2), proving the industrial viability of the process.

Energy giants join IMEC for silicon solar cell research (Sep 23, 2009)

Two major European energy companies — Total and GDF SUEZ — and their common solar cells manufacturing subsidiary Photovoltech, joined the IMEC industrial affiliation program (IIAP). The team will  concentrate on sharply reducing silicon use, while also increasing the efficiency of solar cells, which should both substantially lower the cost for solar energy.

Fraunhofer develops 23.4% efficient n-type Si solar cell (Sep 22, 2009)
Researchers at the  Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) have developed prototype n-type silicon solar cells with conversion efficiency exceeding a record 23.4%.

Reports: Samsung starts 300MW c-Si pilot line (Sep 17, 2009)
Samsung Electronics is planting its flag in the solar PV space with a new R&D/test facility for crystalline silicon (c-Si) cells, with a goal to sit atop the global solar cell market by 2015, according to local reports.

(from)
http://www.electroiq.com/index/photovoltaics/Thin_Film_Solar_Cells/Thin-Film.html

(and more on this page)

***

My Note –

I also noticed the company “Solair” in the Crumbling of America show last night that I wanted to look up. It was in the background of a photo in the film.

– cricketdiane

***

Had to see this one first –

This article is from

Photovoltaics World

Timminco cuts off UMG output, no rescue in “foreseeable future”

March 22, 2010 – Business for general-use silicon metal has been brisk enough to justify a complete ramp-up of Timminco’s three furnaces to full production (since October), but the company has decided to suspend its upgraded metallurgical silicon (UMG) operations on lack of demand for the solar-grade material.

According to the company’s 4Q09 results, overall sales rose 33% sequentially to $25.5M, but that’s still a fraction of the $72M it posted a year ago; a 4Q09 loss of nearly $70M included $45.7M in restructuring charges, vs. $18.5M in 3Q09 and a $1.3M profit in 4Q08. Net losses for the year mounted to $134.2M ($51.6M in charges) vs. $22.6M in FY08, on 59% lower sales of $104.6M.

While proclaiming commitment to solar-grade silicon and helping customers make UMG wafers and cells “indistinguishable from those made with polysilicon,” the company has decided to suspend UMG production “pending evidence of sufficient customer demand and commitments to justify a resumption of production,” according to chairman/CEO Heinz Schimmelbusch, in a statement. “Market conditions” are being blamed for impacting both development of, and demand for, the company’s UMG products, both in the past few quarters and into “the foreseeable future” — badly enough that the company continues to be at “substantial liquidity risk and creating uncertainty as to the ability of the Company to continue as a going concern.”

In fact, Timminco’s sales for solar-grade Si were actually in the negative for 4Q09 (-$3.9M, 2mt worth), due to customer product returns of previously-shipped products. Sales in 3Q09 were $0.4M (16mt), and the company had issued shares to cover ~$25M worth of settlements from customer claims. FY09 solar UMG sales were $5.1M (182mt), down from $61.7M (1045mt) in 2008.

And Timminco’s solar UMG-Si pricing further illustrates the inevitable: ASPs were $36/kg in 4Q09, down from $39/kg in 3Q09 — and just half the $65/kg in 4Q08. For FY09, ASPs were $51/kg vs. $62/kg in the prior year.

http://www.electroiq.com/index/display/photovoltaics-article-display/7790539387/articles/Photovoltaics-World/silicon-photovoltaics/umg-silicon/2010/march/timminco-cuts_off.html

***

Who are they?

Investment Proposition

We are a leading supplier of silicon metal – a key input in thousands of industrial and consumer products – to the chemicals and aluminum industries.  As one of the largest producers of silicon metal in North America and with more than 30 years experience, we are well positioned to capitalize on anticipated growth in demand for silicon metal.

In addition, we are leveraging our silicon expertise to develop a proprietary metallurgical-based purification process for the production of solar grade silicon for the growing solar energy industry.

http://www.timminco.com/Investors.aspx?id=3

Becancour Silicon is a Canadian company in Bécancour, Quebec which produces silicon for photovoltaics. It is a subsidiary of Timminco Ltd., which is based in Toronto and is majority-owned by AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. of the Netherlands.

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Becancour_Silicon

***

Hmmmm…….

(from above)

March 22, 2010 – Business for general-use silicon metal has been brisk enough to justify a complete ramp-up of Timminco’s three furnaces to full production (since October), but the company has decided to suspend its upgraded metallurgical silicon (UMG) operations on lack of demand for the solar-grade material.

http://www.electroiq.com/index/display/photovoltaics-article-display/7790539387/articles/Photovoltaics-World/silicon-photovoltaics/umg-silicon/2010/march/timminco-cuts_off.html

***

Hmmmmm…….

Doesn’t make sense. Are they not prepared for ups and downs over some initial period of time? We wouldn’t have Campbell’s soup if they had done business this way.

– cricketdiane

***

Need another bread sandwich.

And, as with the information about the company, Sunfilm discussed earlier in this post – investors and funding being pulled from these companies involved in production of all the components and manufacturing and raw materials production for solar cells and thin film amorphous solar, and others? What the hell is that strategy going to do?

Why does it always seem to get mucked up when the business part happens?

***

Sandia’s National Security Missions

(from)

http://www.sandia.gov/

***

Sandia project lead Greg Nielson holds a solar cell test prototype with a microscale lens array fastened above it. Together, the cell and lens help creae ca concentrated photovoltaic unit. (Photo by Randy Montoya)Sandia project lead Greg Nielson holds a solar cell test prototype with a microscale lens array fastened above it. Together, the cell and lens help create a concentrated photovoltaic unit. (Photo by Randy Montoya)Click on the image to download a high-resolution image.

https://share.sandia.gov/news/resources/news_releases/glitter-sized-solar-photovoltaics-produce-competitive-results/

***

Because flexible substrates can be easily fabricated, high-efficiency PV for ubiquitous solar power becomes more feasible, said Okandan.

A commercial move to microscale PV cells would be a dramatic change from conventional silicon PV modules composed of arrays of 6-inch-by-6-inch wafers. However, by bringing in techniques normally used in MEMS, electronics and the light-emitting diode (LED) industries (for additional work involving gallium arsenide instead of silicon), the change to small cells should be relatively straightforward, Gupta said.

Each cell is formed on silicon wafers, etched and then released inexpensively in hexagonal shapes, with electrical contacts prefabricated on each piece, by borrowing techniques from integrated circuits and MEMS.

Offering a run for their money to conventional large wafers of crystalline silicon, electricity presently can be harvested from the Sandia-created cells with 14.9 percent efficiency. Off-the-shelf commercial modules range from 13 to 20 percent efficient.

Solar concentrators — low-cost, prefabricated, optically efficient microlens arrays — can be placed directly over each glitter-sized cell to increase the number of photons arriving to be converted via the photovoltaic effect into electrons. The small cell size means that cheaper and more efficient short focal length microlens arrays can be fabricated for this purpose.

High-voltage output is possible directly from the modules because of the large number of cells in the array. This should reduce costs associated with wiring, due to reduced resistive losses at higher voltages.

https://share.sandia.gov/news/resources/news_releases/glitter-sized-solar-photovoltaics-produce-competitive-results/

***

April 28, 2010

Sandia wins 2 national technology transfer awards for work with Cray, Stirling Energy Systems

Archie Gibson, a team leader on the Computer Operations Team at Sandia National Laboratories, works inside the Red Storm supercomputer, the result of an award-winning partnership between Cray Inc. and Sandia National Laboratories. (Photo by Randy Montoya)Archie Gibson, a team leader on the Computer Operations Team at Sandia National Laboratories, works inside the Red Storm supercomputer, the result of an award-winning partnership between Cray Inc. and Sandia. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has won two national Federal Laboratory Consortium awards for its efforts to transfer technology to supercomputer manufacturer Cray Inc. and solar energy supplier Stirling Energy Systems, Inc.

The Federal Laboratory Consortium plans to present the Excellence in Technology Transfer Awards in Albuquerque at its national meeting this week. The consortium is a nationwide network of technology transfer professionals at more than 250 federal laboratories and centers and their parent departments and agencies.

“Sandia has always done well in those recognition awards and it’s an indication of our ability to transfer technology to industry,” said Hal Morgan, senior manager for Industrial Partnerships and Strategy at Sandia.

Sandia and Cray joined forces in 2001 to build the Red Storm supercomputer, the predecessor of the Seattle, Wash.-based company’s line of Cray XT supercomputers. In 2009, Jaguar, a Cray XT5 supercomputer housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, won the Gordon Bell Prize for high-performance computing. And, the Franklin supercomputer, a 350-teraflop Cray XT4 system installed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, was ranked the 11th fastest in the world the same year.

When the partnership started, there were no commercial supercomputers that targeted complex simulations, said Sudip Dosanjh, senior manager of Computer & Software Systems at Sandia.

Nevertheless, Red Storm’s development took about two and a half years, about a year less than the typical vendor schedule.

Peter Ungaro, Cray’s chief executive and president, credits Sandia for the speed of the development. “We would have gotten there, but we definitely wouldn’t have done it in the timeframe that we got there with Sandia, and we wouldn’t have built as good of a product, if we had done it ourselves,” he said.

Since introducing the Cray XT line of supercomputers, the company says it has sold more than 1,200 Cray XT cabinets to more than 80 customers worldwide.

The Cray XT line of supercomputers, which uses tens of thousands of processors working in parallel for several weeks on a single problem, has proven effective at solving a wide range of science and engineering problems related to climate change, fusion, material science, nanomaterials, biology and astrophysics.

The SunCatcher ™ is the outcome of a collaboration between Sandia National Laboratories researchers and engineers from Stirling Energy Systems, Inc., who work together at the labs National Solar Thermal Test Facility in Albuquerque. This radial design is being produced today. (Photo by Randy Montoya)The SunCatcher™ is the outcome of a collaboration between Sandia National Laboratories researchers and engineers from Stirling Energy Systems, who work together at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility in Albuquerque. This radial design is being produced today. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

Sandia’s award-winning partnership with the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Stirling Energy Systems (SES) began in 2003 at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility.

Since then, SES has signed contracts to provide 1.6 gigawatts of solar power from its concentrating solar power system, the SunCatcher™. SES, together with its sister company, Tessera Solar, also is planning to build one of the world’s largest solar energy generating projects on about 6,500 acres in southern California. The 750-megawatt Imperial Valley Solar plant is expected to power 562,500 homes in the San Diego area by 2014.

Sandia’s technical expertise helped SES drop 4,000-6,000 pounds of steel from a 16,000-pound structure and halved the number of mirrors from 80 to 40, which reduced construction and maintenance costs, said Chuck Andraka, Sandia’s lead project engineer. Sandia’s improvements in the dish engine control system and in evaluating the interaction between the dish and its mirrors greatly aided this effort.

Sandia also worked with SES to move from a rectilinear to a radial design for the SunCatcher, which is the design being produced today, Andraka said. The collaboration is ongoing.

Steve Cowman, SES chief executive officer, said: “The product has been significantly enhanced and improved by virtue of the collaboration and partnership that we have with Sandia.”


Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.Sandia news media contact: Heather Clark, hclark@sandia.gov (505) 844-3511

https://share.sandia.gov/news/resources/news_releases/2010award_techtr/***

The Solaire was the first “green” residential-use building in New York City. Completed in 2003, it is described as an “environmentally-progressive residential tower” (see [1]). The building has been rated U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v2 – Level: Gold.

The LEED ratings were established by the Green Building Council to evaluate a building’s efforts to use renewable materials, conserve energy and water consumption and enhance indoor air quality. The energy conserving building design is 35% more energy-efficient than code requires, resulting in a 67% lower electricity demand during peak hours, resulting in (among other benefits):

  • Lower electric bills for residents
  • Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight to electricity
  • Computerized building management system and environmentally responsible operating and maintenance practices

Although these features would seem to be a hallmark in general for future building projects due to energy efficiency, the building was quite expensive to build. The developer received funding from the State of New York, which was somewhat controversial as the developer was only required to agree to set aside 10% of the units as “affordable housing” or “moderate income”, rather than the usual 80:20 agreement. When the building opened rents ranged from roughly $2500 to $9001 depending on the size of the unit. Many of the current and former tenants work on Wall Street, including Brian Finnerty, former cable TV financial expert and former trader at the investment bank C.E. Unterberg Towbin (see [2]).

The Solaire is located at 20 River Terrace in Battery Park City, one of the most affluent neighborhoods in New York City with a view that spans from Jersey City in the west to a glimpse of the Empire State Building, the tallest building in NYC since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, standing above the rest of its surroundings.

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Solaire

***

My Note –

I don’t think this was it – but there it is very interesting and something I’ve noted the other day when I was looking up the earmarks pushed and received by Representative Barton, (R) Texas that apologized to BP and I notice here again in the entry above about The Solaire project in New York – these people are all against the alternative energy systems until it comes time to get some for themselves, as Rep. Barton did for Texas – even while voting down and pushing against anyone else having alternative energy, natural gas buses, natural gas operating trucks, solar power project moneys, and others – he was garnering those things for Texas and Texas companies.

It is bizarre – and looking at those Wall Street players who decided to live in a “green” building even as they made plays to destroy alternative energy including their massive lobbying against any and every competitive choice to gasoline and diesel and traditional coal-fired electricity generation – from solar to wind to tidal and water-current based electricity generation systems. It is disgusting.

Hmmmmmm……….

And, it looks like some nasty business has been on-going especially deeply and dramatically with devastating consequences in the solar cell industry especially in the last year and possibly more so every day it comes closer to offering reasonably priced choices to any of us.

– cricketdiane

***

I’ll keep looking.

http://www.federallabs.org/home/

What is the FLC?

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) is the nationwide network of federal laboratories that provides the forum to develop strategies and opportunities for linking laboratory mission technologies and expertise with the marketplace.

The FLC was organized in 1974 and formally chartered by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 to promote and strengthen technology transfer nationwide. Today, more than 250 federal laboratories and centers and their parent departments and agencies are FLC members.

Learn more about the FLC

FLC TechTicker

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    Technology Locator

    For industry and other technology seekers, the FLC Locator Network serves as a point of entry to federal laboratory expertise and technology. In meeting this need, the network also handles requests from other organizations working with the private sector. These organizations include NASA’s Regional Technology Transfer Centers, the National Technology Transfer Center, and state-funded economic development centers.

    Learn more about the Technology Locator

    ***