Featured in this issue:      Solar Irradiance Meter — TPI 510  |  Solar Panel Test Systems  |  TE Connectivity's Power PC Board Relays  |   |  Solar Materials — CIG Alloy Sputtering Targets  |  Ensure NEC 2014 Compliance with PVSEC-AF1  |  Best Power Quality for Alternative Energy  |  Solar Energy Harvester  |  Fasteners for Solar Energy Mounting Systems
 
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Dishing Out Affordable Solar Power and Heat
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Dishing Out Affordable Solar Power and Heat
 
Likened to a 10 m tall sunflower, a new high concentration PV thermal system produces electricity, potable water, and heat for various uses as it magnifies radiation 2,000x times to achieve an 80% conversion efficiency. Each 40 sq m parabolic dish designed by Switzerland-based Airlight Energy features 36 metallized foil elliptic mirrors. These concentrate radiation onto microchannel liquid-cooled receivers equipped with triple-junction PV chips. Active liquid cooling technology developed by IBM for use in supercomputers keeps the chips at a safe operating temperature of 105° C (221° F). Phys.org reports that the 12 kW power/20 kW thermal system will be available for off-grid deployment in 2017.
 
 
 
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Solar Panel Test Systems
 
Solar Panel Test Systems
Thermotron Industries
 
Solar photovoltaic modules and panels are growing in popularity among consumers due to emerging renewable energy trends. Whether you're testing solar panels, grid-tied photovoltaic inverters, or photovoltaic cells and modules, Thermotron can provide a solar test system customized to your testing needs. Our three-pronged approach allows you to find everything you need for your testing demands: a variety of test chambers, specially designed fixtures, and integrated product control and datalogging.
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Solar Battery Breathes and Recharges
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Solar Battery Breathes and Recharges
 
Combining a solar cell and a battery into a single unit could reduce solar energy costs by 25%, say Ohio State University researchers. The hybrid device described in PV-Tech Storage is a dye-sensitized mesh solar panel that admits air as titanium dioxide rods trap light. Charged ions from a lithium backplate are stored as Li metal; during discharge, oxygen is consumed to convert the metal into lithium peroxide.
 
 
 
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Solar Materials — CIG Alloy Sputtering Targets
 
Solar Materials — CIG
Alloy Sputtering Targets

 

Indium Corporation
 
Indium Corporation's OnSpec CIG alloy sputtering targets, made from copper (Cu), indium (In), and gallium (Ga), are used to produce high-efficiency CIGS (Cu/In/Ga/di-selenide) solar cells. CIG targets offer tight control of the final solar cell composition. Our unique process results in a fully alloyed and completely homogenous CIG alloy.
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Ensure NEC 2014 Compliance with PVSEC-AF1
 
Ensure NEC 2014
Compliance with
PVSEC-AF1

E-T-A Circuit Breakers
 
E-T-A's PVSEC-AF1 is a UL1699B certified solar rapid shutdown switch with integrated AFCI. It is the solar industry's only fully integrated solar disconnect switch that complies with the 2014 National Electrical Code (NEC) for Solar Installations that requires a rapid shutdown switch and AFCI protection for all PV installations.
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Solid Annual Global Gain Posted for PV
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Solid Annual Global Gain Posted for PV
 
The addition of 14.4 GW capacity in the last quarter of 2014 will bring global PV installations to 45.4 GW, predicts IHS Engineering360. While market activity was sluggish compared with initial projections, the total marks a 20% gain from the 37.8 GW added in 2013. Growth is being driven largely by demand in the U.S. and China, with ground-mount systems accounting for 8.5 GW of new installations.
 
 
 
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Solar Energy Harvester
 
Solar Energy Harvester
 

KCF Technologies, Inc.
 
The Solar Energy Harvester from KCF Techologies powers wireless sensors on. Used for: outdoor sensor installations for monitoring of bridges, buildings, and structures; pipeline or other system infrastructures; and industrial wireless sensors where 500 Lux light levels are available. (500 Lux is typical for indoor lighting; direct sunlight can be over 90,000 Lux.)
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Fasteners for Solar Energy Mounting Systems
 
Fasteners for Solar Energy Mounting Systems
Ford Fasteners, Inc.
 
Ford Fasteners provides stainless steel fasteners for solar energy mounting systems. Our 410 stainless self-drilling screws with EPDM bonded sealing washers are used in many roof top solar systems. With 50 years of experience, Ford Fasteners can help you find the right fastening solution for your next solar project
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Bowls Beget Improved Cell Design
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Bowls Beget Improved Cell Design
 
An unlikely link between Buddhist singing bowls and solar cell efficiency has been brought to light by an Australian National University researcher. The shape of the bowls causes sound to resonate; extending this shape to cell design in the form of nanobowls increases light capture and energy conversion efficiency via plasmonic resonance. Video highlights recent findings with organic and amorphous silicon cells, and touches on ongoing research with tandem cells.
 
 
 
On Solar Pond
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On Solar Pond
 
The solar energy storage and heat extraction potential of a brine-filled sinkhole revealed by U.S. Geological Survey researchers might renew interest in salinity gradient solar ponds. The analysis, summarized in Solar Novus Today, recommends wider use of such systems for heating applications if operating and maintenance costs can be rendered cost-effective.
 
 
 
Growing Grass-fed Cells
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Growing Grass-fed Cells
 
Organic solar cells can now join their inorganic counterparts in the grass — nanograss, that is. Vertical semiconductor nanopillars resembling blades of grass optimize light capture and charge collection in p-n junction cells. The modified thermal evaporation technique developed by researchers from the U.S. and Germany boosted polymer cell efficiency 32% relative to thin fim performance.
 
 
 
Hot Water in a Hurry
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Hot Water in a Hurry
 
Adding a solar thermal system to a residential hot water system is as simple as installing a smart control box to the existing piping. Designed by an engineer from the University of Lund, Sweden, the SolarFlex junction box links a solar collector to available pipe connections. The result, says Solar International, is a 40% reduction in installation cost, a four-year payback period, and lots of hot showers.
 
 
 
Progress in Low-cost Water Photolysis
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Progress in Low-cost Water Photolysis
 
A low-cost water splitter described in MIT Technology Review achieves a solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 12.3% by combining a perovskite tandem solar cell and a bi-functional Earth-abundant catalyst. An iron-nickel hydroxide catalyst was added to porous nickel foam to increase the reaction area. Efforts are now underway to improve perovskite stability and service life.

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