PV Intelligence Brief 14 – 27 January 2015

PERC technology at heart of new high efficiency Trina modules

The improved efficiency delivered by both modules is due to the adoption of a...

Companies mentioned: Trina Solar, Prologis, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, Penn Energy Renewables, Rabobank, KeyBank National Association National Bank of Canada, Roseplain Project, Brantgate Project, Ridgefield Project, ABBSolar Impulse, Bayer MaterialScience National Bank of Canada, Roseplain Project, Brantgate Project, Ridgefield Project, ABB, Solar Impulse, Bayer MaterialScience

PV Intelligence Brief 14 – 27 January 2015


PERC technology at heart of new high efficiency Trina modules

Trina Solar has launched two new high-efficiency modules, the Honey Plus (PC05A (II)), a multi-crystalline module and the Honey M Plus (DC05A (II)), a mono-crystalline module, which offer average power outputs of 275W and 285W, respectively.

The improved efficiency delivered by both modules is due to the adoption of a Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) technology, which enables greater energy production and better performance, including in low light environments. Equipped with an advanced 5-busbar technology, these two products offer the advantages of lower series resistance, increased Cell-to-Module ratio (CTM) and enhanced reliability.

In addition, the Honey Plus (PC05A (II)) offers an average cell efficiency of 18.7% while the Honey M Plus (DC05A (II)) offers an average cell efficiency of 20.4%. The Honey Plus and Honey M Plus modules offer significant upgrades on Trina Solar's previous Honey and Honey M modules.

"We are proud to launch these new, high efficiency modules," said Zhiguo Zhu, Module Business Unit President of Trina Solar.

"Our Honey Plus and Honey M Plus modules use our leading PERC technology which recently broke the world record for efficiency. Launching these new products once again demonstrates our efforts to apply and commercialise our advanced cell technology to high efficiency modules.”

The two modules will be available in select markets in the first half of 2015 with a worldwide launch scheduled in 2016.

This month the company reported that Mr. Zhiguo Zhu has been appointed as a member of the Board of Directors and as Chief Operating Officer of the Company. Concurrently, the Company appointed Mr. Sean Shao as an independent director and a member of the Audit Committee of the Board. Both appointments become effective on January 20, 2015.

In his new role, Mr. Zhu will be responsible for leading the Company's environmental health and safety management system and the establishment of the Company's performance excellence management system, while also retaining his role as president of the Module Business Unit.

Yingli glass coating ideal for tough climates and harsh conditions; cuts O&M costs

Solar panel maker, Yingli Green Energy, has launched a product called CleanARC® anti-reflective (AR) glass coating, which is now available on all Yingli product lines.

Developed by California-based Enki Technology and offered through Yingli, the new coating enables panels to generate more energy over time while simultaneously reducing cleaning requirements, creating additional project value in comparison to conventionally coated panels.

Due to their high resistance to abrasion and environmental degradation, the company has said that the coated solar panels are ideal for project sites with harsh environmental conditions such as sandstorms, sea mist, high humidity, and extreme temperature fluctuations. The coated solar panels can also reduce operations and maintenance expenses because the coating's structure and hydrophobic properties enable more effective self-cleaning than conventional AR coatings.

"We are pleased to bring this unique product to market in partnership with Yingli. Glass coatings are a deceptively simple component that create long-term financial implications for solar project owners,” said Kevin Kopczynski, Chief Executive Officer of Enki Technology.

He added: “Extensive lab and field testing demonstrates the clear advantage of multi-functional CleanARC® coatings in challenging operational environments."

Project finance buoyant in Canada solar sector

Project finance is still buoyant in the Canadian solar energy sector as news of a $125m financing for three solar projects in Ontario is closed.

Penn Energy Renewables and Rabobank recently closed financing for three solar energy projects in Ontario, Canada that have an aggregate capacity of 37 MW (DC). The projects will sell power under three separate 20-year Power Purchase Agreements to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) as part of the OPA's Feed-In-Tariff programme, in which Penn Energy is an active participant.

The projects are being financed through three separate term and construction facilities by Rabobank, acting as Coordinating Lead Arranger, and by KeyBank National Association and National Bank of Canada, acting as Joint Lead Arrangers. In total, the debt facilities amounted to $125m of construction and term loans.

The Roseplain Project, located in the Township of Uxbridge, Brantgate Project, located in the Township of Burford, and Ridgefield Project, located in the City of Kawartha Lakes, are the latest in a series of solar energy plants successfully developed and constructed by Penn Energy in Ontario. The Company has closed three similar projects in the past two years.

LA Water Department expands solar power into power portfolio

Some 1.1 million square feet of Prologis rooftop space will feed a combined 4.2 megawatts of power directly into the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) electrical grid as part of the utility's Feed-In Tariff (FiT) programme.

Prologis is LADWP's largest FiT participant to date. The energy produced by the installation is expected to power approximately 1,100 homes each year in the Los Angeles area.

"LADWP is successfully integrating and expanding local solar energy into its power portfolio through important partnerships with forward-thinking companies such as Prologis," said LADWP assistant general manager Randy Howard.

Prologis developed and built the solar installation. It was acquired by an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, L.L.C., in partnership with Bright Plain Renewable Energy.

Prologis renewable energy developments span six countries. Since 2007, Prologis has developed more than 110 megawatts of renewable energy across 25 million square feet (2.3 million square meters) of logistics real estate.

Solar inverter firm ABB all revved up for Solar Impulse world-wide journey

ABB and Solar Impulse have formed an alliance ahead of the plane’s historic round-the-world journey championing the role of innovation and solar technology in reducing resource consumption.

ABB, a specialist in solar inverters and automation technology, will have specialist engineers accompany Solar Impulse and its crew on the plane’s flight around the world powered only by energy from the sun.

Solar Impulse, based in Switzerland, will begin its historic flight between late February and early March in Abu Dhabi.

“Solar Impulse will inspire a new generation to embrace innovation and technology to solve the planet’s biggest challenges,” said ABB Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer. “ABB will be with the Solar Impulse team every mile of its journey.”

Three ABB engineers have joined the Solar Impulse team. Their work includes improving control systems for ground operations, enhancing the charging electronics for the plane’s battery systems and resolving obstacles that emerge along the route.

Among challenges before the mission concludes in Abu Dhabi in mid-2015 will be a non-stop flight of five days and nights from China to Hawaii. The plane, powered by 17,248 solar cells, will soar higher than Mount Everest each day while fully charging its batteries to stay aloft during the night.

On board the "Si2" aircraft are numerous innovative products Bayer MaterialScience that make the aircraft especially lightweight and energy efficient, including a novel and extremely efficient insulating material for the cockpit.

One material the company is providing for this purpose is the extremely high-performance insulating material Baytherm® Microcell. Its insulating performance is as much as 10 percent greater than the current standard. Highly efficient insulation is particularly important for the aircraft because it must withstand temperature fluctuations between minus 40 degrees Celsius at night and plus 40 degrees during the day.

Baytherm® Microcell is used for the aircraft door, while the rest of the cockpit shell is made of a different type of rigid polyurethane foam from Bayer MaterialScience. The company also supplies a polyurethane/carbon fiber composite material for the door locks, and thin sheets of transparent, high-performance polycarbonate for the window.

The plane weighs only 2.3 tons, which is less than a big off-road vehicle, but has a wingspan equal to that of the largest passenger airliners.

On the plane’s 40,000-kilometer route, pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg will share duties as the aircraft stops in cities including Muscat, Oman; Varanasi and Ahmedabad in India; Chongqing and Nanjing in China; and Phoenix, Arizona in the U.S. It will also stop in Europe or North Africa.