photovoltaics

Innovating Out of the Solar Winter – Dan Hutcheson Interviews Applied’s Jim Mullin

Innovating Out of the Solar Winter – Dan Hutcheson Interviews Applied’s Jim Mullin

The end market for solar power is booming, thanks to tremendous cost decreases over the last few years. However, it’s a crowded market for the companies that actually make the solar cells. Last week, Applied’s Giorgio Cellere blogged about how new manufacturing technology can help solar cell makers gain a competitive edge.Recently, Dan Hutcheson, CEO of VLSIresearch, explored this same subject in more depth with Jim Mullin, vice president of Solar Marketing at Applied Materials, in a video interview titled “Innovating out of the Solar Winter with Technology”.
Printing Solar Profitability

Printing Solar Profitability

Solar installations are rocketing worldwide as solar electricity becomes cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels – it’s already happened in 105 countries. This is the tipping point where economics takes over from altruism and solar PV becomes a serious part of the global energy mix.The steady drop in cost-per-watt is great news for the end user and is enabled by simultaneous increases in cell efficiency and lower manufacturing costs.If you’re a cell manufacturer, though, dropping prices are a double-edged sword: strong demand is good, but you must continuously lower costs by improving your manufacturing processes in order to be profitable.So, in a fiercely competitive industry, how is this done?After the jump, we’ll look at a great example of how cell manufacturers can boost profitability using an emerging technique called “double printing”.
The Mechanical Ballet of a Solar Cell Production Line

The Mechanical Ballet of a Solar Cell Production Line

Applied Materials launched its new Applied Baccini® Pegaso™ solar cell manufacturing platform today. The Pegaso system represents the new state of the art in solar cell manufacturing and will help to drive the solar industry into the future.But that’s not why I’m posting this video. I’m posting it because the Pegaso system is one of the most elegant pieces of machinery I’ve ever seen.
Solar keeps your house cooler, too!

Solar keeps your house cooler, too!

Now, here’s an interesting fact. In addition to reducing your electricity bills and enhancing the value of your house by an average of $17,000, putting solar on your roof actually keeps your house cooler. That’s according to a research team led by Jan Kleissl, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.Typically, the sun beats down onto a roof, pushing heat through the roof and inside the ceiling of a building. But when solar panels are in place, the panels take the direct hit of the sun and filter the heat. The effect is even greater when the panels are mounted and tilted, allowing air to circulate below the panel and further dissipate the heat. The researchers determined that solar panels reduce the heat reaching the roof by 38%, making the building’s ceiling five degrees cooler under solar panels than under exposed roof.
PV Mainstream Contributor to Electricity Demand

PV Mainstream Contributor to Electricity Demand

I was delighted to once again be part of a high-level gathering of stakeholders from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the photovoltaic (PV) industry while attending the 5th Executive Conference of the Photovoltaic Power Sector (PVPS) for the IEA in Montreux, Switzerland, which is held every four years since 1990.
Applied Materials

2010 Crystalline Solar Predictions

My unofficial 2010 Solar Predictions. Before we start, an author’s safe harbor statement: these predictions are necessarily forward-looking statements and, since the future can be temperamental, any prediction that does not exactly match can and will be graciously excused.