Solar Energy Based In Silicon Has Already Viable Alternatives

On January 29 it took place the International Conference on Low Cost Solar Energy held in Seville, and they made me the favor to send me a summary of what was then explained.

The international event brought together experts Dimmler Bernhard, Director of R & D Würth Solar; Karsten Otte, also of the German multinational Solarion Juan Bisquert, a professor at the Universitat Jaume I and Emily Giasone, manager of material Indium Corporation, being Hernan Miguez the moderator of the day, a researcher at the CSIC at the Instituto de Materiales de Sevilla.
All these specialists were in agreement that the solar photovoltaic, silicon-based solar energy still has a long life as a market leader, but these new technologies are constantly entering Iran especially in niche markets where their characteristics are much more competitive.

Space market and other niches

One of the specific niches for these technologies is the space and aeronautics market. Weight is critical in this industry and the lightness of these technologies that are very conducive to provide adequate power in aircraft, satellites and space stations. Other interesting market for this technology is the automobile industry, the ability to adapt to the forms with a uniform and attractive aesthetics, and industry and consumer electronics (textiles, mobile phones, laptops, etc.). It was also clear that these new technologies will gradually replace the traditional photovoltaics, especially in terms of industrial roofs.

Summary of presentations

The first presentation of the day was played by the director of R & D Wurth Solar, a subsidiary of German giant Wurth Group, Bernhard Dimmler. Würth Solar has pioneered the use of low-cost techniques, and was the first company to launch in a global level, the large-scale production of CIS Thin Film solar modules (copper, indium, selenium) in 2006.

During his presentation, Dimmler, showed the great industrial bet that is occurring with these technologies, not only your business, but many companies worldwide. Stated that there were more than 130 production companies, of which 78 have announced plans to increase its production capacity. He believes that production will increase by about 30% annually until 2012.
Dimmler also highlighted the benefits of productive Thin Film modules that can be manufactured in a continuous and multi-media: glass, paper, metal coils, etc. Other advantages are its low energy requirements in their construction and their efficiency that should improve about 20%. Therefore, the representative believes that Wurth Solar Thin Film technologies are currently more competitive than the crystalline silicon.

The next presentation was by Professor John Bisquert, Professor of Applied Physics and Director of the Optoelectronic and Photovoltaic Devices at the Universitat Jaume I de Castelló. Bisquert also coordinates the HOPE project which encompasses more than a dozen research centers to stimulate research on technologies based on nanotechnology. According to the professor, the use of nanotechnology achieves highly efficient production of plates and thin film with much cheaper production processes.
Professor Bisquert focused his presentation on organic cells, which reach efficiency of 5% and with a great future for its multiple possibilities in the plastics industry, and the “dye-SENSITIZER solar cells (solar cells sensitized by dye). They get close to 10% efficiencies and films can be colored or transparent willingness to allow, for example, placing them in windows. Among the advantages they stressed that the maximum power and energy every day all day, with low temperature dependence and angle of light. Moreover, they have low manufacturing costs in both its format and in the rigid flexible. Bisquert stressed that there is increasing investor interest in these technologies and that there are several companies that market these turnkey systems.

Knowing the current state of the raw materials for CIS and CIGS technologies was the aim of this conference in the presence of Emily Giasone, manager of material Indium Corporation, the largest Indian global electronics, semiconductor and solar energy. According to the reporter for new sources located in various parts of the world guarantee future increases in production of Indus, ensuring supply. The conclusion of the paper is that in the long term, both the Indus and the Gallium to these technologies will be easily available at affordable prices for the solar energy industry, even with intermittent volatility because of their potential application for other industries.

The conference closed with the presentation by Dr. Karsten Otte, representing Solarion. This German company focuses its production on CIGS technology, photovoltaic cell manufacturing leaner and more flexible world. The reporter noted the low cost of manufacture and use in multiple markets such as space, aeronautics and automotive, as well as the traditional solar PV. The advantages of the CIGS technology is summarized in one sentence: “The possibilities are so numerous that it is easier to say where that which can’t be used if it can be applied.”

Parallel to the conference, the company specializes in electro-optical instrumentation and components exposed Iberlaser a solar simulator which attracted the interest of both the number of speakers and audience.