Volume 44, Issue 1 - January 2009

Solar Watch

Forming PV Frames

Nordson Corp. in Westlake, Ohio, has designed a system to improve the production process and durability of photovoltaic (PV) module framing. The system is made up of a bulk melter, gear metering head and dispense applicator to streamline the glazing/framing process, deliver consistent material application and improve module durability.
The purpose of sealants in framing/glazing PV modules is both to bond the encapsulant sandwich to the frame and help seal the module from the elements. A dispensing system uses gear metering technology for consistent precise metering of material. Gear metering precision, along with clean cutoff by the applicator, allows optimization of sealant material. Consistent application of material improves durability of the finished goods by guarding against low spots or voids where moisture could migrate into the module and render it useless. Similarly, use of too much adhesive is both costly and squeeze-out of excess material can result in quality problems. www.nordson.com/solarsolutions 

Utility Promotes Photovoltaics

A new brochure from Super Sky in Mequon, Wis., discusses how the company’s products can improve the energy efficiency of commercial offices and industrial manufacturing sites. The North Light Energy Island produces electricity and provides natural light. Vertical glazing on the shade side of the system produces natural light. Diffused light from the array enhances interior spaces. Photovoltaics can be used in covered walkways, shading parking area, entrances and other applicable spots.

PV Takes on an Artful Approach at San Jose’s Library

With the opening of the Pearl Avenue Branch Library in San Jose, Calif., the city has become the first municipality in the United States to install permanent public art that combines photovoltaic (PV) cells and art glass in an architectural application. 

Artist Lynn Goodpasture’s public art piece entitled Solar Illumination I: Evolution of Language, commissioned through the San Jose Public Art Program, integrates green technology and art. The artist collaborated with Peters Glass Studios in Portland, Ore., in the creation of an artwork that incorporates glass-embedded PV cell technology that in turn powers a suspended glass LED-illuminated lamp. 

The artwork includes four art glass windows in the building’s southwest corner that convert sunlight to 24-Vdc electricity. For this project, art glass fabricator Peters Glass Studios translated the artist’s design directly onto float glass by airbrushing a combination of transparent, translucent and opaque vitreous enamels in multiple layers. The PV glass was developed by laminating PV cells within two layers of tempered float glass. The art glass and the laminated PV glass were then combined into an insulating glass unit for installation on-site.

The artwork’s imagery explores the evolution of alphabets as the foundation of the written word. Each window contains characters in scripts that are the basis for written Latin, Russian, Vietnamese and numerous Indian languages. “We are all one” is engraved repeatedly on the lamp in cuneiform. Goodpasture explains that Solar Illumination I: Evolution of Language links the past with the future by exploring the first writings of humankind, at the same time the art incorporates the newest applications of solar and LED technologies. 

company news
Researchers Nominated for Germany’s President’s Prize

Dr. Nikolaus Benz and Dr. Thomas Kuckelkorn of SCHOTT Solar were among the nominees for the German “Federal President’s Prize for Innovation and Technology.”

Under the direction of Drs. Benz and Kuckelkorn, SCHOTT Solar developed a concentrated solar power (CSP) receiver for solar power plants with higher efficiency than previously available.

In SCHOTT Solar’s receiver technology, the solar irradiation is trapped using large reflector surfaces, bundled and then converted into usable energy.

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