Volume 45, Issue 1 - January 2010


industry news
SEIA Says Solar Energy Could Meet
15 Percent of U.S. Electricity by 2020

Leaders representing the U.S. solar energy industry reported the potential of solar energy to meet 15 percent of U.S. energy needs by 2020 at a press briefing during the United Nations Climate Conference (COP15).

The “Expanding Solar Energy in the United States” briefing was hosted by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and featured U.S. solar industry leaders outlining the drafted Solar Bill of Rights legislation.

In a report released jointly with solar industry groups representing more than 90 countries around the world, SEIA presented an accelerated solar deployment scenario for the United States to meet 15 percent of electricity needs by 2020. Twelve percent would come from solar electric power generated by photovoltaic solar panels and concentrating solar power plants. Another 3 percent of electricity would be offset by solar thermal (solar water heating) systems.

The report also noted the key policies needed for the industry to scale up and compete effectively. These policies were conveyed in the Solar Bill of Rights. The platform lays out eight basic rights that give the solar industry equal access to the electricity marketplace and levels the playing field with the fossil fuel industries:

• The right to put solar on our homes and businesses;

• The right to connect our solar energy systems to the grid;

• The right to net meter and receive at least full retail rates;

• The right to a fair competitive environment;

• The right to equal access to public lands;

• The right to build and interconnect new transmission lines;

• The right to buy solar electricity from utilities; and

• Consumers have the right to the highest ethical treatment from the solar industry.

The industry estimates that by 2020 more than 880,000 new solar jobs would be created in the U.S., while reducing total energy emissions by 10 percent.

Guardian Unveils New Solar Options
Glass manufacturer Guardian Industries in Auburn Hills, Mich., has added to its solar glass product line with EcoGuard Mo, a Molybdenum-coated clear glass developed to optimize the conductivity of photovoltaic (PV) systems. EcoGuard Mo is a high-performing conductive coating designed for PV systems that use copper indium sulfide (CIS) and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells. It is available in several thicknesses and levels of conductivity.

Guardian also continues to add to its EcoGuard Solar Boost line with mirrors for concentrating solar power applications. Solar Boost-laminated parabolic (LP) mirrors have a minimum solar reflectivity of 94.5 percent at AM 1.5 (ISO 9050). Laminated construction results in optimum damping, wind resistance and reduction of field component damage. Solar Boost monolithic parabolic (MP) mirrors feature a solar reflectance of greater than 93 percent. Precise manufacturing yields a smooth, accurate mirror with an intercept factor of greater than 99.5 percent.

Billco Keeps PV Glass Clean
Billco Manufacturing in Zelienople, Pa., says it specializes in quality glass washing equipment for the photovoltaic (PV) industry and it has several systems to support that. Its Hydro Series offers critical cleaning for the needs of thin film module producers, while the EH-CSM offers a more basic cleaning solution for crystalline module producers.

Two models are offered in the Hydro Series to meet the unique needs of crystalline silicon and thin film module producers. The Hydro CS incorporates rugged components and flexible processing into every phase of the process, providing a machine that can withstand 24/7 operation. Crystalline silicone module producers and similar manufacturers benefit from maintenance-saving features, allowing for minimal downtime and maximum operational efficiency. The Hydro TF is configured to critically clean glass for thin film processes. Multiple cleaning zones and an engineered rinse system provide optimally clean glass.

The EH-CSM offers a basic, reliable glass cleaning system to PV module manufacturers in need of an economic, automated solution for in-line or standalone configurations. The system is designed to be a seamless addition to any facility and is durably built to withstand the demands of non-stop production. Simplified controls and maintenance features permit ease of use.

Arlington Equipment Helps Position PV Panels
Arlington Equipment in Queenbury, N.Y., has introduced its WPI 1200 under hook PV positioner. The positioner offers powered elevation, tilt and rotation to make crane-based PV installation procedures fast, easy and safe. All commands are made via wireless remote RF pendant control. The WPI 1200 handles PV panels and components up to 1,200 pounds.

The final installation maneuvers are controlled at the point of installation by the crew, not by a crane operator hundreds of feet away. The auto level feature remains level when the solar module is released and maintains positive control during all installation phases. The vacuum frame provides flexibility to move cups laterally, add or remove cups and add stabilizer cups to assure balanced loads, regardless of the PV panel size or configuration.

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