Solar Power 2007 Expo, Modules, and Webcasts

[Long Beach, California USA]

Expo and Module fun

First, here is a Picasa slideshow of select stands from the Expo.

When I was looking for the “hot” story of Solar Power 2007, I toyed with idea of choosing a noteworthy module like last year in SunPower delivers larger module with 315W Peak Power and establishing my own tradition. Though not the hot story, two modules stood out as I walked through the main Expo in the Long Beach Convention Center and the smaller venues in the Hyatt Regency Ballrooms. These selections are somewhat subjective with technical and aesthetic influences.

The Evergreen Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESLR) Spruce Line(TM) ES-195 Module impressed me as one of the best looking modules Evergreen has ever produced. I have been a fan of Evergreen’s string ribbon technology as a silicon miser, but I always thought the modules were plain ugly looking. Although I first saw this module at Intersolar 2007 and took photos, I never gave them a second glance. The solar cells on this module had reduced blue coloring and a symmetric look.

Mark Farber, an Evergreen Solar cofounder, was at the main desk and addressed my questions about the improved panel appearance. Mark said the string ribbon silicon solar cells are thinner and more uniform than before, and the antireflective coating and texture contribute to the rest of the improvement.

This Spruce Line 195W (Watt) module is guaranteed for 100% rated power with a Power Tolerance specified at -0 / +2.5%. No worries.

Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. (TYO:6764) subsidiary Sanyo Energy USA Corp. was showing their HIT Double Bifacial Photovoltaic Modules. These modules build upon Sanyo’s HIT technology by converting light striking both sides of the module into electricity. Because power is generated from light passing through the module or reflected from surfaces near or behind the module, these modules are ideal for BIPV (Building Integrated PhotoVoltaic) applications such as awnings, canopies, carports, fences, or trellises.

The HIP-xxxDA3 Modules range from 180W to 200W rated power at STC (Standard Test Conditions) for the front side of the panel =not= including power from the module’s bifacial backside. This module is so advanced; a standard test method does not exist. Sanyo claims the Bifacial Modules may deliver up to 130% of their STC rating depending on the installation and amount of reflected light onto the module’s backside. Here again the Power Tolerance is specified at 100% rated power minimum or a Power Tolerance of -0 / +10.0%.

Sanyo has a Letter Regarding Sept 2007 Photon Article refuting the validity of Photon’s recent HIT PV module test results and a technical paper about their HIT 22.3% Efficiency Announced at PVSEC 09/2007.

SunPower didn’t show the SPR-315 Solar Module at their stand. I interpreted this to mean the SPR-315 is not available to mainstream channel partners.

Please don’t forget to view the available webcasts of Plenary Sessions and Keynote speeches. Click on the title link to view each webcast.

Solar Power 2007 Welcome Address
Julia Judd Hamm of SEPA and Rhone Resch of the SEIA.

Solar Power 2007 Keynote Address: Ray Lane
Ray Lane, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Solar Power 2007 Keynote Address: Ted Turner
Ted Turner, Turner Enterprises partnered with Dome-Tech Solar to create DT Solar, a Turner renewable energy company.

CEO Panel Discussion
About the Future of the Solar Industry

Since I missed the last day at Solar Power 2007, and I will be viewing these Closing Plenary webcasts to see what was going on:

Keynote Address: Charles Zimmerman
Closing Plenary: Larry Hagman on Solar Power
Closing Plenary: Q&A with Larry Hagman and Charles Zimmerman

I’m at least one post behind this week, and the critics are posting comments like this one. Ouch!

(Full disclosure: I own some shares of ESLR stock).

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