Science & technology
Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and French CPV company Soitec have developed a four-junction solar cell capable of achieving a conversion efficiency of 46.3% at a concentration of 319 suns. The researchers believe the four-junction cell could ultimately achieve a conversion efficiency as high as 50%.
The four-junction cell uses two dual-junction sub cells grown on different III-V compound materials, which allows optimal band-gap combinations tailored to capture a broader range of the solar spectrum. This maximizes energy-generating efficiency. Soitec explains that the cells leverage its proprietary semiconductor-bonding (Smart Stacking) and layer-transfer (Smart Cut) technologies, which have been used in volume production by the global semiconductor.... more
Swiss-Swedish power and automation technologies group ABB plans to build an inverter factory in South Africa that will produce central inverters for the local market. The production facility, scheduled to be completed in 2014, will be located at an existing ABB production facility in Johannesburg. The facility will produce 500 MW of PVS800 central inverters annually. The 630, 875 and 1,000 kW.... more
German solar company Centrosolar AG said that the company’s shareholders have approved a large majority of restructuring measures proposed by the company’s management board, including a debt-for-equity swap that will drastically reduce debt by turning bondholders into stockholders. The plan, which was approved by bond creditors earlier in the week, involves a number of restructuring steps that.... more
Solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse has completed the longest leg of its coast-to-coast US tour after flying 1,541 km (958 miles) from Phoenix, Arizona to Dallas, Texas. The journey, which took 18 hours and 21 minutes, is a new world record – the longest distance flown by an aircraft powered exclusively by solar power. The prototype aircraft relies on 12,000 solar cells and 881 pounds of lithium.... more
At the annual general meeting of German inverter producer SMA Solar Technology AG, shareholders approved the company’s proposal to slash its dividend payout for fiscal year 2012. The company will pay a dividend of €0.60 ($0.77) per share for fiscal year 2012, down from €1.30 per share for 2011.
»SMA stands by its long-term dividend policy, even in difficult times,« explains SMA CEO.... more