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post Posted: Sep 11 2010, 05:38 PM
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For general info:

spherical silicon solar cells

gone fishin'
post Posted: Sep 4 2010, 10:05 PM
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All Systems go

Solar and nuclear technology group Silex Systems is forecasting more than $60 million in sales from the newly refurbished solar PV manufacturing plant that it bought from BP Solar. The Sydney plant, the only solar PV panel manufacturing facility in Australia, has been operating in its new guise for just three months and generated $3 million in sales. But Silex now anticipates sales of about 20MW of panels and around 5MW of cells in the coming year. Silex says the business should become cash-flow positive in 2011 as demand increases, and says orders from the residential sector look likely to remain strong for the foreseeable future, and it is also in discussions with other parties on several larger commercial-scale projects. The solar PV market in Australia is expected to jump to around 150MW in calendar 2010 from 80MW in 2009. The global market is also expected to double to 15,000MW, Silex noted.

Meanwhile, Silex says it is hopeful that research into advanced solar materials could provide a mechanism to drive down the cost structures of multi-junction solar cells, which can nearly double the efficiency of solar cells but have hitherto been prohibitively expensive. “The net effect would be to dramatically drive down the cost structures – thus enabling potentially a significant breakthrough in the solar photovoltaic industry,” the company says. The technology would be applicable to large-scale solar PV installations, such as that being developed at Solar Systems, the bankrupted solar developer that Silex bought last year.

Silex says it is also making progress on its unique, laser-based technology to enrich uranium for fuel used in nuclear power plants. The Tennessee Valley Authority has apparently approved a $US400 million contract for uranium enrichment from 2015 to 2025, which broking house Wilson HTM noted was not a “firm contract” but an “encouraging sign”. Silex is expected to conduct engineering design and prototype developments in 2011 before developing final design and specifications of a commercial production facility

post Posted: Sep 2 2010, 09:37 AM
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In Reply To: aad666's post @ Sep 1 2010, 04:31 PM

We have been watching this for a little while now. It appears that Tru-energy dumped the former solar company that Silex bought and came up with a plan to build another one with a different partner.

Silex will have started their small pilot plant next year but may only start the bigger plant in 2013.

I think there may even be another company wanting to build another solar plant in the mildura area.

You may remember a bit earlier, Silex said that they missed out on some funding for the Solar Flagship program because They didn't have any large scale operations, well I think Tru-energy and their partner may have got the govt grant.

We are not sure what effect this will have on Silex's operations. Hopefully Silex will have the better technology by this time. We are also not sure if the electricity generated will go back to the grid, or will be sold directly to the residents in Mildura. If that is the case then there will be no need for both plants, so we are hoping that they are just building in that location because of the longer sun hours and it will be sold back to the grid.

post Posted: Sep 1 2010, 04:31 PM
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Not sure what this all means.

Solar eclipse

01 Sep, 2010 04:00 AM

SILEX Systems Ltd’s plan to build the first solar power station at Mildura is about to be trumped by a former financial partner.
Energy giant TRUenergy says building of its giant 180 megawatt station somewhere “south of Red Cliffs” could begin as early as 2013.

Officials from the company arrived in Mildura this week for a series of community consultation sessions on its Mallee Solar Park proposal.

The company will launch the project on Saturday and operate an information centre in the former Mildura Sports Centre store at the corner of Ninth Street and Langtree Avenue over the next few months.

TRUenergy is one of three companies now targeting Mildura for a large-scale solar facility.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Wednesday’s Sunraysia Daily 01/09/2010.

I wan't prepared to purchase it.

post Posted: Sep 1 2010, 07:09 AM
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The FYR delivered what i have been looking for. Revenue of better than $1 million per month and guidance that we will be cash flow positive within 12 months. Good work SLX Solar. I hope that the momentum can be accelerated and we get to a point very quickly where we can take advantage of the global opportunities. Here is some more information on the state of the global PV market going forward. Note the price of PV cells is firming an the back of world demand and SLX own the largest Pv plant in the Southern hemisphere.

<H1 class=NAA_Color>Firm raises solar outlook</H1>
[b]Mark LaPedus [/b]

[b]8/31/2010 1:23 PM EDT [/b]
SAN JOSE, Calif. - There is a lull in the IC market, but solar is up. In fact, polysilicon and solar wafer prices are up and will likely to remain firm in the first half of next year.

Needham & Co. LLC has raised its forecast for the solar cell industry in 2010 and 2011. Previously, the firm projected 58 percent growth in 2010 and only 13 percent in 2011.

''We are raising our 2010 worldwide solar installation projection to 12.9GW, up 82 percent year-over-year. For 2011, we are modeling a modest growth rate of 17 percent to 15.1GW,'' said Edwin Mok, an analyst with Needham & Co., in a new report.

And in one indicator, the solar cell supply chain is tight. ''Recent checks suggest the poly spot price is tracking at (about) $60/kg, up from $55-60/kg just one month ago,'' Mok said. ''Similarly, the wafer spot price is pushing $0.90/W (was $0.85-$0.90/W). We believe strong poly and wafer pricing trends indicate that poly/wafer supplies have been quite tight. We believe supplies will further tighten in 4Q10 and into 2011, as new cell/module capacities come online and support incremental demand. We understand that cells continue to be quoted at US$1.30-1.35/W and modules at EUR 1.35-1.45 in 2H10, but expect 10 percent-plus declines in 1H11.''

Solar itself is warming up in the second half of 2010. ''After a slower seasonal start to 3Q10 partially due to the FIT (Feed-in-Tariff) cut in Germany, we believe unit demand from Europe has strengthened since August. We believe the rate of installation across Europe should be at least sequentially flat in 3Q10, driven by attractive IRRs in various countries and firm pricing, even after the FiT cut in Germany. Looking into 4Q10, we believe demand will remain strong as customers rush to place orders ahead of the expected FiT cuts in Germany, France, Italy, etc. We believe strong near term demand could drive further upside to 2H10 shipments,'' he said.

And what about 2011? ''We believe installation in Germany will hit 6.8GW this year but is likely to decline in 2011 due to the lower FiT rate. We believe Italy's 3-step FiT reduction in 2011 will have an effect similar to what we saw in Germany this year,'' he said. ''As a result, we expect demand in Italy to remain strong throughout 2011. We see good growth in the U.S., Japan, Ontario Canada and China, but see downside risk in France and the Czech Republic based on our expectation of further FiT cuts and the potential for implementing installation caps.''

Aggressive government incentives are set to trigger booming growth in solar installations in Ontario, Canada, in 2010, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.

Ontario’s PV solar technology system installations are expected to rise to 257 Megawatts (MW) in 2010, up 272.5 percent from 69MW in 2009. However, installation growth will slow dramatically in 2010, rising by 75.5 percent to 451MW in 2011.

“Ontario in 2009 passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, adopting an aggressive green energy policy that includes a Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program as its centerpiece,” said Mike Sheppard, financial services/PV analyst for iSuppli, in a report. “This FIT program represents North America’s first comprehensive guaranteed pricing structure for electricity production from renewable fuels sources including solar PV, bio-energy waterpower and wind.”

A major factor driving the FIT is Ontario’s plan to phase out coal-based electrical generation by 2014. Coal in 2008 represented 21 percent of Ontario’s electricity generation, a gap that must be filled by renewable energy technologies, solar power trends show.

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post Posted: Aug 30 2010, 05:29 PM
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Update form SLX:

And results:


post Posted: Aug 27 2010, 07:50 PM
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I seem to recall that Translucent were once more in collaboration with Stanford Uni.

If that is so i wonder if they are involved with this. Looks interesting and seems to be an extension of the Rare Earth applications. 2010 August Research SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title:'Solar Process Gives Oil a Run for its Money', summary:'Stanford engineers have figured out how to simultaneously use the light and heat of the sun to generate electricity in a way that could make solar power production more than t...', icon:'', url:'' }, {button:true} );
Solar Process Gives Oil a Run for its MoneySTANFORD, Calif., Aug. 23, 2010 — Stanford engineers have figured out how to simultaneously use the light and heat of the sun to generate electricity in a way that could make solar power production more than twice as efficient as existing methods and potentially cheap enough to compete with oil.

Unlike photovoltaic technology currently used in solar panels — which becomes less efficient as the temperature rises — the new process excels at higher temperatures.

Called 'photon enhanced thermionic emission,' or PETE, the process promises to surpass the efficiency of existing photovoltaic and thermal conversion technologies.

"This is really a conceptual breakthrough, a new energy conversion process, not just a new material or a slightly different tweak," said Nick Melosh, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, who led the research group. "It is actually something fundamentally different about how you can harvest energy."

A small PETE device made with cesium-coated gallium nitride glows while being tested inside an ultra-high vacuum chamber. The tests proved that the process simultaneously converted light and heat energy into electrical current. (Image: Photo courtesy of Nick Melosh, Stanford University)

And the materials needed to build a device to make the process work are cheap and easily available, meaning the power that comes from it will be affordable.

"Just demonstrating that the process worked was a big deal," Melosh said. "And we showed this physical mechanism does exist, it works as advertised."

Most photovoltaic cells, such as those used in rooftop solar panels, use the semiconducting material silicon to convert the energy from photons of light to electricity. But the cells can only use a portion of the light spectrum, with the rest just generating heat.

This heat from unused sunlight and inefficiencies in the cells themselves account for a loss of more than 50 percent of the initial solar energy reaching the cell.

If this wasted heat energy could somehow be harvested, solar cells could be much more efficient. The problem has been that high temperatures are necessary to power heat-based conversion systems, yet solar cell efficiency rapidly decreases at higher temperatures.

Until now, no one had come up with a way to wed thermal and solar cell conversion technologies.

Melosh's group figured out that by coating a piece of semiconducting material with a thin layer of the metal cesium, it made the material able to use both light and heat to generate electricity.

"What we've demonstrated is a new physical process that is not based on standard photovoltaic mechanisms, but can give you a photovoltaic-like response at very high temperatures," Melosh said. "In fact, it works better at higher temperatures. The higher the better."

Nick Melosh, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, stands beside the ultra-high vacuum chamber used in the tests that proved the PETE process works. (Image: Linda Cicero, Stanford University News Service)
While most silicon solar cells have been rendered inert by the time the temperature reaches 100 ºC, the PETE device doesn't hit peak efficiency until it is well over 200 degrees ºC.

Because PETE performs best at temperatures well in excess of what a rooftop solar panel would reach, the devices will work best in solar concentrators such as parabolic dishes, which can get as hot as 800 ºC. Dishes are used in large solar farms similar to those proposed for the Mojave Desert in southern California and usually include a thermal conversion mechanism as part of their design, which offers another opportunity for PETE to help generate electricity, as well as minimizing costs by meshing with existing technology.

"The light would come in and hit our PETE device first, where we would take advantage of both the incident light and the heat that it produces, and then we would dump the waste heat to their existing thermal conversion systems," Melosh said. "So the PETE process has two really big benefits in energy production over normal technology."

Photovoltaic systems never get hot enough for their waste heat to be useful in thermal energy conversion, but the high temperatures at which PETE performs are perfect for generating usable high temperature waste heat. Melosh calculates the PETE process can get to 50 percent efficiency or more under solar concentration, but if combined with a thermal conversion cycle, could reach 55 or even 60 percent – almost triple the efficiency of existing systems.

The team would like to design the devices so they could be easily bolted on to existing systems, making conversion relatively inexpensive.

The researchers used a gallium nitride semiconductor in the 'proof of concept' tests. The efficiency they achieved in their testing was well below what they have calculated PETE's potential efficiency to be, which they had anticipated. But they used gallium nitride because it was the only material that had shown indications of being able to withstand the high temperature range they were interested in and still have the PETE process occur.

With the right material – most likely a semiconductor such as gallium arsenide, which is used in a host of common household electronics – the actual efficiency of the process could reach up to the 50 or 60 percent the researchers have calculated. They are already exploring other materials that might work.

Another advantage of the PETE system is that by using it in solar concentrators, the amount of semiconductor material needed for a device is quite small.

"For each device, we are figuring something like a six-inch wafer of actual material is all that is needed," Melosh said. "So the material cost in this is not really an issue for us, unlike the way it is for large solar panels of silicon."

The cost of materials has been one of the limiting factors in the development of the solar power industry, so reducing the amount of investment capital needed to build a solar farm is a big advance.

"The PETE process could really give the feasibility of solar power a big boost," Melosh said. "Even if we don't achieve perfect efficiency, let's say we give a 10 percent boost to the efficiency of solar conversion, going from 20 percent efficiency to 30 percent, that is still a 50 percent increase overall."

And that is still a big enough increase that it could make solar energy competitive with oil.

For more information, visit:

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post Posted: Aug 24 2010, 07:55 PM
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Maybe royalties wont be too far away..

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post Posted: Aug 13 2010, 10:00 AM
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In Reply To: seawindpilot's post @ Aug 13 2010, 08:12 AM

looking forward to some guidance on solar and they could toss Translucent and ChronoLogic in as well.

post Posted: Aug 13 2010, 08:12 AM
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For those of you following the solar sector as a whole here is some of the other manufacturers 1/4 results. It will be very interesting to see what results SLX will publish at the end of the month. I do not expect a lot as it is only just covering the start up and commisioning phase so there will not have been a lot or any stock to get out to the market place. The next 1/4 will be more interesting. Hopefully though we will be given some guidance of what to expect going forward which will be a step change to SLX reporting.
<H1 class=NAA_Color>Solar results: What analysts are saying</H1>
[b]Mark LaPedus [/b]

[b]8/12/2010 1:19 PM EDT [/b]
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Several solar firms-including JA, LDK, Solarfun and SunPower-have recently reported their results. Here's what analysts are saying about the numbers:

JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd.

Reported Q2 revenue of $351 million, an increase of 25 percent sequentially. Net income was $28.9 million and GAAP EPS of $0.18 per fully diluted ADS.

Mark Bachman, an analyst with Auriga USA, said: ''Q2 results were good with revenues far outpacing the consensus estimate of $305 million. All said, JASO delivered decent results and generally had a bullish outlook for the remainder of 2010 and into 2011. However, with revenues being generated from cells, modules, and tolling services, the income statement is more difficult to predict, and JASO remains primarily levered to just one part of the value chain.

''JASO has already achieved 1.4GW of cell capacity at the end of Q2; we did not model this level of manufacturing until 4Q10. In addition, management raised full year cell capacity guidance to 1.8GW, up from the previous 1.5GW estimate.''

Edwin Mok, an analyst with Needham & Co. LLC, said: ''JA Solar reported strong 2Q10 revenue/shipments and provided higher guidance; however, we believe a strong report was expected and the share pull-back on weaker earnings was mainly due to two one-time charges. Despite higher expenses and slightly disappoint earnings, we believe JASO will continue to gain share, and has good potential for above-average top-line growth.''

LDK Solar Co. Ltd.

Posted record quarterly revenue of $565.3 million, an increase of 62.7 percent sequentially and 147.6 percent year-over-year.Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 was $45.0 million, or $0.36 per diluted ADS, compared to net income of $7.2 million, or $0.06 per diluted ADS for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 and a net loss of $216.9 million, or $2.03 per diluted ADS for the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

Edwin Mok, an analyst with Needham & Co. LLC, said: ''LDK reported another strong quarter and once again raised full year shipment guidance. Clearly, the company is executing operationally. Combined with the strong near-term demand environment, we see further growth in 2H10. LDK's highly leveraged balance sheet remains a key risk to the story; however, if the company can continue to generate strong cashflow, the story could look more attractive.

''LDK raised its 2010 wafer/module shipment guidance and its revenue guidance to $1.95-$2.00 billion, well above consensus of $1.59B. We believe the updated outlook still looks conservative, since the mid-pts of the guidance ranges imply sizeable shipment/revenue declines in 4Q. Even with some seasonal slowness in late-4Q10, given the FIT related demand pull-ins, we expect 4Q volume and ASP to remains relatively stable to 3Q levels, enabling LDK to further raise guidance.''

Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd.

Said net revenues were $258.5 million, an increase of 18.8 percent from 1Q10 and an increase of 105 percent from 2Q09. Net income attributable to shareholders on a GAAP basis was $40.2 million), an increase of 96.4 percent in 1Q10.

Edwin Mok, an analyst with Needham & Co. LLC, said: ''We reiterate our Buy rating on SOLF after a good 2Q10 report and higher guidance, which looks conservative. Additionally, the company announced a strategic ownership agreement in which Hanwha Chemical Corp. will acquire 49.99% of outstanding shares. Based on the strong volume growth, we believe SOLF is gaining market share as it builds its own brand while continuing to serve OEM customers. We see more shipment growth as its new branding efforts take hold.''

SunPower Corp.

Posted Q2 2010 revenue of $384 million, compared to $347 million in Q1 2010. Reported Q2 GAAP EPS loss of $0.06, compared to $0.13 in Q1.

Mark Bachman, an analyst with Auriga USA, said: ''The quality of SunPower's earnings continues to be a problem for us. Through the magic of non-GAAP accounting, SunPower was able to beat the Street consensus of $0.10, while on a GAAP basis the company recorded a loss of $0.06.

''The story on the call was largely unchanged, with management exuding confidence in the business model, visibility of revenue recognition through 2011, and its belief that SunPower markets a cost-effective and competitive ($/kWh) product. While there is some merit to these points, we still find a lack of earnings power to this business model.

''SunPower's Asian competitors are ramping capacity faster, and thus taking market share, while exhibiting greater earnings power. SunPower has taken steps to thwart its competition, such as introducing the standard multi-crystalline Serengeti product and forming a joint-venture with AU Optronics, but we find the former as a defensive maneuver to stem market share losses, while the latter is a confirmation that SunPower could not deliver on its cost-roadmap on its own. The SunPower story may eventually play out over the next several years, but we are hard pressed to put new money into this name when there are more transparent business models with greater earnings power within the solar sector.''

Edwin Mok, an analyst with Needham & Co. LLC, said: ''SunPower reported mixed 2Q10 results. In the near-term, SunPower residential and commercial business is limited by capacity constraints. While the company raised the low-end of its 2010 earnings guidance, we continue to view the back-end loaded guidance as risky given the high sensitivity to the timing of project revenue recognition. Longer-term, SunPower is building a strong project pipeline that could drive better earnings growth, but shares are unlikely to trade on future earnings potential until SunPower proves it can deliver to the promising pipeline.''

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