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The Magazine for Renewable energies
ISSN 1861-2741 74714
€ 12.00 • international issue
atenciГі l
The solar ediTion
MIcroINverSoreS y optIMIzadoreS
ВїDos tecnologГ­as fotovoltaicas
eNergГ­a terMoSolar
estГЎn llegando las
instalaciones grandes
MegaceNtraleS fotovoltaIcaS
Oleada solar
en AmГ©rica Latina
Horse-drawn carriages
as best practice example?
hotovoltaics are on a global triumphal
march. From Asia – especially China
and Japan – to North and South
America, the new installation figures in the individual countries are breaking records on a
quarterly basis. The inglorious exception is
Europe, of all places, where the triumphal
march of photovoltaics began. Currently,
political support is crumbing there, however.
The absurdity of the situation may be seen
from the following comparison. The world’s
first engine plant was set up in 1864 by
Nicolaus August Otto in Cologne, Germany.
His invention revolutionised our ideas on
mobility. Now just imagine what would have
happened if the politicians of the day had decided to limit the spread of motorised vehicles
in order not to harm the business of horsedrawn carriage manufacturers. Roads would
not have been improved to make use of the
advantages of the new means of transport and
we would now all still be travelling carriage to
carriage at 10 km/h on bumpy roads.
As I have said, that would be absurd. But
unfortunately, European energy policies in
numerous European states are following just
such a pattern. The requirements of conventional power plants are being allowed to determine the shape of future energy systems.
It is thus no surprise that other regions of the
world have taken on the leading role in the
expansion of renewable energy. The motives
may be different in each case, but the result is
that China, Japan and the USA are the leading
photovoltaics markets today on the global
stage. US President Obama’s announcement
to cut CO2 emissions from coal-fired power
plants by 30 % by 2030 has catapulted his
country from being a long-term hinderer on
the climate-protection front to the role of a
climate-protection driver.
Numerous Latin-American countries have
also seen the advantages of expanding
renewable energy use over an increased use
Solar Edition
of conventional power plants. Apart from the
use of hydropower, it is mainly solar and wind
farms on which hopes are being pinned. The
national economic benefits are clear; conventional plants are often dependent on fossil
fuel imports, but if these are replaced by wind
and solar electricity, then the trade balance
and the home economy are less strained, not
to mention the creation of jobs.
Mining companies in the sparsely populated north of Chile pay US$ 108 to 112 per
megawatt hour of conventional electricity
generation. A grid-independent electricity
supply from their own solar farms is thus
quickly becoming a lucrative alternative. It is
hardly surprising that project developers from
Spain and France are now preferring to build
solar farms for industrial customers in South
America than in their respective home
But also at the other end of the scale, that
is supplying individual homes, photovoltaics
is beginning to play to its particular strengths
in South America and other parts of the
world. Electricity from photovoltaics, which
can replace expensive diesel fuel in PV-diesel
hybrid plants, is meanwhile a real alternative.
It is economic without any state aid at all and
is being provided by companies in the solar
sector as a technically mature solution.
Photovoltaics and engine technology
would then almost be meeting each other to
forge part of the future together, but Otto’s
engines alongside electricity generation from
PV? No, the two are not quite compatible
enough for that. And some day, in an age of
electric mobility, combustion engines on the
roads may become synonymous with horsedrawn carriages.
Dr. Volker Buddensiek
[email protected]
Photo: solarklima
Table of conTenTS
Micro-inverters & optimizers:
Two groundbreaking PV technologies?
The sale of micro-inverters and DC optimizers on the American
market is continuously growing. Some manufacturers have
already left the niche market. They should soon be followed
by others.
Page 44
Photo: SMA AG
Heat transfer fluids: Eating away
at pipes – and investment
In order to ensure a long service life for heat carrier media, the
appropriate product needs to be selected for solar thermal
power plants. However, maintenance and installation also
play a major role. Operators who are stingy with fluids or
negligent with maintenance risk ruining first the fluid and,
eventually, the entire solar power plant.
The Magazine for
Renewable energies
ISSN 1861-2741 7471
€ 12.00 • international
Page 38
The solar ediTion
August 26th to
28th 2014
SГЈo Paul o, Braz
Booth A25
After some years of patient development efforts, the
Mexican utility scale PV plants market is about to take off.
Still, despite more than 1 GW of projects registered, most of
these developments will have to wait at least until 2015 to
see the light of day. The much-awaited legal reform is
expected to trigger a sector with good perspectives.
Page 28
MIcro-INverterS &
Two groundbreakin
PV technologies?
Solar therMal
The big systems are
UtIlIty Scale pv
A solar
in Latin America e
Photo: SunEdison
Solar market Mexico:
A solar wave in Latin America
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Residential growth will affect many
U.S. manufacturers
Photo: SolarWorld Americas
The conditions for market growth in the renewable energy
sector could not be more promising. Solar accounted for
74 % of all new U.S. electric capacity installed in Q1 2014.
6.6 GW of PV will be installed by the end of the year. Analysts
predict more than 8 GW by the end of the year. The forecast
also shows after years of the utility sector’s steady growth
the residential market is now ready to seriously expand.
Page 50
Focus on the Americas
In this edition, we will focus on selected
PV and solar thermal markets in North
and South America. Additionally, there is
a bound-in supplement at the end of the
magazine with a translation of various
articles into Spanish.
Photo: SunEdison
Pages 6 to 30
Intersolar South America:
Optimism in SГЈo Paulo
U.S. solar market: On the way to
being an established market
USA / Canada:
Great potential, minimal growth
Solar thermal in Brazil: A long way to go
PV companies in the USA:
Signs of maturation through consolidation
PV in Chile: The solar sector comes to life
Solar market Mexico: A solar wave in sight
32 Large-scale systems:
The big ones are coming
38 Heat transfer fluids:
Eating away at pipes – and investment
44 Micro-inverters & optimizers:
Two groundbreaking PV technologies?
48 Tracking systems:
The ugly duckling industry?
50 PV market segments:
Growth in residential segment will affect
many U.S. manufacturers
54 Thailand: Solar energy can mitigate
impact of weather-related disasters
57 Directory
64 International events
66 Preview and imprint
Photo: AristonThermo
The big ones are coming
How is the market for large-scale solar thermal
systems developing? SUN & WIND ENERGY has
compiled and evaluated responses from
companies around the world.
Page 32
Solar Edition
inteRSolaR South ameRica
At the year’s Intersolar South America there will be plenty of opportunities for industrious networking.
Photos (3): Intersolar
Optimism in SГЈo Paulo
Intersolar Europe’s little sister just keeps growing and
growing. This year will be the second time it takes place
in SГЈo Paulo. From 26 to 28 August, when it opens its
doors at the Expo Center Norte, its organisers expect
bustling interest in their solar trade fair.
hey have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
After all, the South American photovoltaics
market has been developing brilliantly for some
time. The International Energy Agency (IEA) confirms
this development. In terms of annual photovoltaic installations, the South American continent exceeded
the 5 MW threshold for the first time ever in 2013. And
the market is just getting started. What goes for the
continent, goes for the host country of Intersolar
South America as well. “2014 is an historic year for
photovoltaics in Brazil,” says Tina Engelhard, the
spokesperson for Intersolar South America. For the
first time ever the national government has initiated
tendering for solar projects. The national energy agency has also published targets for the development of
solar power. By 2018, the government wants to see
systems with a total capacity of 3.5 GW installed.
“That makes the future of photovoltaics in Brazil look
very bright, which is why Brazil is the perfect location
for our second Intersolar South America.”
Bigger than last year
Players in the solar market seem to share this view.
“As early as three months ahead of the opening day,
we knew that Intersolar 2014 was going to be bigger
than the previous event,” said Engelhard. By that
time the registrations already exceeded the number
of participants that attended the last trade fair. Last
year, representatives from 64 companies and eleven
different countries found their way to SГЈo Paulo to
exhibit at the solar trade fair. Their stands saw 2,288
visitors from 22 different countries. Most of them –
61.1 % to be exact – were interested mainly in photovoltaics. That is the result of a survey conducted by
Intersolar South America’s organisers. Even so,
18.3 % of the visitors had an interest in solar thermal.
“Although we are still at the very beginning with our
event, the trade fair will present the entire value chain
in the areas of photovoltaics and solar thermal.”
Everything related to solar power storage will occupy
more space this year than last. And the event is not
just limited to Brazil. Of course, the positive development of the Chilean market will also be a hot topic at
Intersolar South America. The same goes for Argentina
and Uruguay, where interest in solar electricity and
heating is taking off. And not to forget the small
Carribean countries, where some large-scale
ground-mounted systems are already in service.
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Intersolar Europe | Munich
Intersolar North America | San Francisco
Intersolar South America | SГЈo Paulo
Intersolar India | Mumbai
Intersolar China | Beijing
Intersolar Summits | Worldwide
Discover the
world of Intersolar
Solar Edition
inteRSolaR South ameRica
The organisers expect a
record number of visitors
in 2014.
Still, there are far too few of such systems. As is
appropriate for an Intersolar event, the organisers
have also put together a large conference, which runs
for three days parallel to the exhibition. The conference, too, is concerned with the topics of photovoltaics
and solar thermal. Of course, the conference also
sheds light on the Brazilian market and the various
possibilities it offers. In addition to presenting the
range of technologies, there will be a PV focus topic
on off-grid and stand-alone solutions because the
Latin American market is so well suited to such installations. In Chile, for instance, he mining industry is
already using these systems on a grand scale. The
implementation and financing of projects will be yet
another topic of discussion. The Brazilian Congress of
Solar Heating is embedded within the conference, in
the solar thermal area, and is organised by the
National Department of Solar Heating. The organisers
of the congress want to open visitors’ eyes to the
issue of solar thermal in Brazil and South America.
They see enormous potential.
Parallel events
The three-day conference
also promises to be an
interesting forum, yet
At the same time as Intersolar, SГЈo Paulo will also
host the Electrical Installations Exhibition &
Conference (ENIE). The simultaneous scheduling was
carefully planned by the organisers of the two events.
Engelhard speaks of synergy effects. That was
revealed last year when both events also took place
at the same time. People who visit Intersolar are also
interested in ENIE and vice-versa. “For three decades
ENIE has been a meeting place and magnet for people
who are interested in electrical installations for buildings and industrial applications,” says Engelhard.
“The visitors include engineers, wholesalers of related components, and end consumers from a range of
industrial areas. In addition, there are representatives of energy providers and telecommunications
companies.” The synergies are obvious. “Intersolar
South America and its surroundings offer the ideal
platform for networking, exchanging information,
and the search for new projects and business partners,” says Engelhard. The organisers believe that
Intersolar South America and ENIE will attract well
over 10,000 visitors this August. Not long before
these two trade fairs, Greenbuilding Brasil 2014 will
also take place in SГЈo Paulo. This is yet another trade
fair accompanied by a simultaneous conference. And
in this case, the overlapping topics are obvious. After
all, at Greenbuilding everything revolves around the
topic of sustainable building. In addition to thermal
insulation for buildings, there is a strong focus on
efficient and environment-friendly methods of building cooling. That also goes for water harvesting technologies and especially ways to save water during
daily use in South America.
Thus, after the World Cup winds down in Brazil, it
is worthwhile to keep an eye on the events in SГЈo
Paulo, and perhaps even to pay the city a visit. After
all, the little sister of Intersolar Europe is well on its
way to growing up into the centre of the solar industry’s activities on the South American continent. At
the same time, it offers a springboard for those who
would like to be active there in the future. The trade
fair at the Expo Center Norte in SГЈo Paulo will be open
from 12 to 8 pm for its three days. The conference
takes place on Tuesday, 26 August from 11 am until
5:30 pm, and on Wednesday and Thursday from 9 am
until 1:30 pm.
Markus Grunwald
Further information:
Intersolar South America:
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
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Solar Edition
U.S. Solar Market
Photovoltaic systems are being installed on many flat roofs in the USA. Market researchers expect total installed capacity to be close to the
20 GW mark at the end of 2014.
Photo: Paul Wiegman
On the way to being an
established market
The United States of America is now the third-largest PV
market in the world, and experts say that its potential
has not been exhausted yet. The solar thermal market is
also gradually gaining importance.
ccording to the latest report by GTM Research
and the U.S. solar industry association SEIA,
photovoltaic systems with a total rated power
of 4.34 GW and solar thermal power (CSP) plants with
410 MW of overall capacity were installed in the USA
in 2013. “That is a 41 % increase over 2012. Solar
technology made up 29 % of the total expansion of
power generation capacity in the USA, making it the
second-largest contributor overall. At the end of the
year, the USA had more than 440,000 solar plants.
PV plants generated 12.1 GW and solar thermal power
plants contributed 918 MW,” SEIA CEO Arno Harris
said. The U.S. market research company NPD Solarbuzz expects the installed PV capacity in the USA to
be close to 20 GW at the end of this year. This means
the market has been growing at a rate of 50 % since
2006. The United States is the third-largest PV market
in the world, after China and Japan. PV and CSP systems with a total output of 2.1 GW were installed
during the fourth quarter alone, including 1.4 GW of
power-plant-sized systems. “More important than
the numbers is perhaps the fact that the U.S. solar
market took a step towards becoming a truly established market for the first time in 2013,” Shayle Kann
of GTM Research commented. “Customers have
embraced technologies quickly, they are receiving
funding, financing opportunities have become better
and market success has demonstrated the benefits of
solar energy to investors as well as to the general
public.” GTM Research has also taken a closer look at
the structure of the market.
California still in the lead
With a newly installed capacity of 2.62 GW, California
is the largest solar market in the U.S. “That is 55 % of
the total expansion in capacity in the USA,” Kann
said. Arizona comes next with 421 MW. “About half of
this is accounted for by the 280 MW solar thermal
power plant Solana, which went into operation in
October 2013.” The biggest change was the emergence of new photovoltaic markets in the southeast
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
of the United States. The market in North Carolina
rapidly grew to a volume of 335 MW, where most of
the newly built PV plants had up to 5 MW rated
capacity. Texas and Georgia were also among the ten
largest markets. The fourth and fifth-largest markets
were Massachusetts and New Jersey, each of which
had a newly installed capacity of around 200 MW. The
five leading photovoltaic markets in the USA accounted for over 80 % of total PV expansion in 2013. In six
states, including Arizona, Massachusetts and New
Jersey, the only new power plants that were built in
2013 were solar.
“Solar power plants once again accounted for the
largest share of the U.S. solar market in 2013,” Kann
said. The industry grew by 58 % and installed 2.85 GW
of new capacity. This is more than half of overall
growth. Large-scale systems are sought-after pieces
of property in the USA. One example of this is the recent joint purchase of a 50 MW plant in New Mexico
by the energy providers Southern Company and
Turner Renewable Energy. This boosted the PV portfolio of the two companies in the USA to 290 MW.
“Together, Southern Company and Turner Renewable
Energy have accumulated one of the largest solar
portfolios in the country,” said Thomas A. Fanning,
Chairman, CEO and President of Southern Company.
Large power plants, however, are not the only
business area where there is notable activity. “Nonprivate systems with a total capacity of 1.11 GW were
also installed,” Kann said. These include commercial
and industrial installations as well as installations on
public buildings. “The reason why this market segment only grew by 4 % during the course of the year
was because the market in New Jersey took a
nosedive.” Private solar power systems accounted for
the smallest share of additional construction
(792 MW) for the fourth year in a row, even though
the segment grew by 60 %, mainly due to the success
of solar leasing.
Success stories and foreign
Although the growth of the U.S. market is a positive
sign, the situation also has a downside. Many U.S.
solar companies have had to file for insolvency, even
though the demand for solar products in their home
market is constantly increasing. Among the companies that filed for insolvency are well-known names
such as the module manufacturers Evergreen Solar
and MX Solar USA, the cell manufacturer Solyndra
and the inverter manufacturer Satcon, to name just a
few examples. The reason for their downfall was, and
still is, foreign-made solar products, which are available in the USA at prices that U.S. companies are unable to undercut with the cost of their domestic production lines. Foreign companies such as Sharp or
Mage Solar, which used to manufacture components
in the USA, have quit producing there. Nevertheless,
the country remains interesting for foreign companies.
“The U.S. market is more open to foreign module
suppliers than, say, the Chinese or Japanese markets
Solar Edition
U.S. Solar Market
are. The big U.S. companies still play a major role of
course, but five out of the ten leading suppliers in
2013 were Chinese companies,” said Stefan de Haan,
Principal Analyst at IHS – Solar Research.
Low production costs have become extremely important to be able to compete in the USA. Sunpower,
one of the largest solar companies in the USA, seems
to have anticipated this development ahead of time.
Early on, the vertically integrated company, which
has its headquarters in San Jose, California, began to
move its production facilities to foreign countries.
This allowed Sunpower to present a good balance
sheet for the first quarter of this year. It reported a
profit of US$ 692.4 million and announced that it
plans to expand its cell production in the Philippines.
“Sunpower once again posted strong quarterly results, reflecting the power of our full value chain integration and diversified market footprint. We benefitted from strong demand in our distributed generation
channels as well as solid execution in our global
power plant business,” said Tom Werner, Sunpower
President and CEO. “Construction of our new 350 MW
solar cell manufacturing facility Fab 4 is on track with
first silicon expected early next year. This new capacity will allow us to address the growing demand for
our high efficiency solar systems.”
The U.S. thin-film manufacturer First Solar cannot
complain either. The company, which has its headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, announced that it increased its revenue in the first quarter to US$ 950
million. This is an increase of 180 million over the
previous quarter. “In the first quarter we demonstrated significant progress towards achieving the financial and operational targets we outlined at our recent
Analyst Day,” said Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. The
company was also the largest project developer last
year, due to the fact that it installs modules as an EPC
contractor directly in large-scale projects. Finlay
Colville, Vice President of Solarbuzz, expects that
First Solar will continue to expand its production
capacity for thin-film modules through 2017.
SolarWorld is also benefiting from the demand in
the USA. “We are picking up tremendous speed,”
said CEO Frank Asbeck at the General Meeting in
Bonn. There were as many new systems installed in
the USA during the first quarter as the declining
German market is expecting for the entire year 2014.
SolarWorld is well prepared with its own production
facilities in the USA, Asbeck said. The company has
cell and module production facilities in the United
States with capacities of 500 and 550 MW,
The potential of solar thermal is
not being fully exploited
In general, the U.S. market has great potential for solar thermal systems. According to a study conducted
by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), 16 %
of the approximately 110 million U.S. households
could use solar thermal energy. Market potential is
estimated at around US$ 123 billion. The northeast
and the southwest are particularly well-suited, due to
the high energy costs in those areas as well as the
good natural conditions. Nevertheless, the solar thermal market is still relatively small. Only 30,000 solar
heating systems are installed per year, corresponding to a turnover of US$ 435 million. With 9 GW of installed solar thermal power, the USA ranks 36 in the
world in terms of per capita power output. The largest
number of solar thermal systems are installed in
China (152 GWth) and Europe (39.3 GWth).
The existing potential is not being fully used.
Nevertheless, the experts at SEIA have determined
that interest in solar power is growing in the United
States. Interest in alternative sources of energy rises
along with rising costs. Heating and cooling account
for 44 % of energy consumption in the USA. The association intends to leverage the momentum and has
published a plan to increase the installed capacity of
systems for solar heating and cooling in the USA to a
total of 300 GWth by 2050. In order to achieve this,
100 million new solar collectors need to be installed.
The planned investments would create 50,250 jobs
and save more than 61 billion U.S. dollars in energy
costs. In addition, this would enable the United States
Solar energy systems can also
be found in more and more
wildlife parks in the USA, such
as shown here in Yosemite
National Park.
Photo: SolarWorld
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
to cover 8 % of its heating and cooling requirements
using solar energy. According to SEIA, solar thermal
systems are the most efficient type of renewable energy to heat and cool with. The cost is only
0.06 US$/kWh. “We need to raise awareness with
politicians about the considerable benefits solar thermal systems can provide for American consumers,
businesses as well as the entire economy, at both
state and federal levels,” said SEIA President and
CEO Rhone Resch. “If we manage to achieve this, it
will pay off significantly in jobs and energy savings.”
Warning voices
So the U.S. solar market is not in such bad shape
after all. Nevertheless, some voices are advising caution in the area of PV, and they are coming from the
market research company Solarbuzz. The analysts
are warning that the industry is in danger because
states are reducing the required minimum proportion of renewable energy in electricity generation
and they also intend to scale back net-metering. The
biggest threat, however, is the uncertainty resulting
from the trade dispute over solar imports from China
and Taiwan. “If states sharply reduce funding for
solar or if the availability of photovoltaic modules becomes very limited, then this could reduce demand
or drive prices up,” analyst Michael Barker said.
Milan Nitzschke, spokesperson for SolarWorld,
warns against dumping prices. “A healthy market
can only develop on the basis of healthy competition. Dumping prices and market dominance have
severely damaged the acceptance of solar energy in
Europe. This must not be repeated in the USA. It is
important that the USA retains its own PV industry,
and that China does not deprive the next market of
its domestic industry. Solar modules barely account
for a quarter of system prices in the USA. A tariff on
Chinese dumping imports would not slow down the
growth, but would instead allow for fair and
sustainable competition.”
Interest in solar thermal energy
is growing in the north and
northeast of the USA, due to
rising energy costs, according
to Brian Ables from the energy
consultancy company Energy
Optimizer USA.
Photo: Energy Optimizer USA
Markus Grunwald
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Solar Edition
United States of America
S i n g a p o r e 13
55,000 ft2 SolarWall system at the Defence Logistics Agency (DLA) in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania/USA
Lots of sun, plenty of space and interesting support
mechanisms in many locations: the North American
market offers excellent conditions for positive
development of the solar thermal market. But low energy
prices are still putting the brakes on the upward trend
and are hindering consumers’ awareness of regenerative
energy sources.
he solar thermal market in the US is still far
below expectations”, said one of the main
statements in the USA country report of the
ISOL Navigators, published in December 2013. The
business climate index for the international solar
thermal industry is compiled annually by the Solrico
agency. It is based on a points system, with the help
of which the current and future market development
can be evaluated on a scale from 0 to 100. With only
28 points, the Current Business ISOL Index 2013 for
the USA was not only under the global average but
also two points lower than the results for the years
2011 and 2012. According to the study, despite incentive programmes in many states and a current
Photo: Conserval
federal tax credit of 30 % the US market is not
developing satisfactorily.
“The manufacturers are still having to develop
the market, raise awareness among potential customers and inform them about support programmes”,
reports Marlon Rechberger, CEO of the company
Solpal, a Californian subsidiary of the Austrian firm
KIOTO Clear Energy AG. “The people here connect solar primarily with photovoltaics. End customers are
still largely unaware that solar thermal offers a much
cheaper solution with which a large proportion of
their utility costs could be covered.” For his company
Solpal, Rechberger markets the tank collector of the
same name on the US market. In addition, the solar
thermal energy expert supplies well-known US
manufacturers with flat absorbers in typical US sizes
from the KIOTO production in Mexico.
“I still regard the USA as a potential market: I see
great potential but no real growth. I think that the total market for water-based glass-covered collectors
over the last few years has been between 180,000
and 200,000 m²/a – not more and not less”, estimates Rechberger and follows up with an explanation
for this stagnation: “The main reason is the low gas
price. In California it is around 0.12 US$/kW and this
is hardly noticeable for the end customer. In contrast,
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
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the gas price strengthens the Hawaiian solar market
because Hawaii has three to four times higher energy
prices due to its island location.” Furthermore, says
Rechberger, the island state profits from its incentive
Incentive programmes drive
market development
Michael Arms Apartments is a
38 unit multi-family housing
project in La Mesa, CA. Adroit
designed and installed a solar
hot water system, which included 40 KIOTO FP 1.20.0 flat
plate collectors.
Photo: Adroit Solar
Also in California, end customers can take advantage of a
highly attractive programme:
the California Solar Incentive
(CSI). In combination with the
federal tax credit it makes extremely short amortization
times possible. At first, only
commercial systems were supported with this programme but
as the applications from this
segment were insufficient to use
up the available funds, private
installations were also included. Now, commercial swimming
pool systems are also being
supported. This policy is reflected in the development of the individual segments. “We have
noticed that because of the support, customers of
ours who previously concentrated on glass-covered
collectors for large projects now also specialize in
hotels with pools, where they make more turnover
than in the past”, observes Rechberger.
When considering which segment is currently the
best US-wide, one needs to differentiate between the
regions. “If we only consider California, I would say
that 75 % is a commercial and industrial market”,
estimates the Solpal Managing Director. “Things are
different on the East Coast, for example in the
New England states, where private installations
dominate. There, the percentages are reversed, with
75 % residential and 25 % commercial.”
According to Rechberger, 75 to 80 % of the
market in the USA is shared by the country’s own
producers. “Some products from the Canadian
manufacturer Enerworks are currently on the
market. Collectors from Europe are becoming
scarcer. And the competition from China is not as
noticeable here in the USA as it is for our Latin
American factory in Mexico.”
The fact that many large European collector
manufacturers have failed in the USA is due to their
attempts to make the US market adopt European
norms and collector sizes, says Rechberger. “80 %
of the flat collectors on the American market are the
typical 4 x 10 ft collectors”, he estimates. “And
hardly anyone wants to substitute them for
the typical European 2 mВІ collectors. The best reason for this was once explained to me by SunEarth
boss Cully Judd: the load area of the Ford F 150
pickup has exactly enough space for the 4 x 10 ft
Conversely, there are currently very few exports
to countries outside the USA and Canada. The reason
for this is the costs. “A good collector costs around
85 €/m² in Europe. The American companies sell
their 4 x 10 ft collectors for US$ 600 to 800. This
represents a mВІ price of between US$ 150 and 200.
If you add the transport costs, then the manufacturers can’t compete with our prices in Europe.”
Air collector manufacturers are
targeting Europe
Things look different for the manufacturers of solar
air collectors. These are competitive in Europe with
their systems in terms of price and have only a small
group of competitors there. The Canadian manufacturer Conserval Engineering, for example, with its
façade system Solarwall, has been active in Europe
for many years. The company Enerconcept, which is
also based in Canada, started targeting Europe some
years ago and its glazed Lubi collector has been
approved for BAFA support in Germany since 2013.
The fact that air collectors can now be certified in
Europe and are therefore eligible for support is a result of the new collector norm EN 12975, which in its
current version now includes air-based collectors for
the first time. “Solar air heating has lacked the same
visibility in Europe because it has been ineligible for
government support mechanisms,” says Victoria
Hollick, Vice President Operations at Conserval. “The
new EN 12975 standard is a game changer in that solar air heating can now be tested to a European norm
and should become eligible for existing and new
Hollick evaluates the development of the North
American market positively: “The growth in the use of
solar air heating in North America was driven by government support policies such as the ecoENERGY
Program for Renewable Heat in Canada and the 30 %
solar tax credit in the USA, as well as various state
initiatives. These types of programme are essential
because heating is often the largest consumer of
energy in buildings and therefore any plan to reduce
GHG emissions must target space heating.”
Evidence that the air collector industry is progressing well is supported by a current press release
from the US Solar Energy Industries Association
(SEIA), which reports a total area of 5 million ft2 of
building-integrated solar air collectors in North
America. The figure was compiled by SEIA’s Solar
Heating and Cooling Alliance and is based on statements made by their members in the USA and Canada. SEIA President Rhone Resch says these systems
represent 250 MWth and save the emission of nearly
100,000 t of CO2 each year. “Building-integrated solar air heating systems are often overlooked in the
discussion about renewable energy,” says Resch.
“We need to change that mindset. These cost-effective,
energy-efficient systems can reduce by 20 to 50 %
the amount of conventional energy used for heating
buildings – or for agricultural or process drying
Stephanie Banse
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
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P O W E R E D B Y:
Solar Edition
The solar
thermal sector
has shown consisВ­
tent success and
good prospects for
expansion, but in the
current challenging
times and a cloudy
economic climate
caution is the order
of the day.
solaR theRmal maRket in bRazil
A long way
to go
Brazil’s solar heating industry
shows excellent expansion
potential but still has a long
way to go.
Photo: dpa
Brazilian solar
heating market
The domestic hot water sector
comprises some 83 % of the
Brazilian solar heating market,
with industrial and commercial
use making up the remaining
17 %.
Source: ABRAVA
he Brazilian solar thermal market is now
approaching its 35th year. In that time, the
technology has demonstrated its viability as a
sustainable and independent energy source with perВ­
sistent growth. This is largely due to the country’s
favourable climate, with its average solar radiation
levels nearly double that of some European counВ­
tries. Furthermore, thanks to this wealth of
sunshine as well as nicely compatible buildВ­
ing construction practices, it has been
possible to develop simple and signifiВ­
cantly less expensive solutions
without compromising functionality
or efficiency.
These factors – high solar radia­
tion and low cost – coupled with the
traditionally high prices of convenВ­
tional energy that rise continually,
have produced an robust market
capable of competing with other energy
sources for heating water. Apart from
environmental awareness and the increased
comfort solar thermal offers, over time customers
have come to see the technology as an opportunity
for financial investment. In several regions of Brazil a
solar water heater (SWH) pays for itself in less than
two years without any subsidies through the savings
it provides in electricity. An effective national labelВ­
ling programme has also brought the credibility
needed for longВ­term investment.
The market has gelled and the country’s com­
bined solar farms have grown to the point where they
generate as much energy as the “Angra 1” nuclear
plant in the State of Rio de Janeiro.
Potential not yet fully tapped
If not for the highly restrictive factors in the macroВ­
economic environment, the reality could be even
brighter for solar thermal. The Brazilian economy has
struggled through elevated interest rates, a high tax
burden and an uncomfortable inflation rate. The
shortage of direct stimulus or specific credit schemes,
along with low purchasing power, have helped create
a framework that undermines the efforts of consumers
to acquire solar water heating systems.
So, what is the true potential of solar thermal
energy in Brazil? There is vast potential for geographiВ­
cal expansion, reaching social classes with less purВ­
chasing power, and increased use in the industrial
and commercial sectors. A nuanced analysis would
go beyond the scope of this article, but we can
address some key indicators:
The domestic hot water sector comprises some
83 % of the Brazilian solar heating market, with
industrial and commercial use making up the remainВ­
ing 17 %. However, industrial consumption of elecВ­
tricity is almost twice that of residential. Therefore, if
the industrial sector were to grow to the level achieved
in the residential one, the market could be nearly five
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
times larger. Despite the oversimplification of this
estimate, it demonstrates that there is a great potenВ­
tial yet to be explored, mainly in industrial processes
with mediumВ­temperature ranges (up to 90 ЛљC).
Another means of evaluation is to compare Brazil
with other countries. Germany, for example, has five
times the solar collector concentration per resident
than Brazil, but its per capita energy consumption
rate is three times higher. Adjusting for its lower
energy consumption, Brazil would have to grow its
solar thermal capacity by 1.7 times to reach the same
level as Germany. Here it is clear that, despite the adВ­
vantages in cost and efficiency, policies to stimulate
use of the technology are still far short of what is
needed to achieve its potential.
A strong factor in the growth of the market and
one which is still gaining momentum is the inclusion
of solar water heating in social, federal and state resВ­
idential programmes. In the federally promoted
Minha Casa Minha Vida (My House, My Life) proВ­
gramme alone, despite only partial support of solar
water heating, projections show that some 350,000
devices could be installed in homes throughout the
country over the course of three years.
Once implemented, compulsory certification of
solar thermal products in the Brazilian labelling
scheme will also be an important factor in increasing
quality in the industry, thereby improving the foundaВ­
tion for sustainable growth and providing a new
outlook for the future.
Obstacles and risks
These rough estimates show that the potential is
there but more than a few challenges also stand in
the way of breaking through current limited use of
solar thermal. The industrial processes segment, for
instance, is at square one. Creation of a value chain,
professional training, research and development,
design references, awareness of usage, and more
appropriate business models will all require time and
effort. Some initiatives are already in progress, but as
with the structuring of the first markets, unity and
coordinated actions amongst the various players
are fundamental to generating the necessary
The government has an essential role to play in
promoting market penetration in social classes with
less purchasing power and in regions that are
lessВ­developed and, here too, there is an essential
link to the macroВ­economic environment. Although a
setback is unlikely in social housing policy, which is
already considered a national success story, the risk
associated with an industrial structure based on a
segment that is highly dependent on government inВ­
centives could be high. Recent events in the European
renewable energy industry have illustrated this
danger all too clearly.
In the shortВ­term, we need to consider winding
down economic policies aimed at stimulating conВ­
sumption adopted after the global crisis in 2008.
With immediate but ephemeral results, they have
Solar Edition
come to be known as a kind of vГґo de galinha or
“chicken flight”, a term used by Brazilians to describe
shortВ­lived economic spurts. The consequences of
these policies are falling economic growth
accompanied by a resurgence of inflation,
deteriorating public finances, an increase in key
interest rates and a devalued currency. Together,
these effects create a drag on the population’s pur­
chasing power and redirection of the financial secВ­
tor’s productive investments. This has a clear impact
on the civil construction sector, which is fundamental
to the solar heating industry.
On the other hand, we need to be aware of the
current energy situation. The country is suffering from
an unusually dry year. Because its electricity
infrastructure is based mainly on hydro power, the
consequences could be serious, resulting in energy
rationing, surcharges and inevitable price hikes.
Given this situation the use of solar water heating is
even more attractive.
On top of all this, a presidential election is slated
for the end of the year. In the runВ­up to the election,
voters will be thrown economic “treats” until the end
of 2014 and the bitter pills will remain to be swallowed
in 2015.
In summary, the country’s solar heating industry
shows excellent expansion potential but still has a
long way to go. It can assuredly count on the security
and soundness of its traditional, mature and viable
residential market but the dynamic of the current
macroeconomic environment requires close attention.
Carlos Artur Alencar
Carlos Artur Alencar is the Director of Enalter Eng. Ind. Com. Ltda.,
the former President and current advisor to the National Solar
Heating Department – DASOL, of the Brazilian Association of
Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Heating – ABRAVA.
Brazilian electricity market
Industrial consumption of electricity is almost twice
that of residential.
Source: The Electiric Company, El Paso Electric (EPE)
pv companies in the Usa
A PV project developed by SolarCity
Photos (2): SolarCity
Signs of maturation
through consolidation
The solar industry – at least the upstream solar industry
– was scarred by overproduction and quickly falling
prices of PV modules, leading some to file for bankruptcy
or to merge with competitors in an attempt to avoid that
fate. But in the U.S. particularly where there are
thousands of downstream players competing for market
share, it allowed them an opportunity to grow. Now, as
PV module price drops slow and incentives dry up, these
companies are looking at other ways to reduce the costs
of installing solar. A trend of consolidation in the
downstream solar industry is emerging as companies
acquire or merge with other companies to extend their
his consolidation is necessary, industry
analysts insist. “While everything in solar
tends to be segmented, the downstream part
of the value chain – at least in North America – is in
particular need of consolidation,” contends Raymond
James Energy Analyst Pavel Molchanov. “There are so
many hundreds and hundreds of small companies.
Small installers, small financing providers, various
specialty companies to squeeze out cost there need
to be economies of scale, which means consolidation. So the larger players, the stronger players … are
all playing consolidator,” he explains.
“Given the extent to which module pricing has
dropped the bulk of the cost savings required to
achieve grid parity will have to come from balance of
system costs,” Molchanov says. “Modules in 2008
were 4 US$/W. Today it’s 65 US$-ct/W and, for example, the all-in cost of a residential installation is
about 4 US$/W.”
“The low-hanging fruit is no longer the module,”
Molchanov asserts. “It is everything other than the
module … companies that are playing in the
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
downstream of the value chain have to get bigger.
They have to scale up to achieve economies and efficiencies of scale because that is what’s ultimately
getting them to squeeze out as much cost as they can
and ultimately lower pricing for the end user.”
Likewise, Senior Research Analyst Dexter
Gauntlett observes that the consolidation has gone
on for some time now. “The story is still true and consistent over the last three years. The consolidation is
underway as part of the normal maturing of solar,”
he says. He adds that it’s similar to the maturation
process of other industries, but cautions that there’s
still quite a way to go before the industry matures.
Large solar installers lead
One of the most well-covered acquisitions in the
downstream U.S. solar industry was SolarCity’s
October 2013 purchase of Zep Solar for US$ 158
million. Other examples include purchases by Vivint
Solar and Sunrun – both privately held companies –
in 2014. Vivint Solar purchased Solmetric, a solar
metrics and testing company, while Sunrun purchased Mainstream Energy, and its subsidiaries,
including its residential solar installer, REC Solar.
SolarCity’s acquisition of Zep Solar brought a
technology the company was using, as was its competitors, in-house. Zep’s Solar’s hardware was integrated into roughly 30 % of residential solar modules.
At the time of the purchase SolarCity said the equipment allowed the company to install residential PV arrays in one day rather than the two or three day period
it took with other mounting and racking systems.
“Zep Solar’s product allows each of our crews to
install significantly more solar every day, and it looks
better on the roof than any comparable product
we’ve seen. By acquiring Zep Solar, we can deliver
solar electricity at a lower cost than was previously
possible,” Tanguy Serra, SolarCity’s Executive Vice
OTDC switchdisconnectors.
Simply optimal.
Solar Edition
President of Operations said in announcing the acquisition. He added: ”We plan to continue to offer
the Zep compatible platform to international installers looking to increase their productivity. We will
also continue to maintain the open nature of the Zep
compatible platform and continue to support
integration with module manufacturers and other
The company did not make it clear whether or not
the technology would be available to other U.S.based residential installers. “Clearly SolarCity did
that deal in part to keep other competitors from accessing what they thought was a very high-quality
technology but it’s one small part,” Molchanov contends. “It’s by no means central to what they do.”
Last year, with a little less media fanfare, SolarCity
purchased Paramount Solar for US$ 120 million.
Paramount Solar specialised in over-the-phone and
virtual sales leads. That purchase was intended to
help the company lower its customer acquisition
costs, which can become expensive in particularly
An example for residential
systems built by Vivint Solar in
Massachusetts ...
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pv companies in the Usa
competitive markets like California. That purchase
shored up SolarCity’s sales capabilities as the company ramps efforts to install solar on 1 million U.S.
Photos (2): Vivint Solar
homes by 2018.
Sunrun took another approach. The company had
financed residential home solar systems and contracted with other companies to install the solar array. This year it started to change that with the purchase of Mainstream Energy and its subsidiaries. REC
Solar is one of the larger residential solar installers in
the country, giving Sunrun access to a full-fledged installer. It gained solar distributor AEE Solar. It also
gained SnapNrack a racking equipment manufacturer that, like Zep Solar, designs equipment to reduce
the time it takes to install rooftop solar.
REC Solar was the big part of that transaction
though. Gauntlett called that purchase a win-win.
“It’s all about deal flow, generating deals. You’ve got
to have customers in order to finance their systems
and it makes perfect sense,” he says.
“That’s a very large acquisition for them,”
Molchanov adds. “That’s a great example of vertical
integration. Sunrun was a pure financing provider. All
of its installation was outsourced. By buying
Mainstream it gets �the guys in trucks’ to vertically integrate … Sunrun clearly wanted to be a one-stop
shop like SolarCity and like Vivint and with that in
mind Sunrun bought Mainstream energy.”
Speaking of Vivint Solar, that company announced earlier this year its purchase of Solmetrics,
which makes tools for evaluating solar and solar
equipment and evaluation. Unlike SolarCity, which
has focussed on acquiring customers through direct
marketing, phone and online sales, Vivint built its
reputation through door-to-door sales in home security and automation. “The whole idea is you have a
visit with Vivint,” Gauntlett says. “They’re already in
millions of homes and you have that built-in customer base.” It’s easy for them to say: “Oh, you
want solar, too? We’re here,” he says. As such it
makes sense for the company to invest in a
product that enhances its in-person sales
and Foils
These are just examples from the largest
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residential solar installers in the U.S. “Lots of
companies have been getting into the downstream of
the value chain,” Molchanov explains. One interesting entrant is NRG Energy. It owns some of the largest
solar projects in the world, including the 290 MW
Agua Caliente Solar Project. But the company is also
interested in installing solar on homes. To that end it
purchased solar installer Roof Diagnostics in March.
“This is an example of a company that had not historically played in the residential solar market obviously
trying to get into that market,” Molchanov says.
“They’re going everywhere,” Gauntlett says.
“They have the contacts. They have the name recognition.” NRG’s focus is mainly on utility and commercial-scale projects – many sports arenas in the U.S.
have solar on them through partnerships with NRG.
But it may be harder for that company to establish itself in the residential market which already has a
number of larger players like SolarCity. Gauntlett
observes: “They’re not known by homeowners.”
Other companies consolidate
as well
Meanwhile other companies, not as well known as
SolarCity, Vivint Solar, Sunrun and Sungevity, are increasing their presence through acquisitions and
mergers. Molchanov notes that Solar Universe, a solar installer, purchased Gen110, a consulting firm
that, like Paramount, helps solar installers do customer acquisition. He also points to SunEdison’s purchase of EchoFirst in July 2013. That company developed a hybrid solar technology that uses both PV and
solar thermal to power and heat and cool homes.
Real Goods Solar, a publicly traded solar installer
purchased two solar installers, Mercury Solar and
Syndicated Solar, within the same week of August
2013. “That was more of an expansion play, it’s
classic consolidation,” Molchanov says.
It’s not limited to acquisitions, however. “Last
October a company called Also Energy merged with
DECK Monitoring,” Molchanov says. Both companies
provided solar monitoring software and were leaders
in the space, making the combined entity that much
more of a leader in the industry.
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Similarly the maturation is creating new partnerships. Sunrun and Sungevity partnered to put solar
on 10,000 rooftops in the U.S. – approximately
70 MW of PV. Under that partnership Sungevity is
recruiting the customers while Sunrun is providing
the financing and ownership. But Molchanov cautions not to anticipate a merger or acquisition, referring back to Sungevity’s purchase of Mainstream as
evidence that it doesn’t have the appetite to acquire
a direct competitor right now.
Gauntlett contends that such partnerships are
likely in the future, however, since there’s a more
friendly atmosphere among downstream solar companies than the upstream PV manufacturers. “These
guys will see each other all the time whether it’s out
on the job or at the bars in the Bay area [and other hot
solar markets]. It’s a very collegial environment and
it’s easy for deals to get done in that respect,” he
“They know that this consolidation has got to
continue. They know the opportunity is big. They’re
already the types who are wanting to go out there and
who are thinking about scale all the time,” Gauntlett
says. Going forward in this market, particularly in the
third-party financing market where a lot of money is
financing the projects, he anticipates that such
partnerships will be key to moving forward.
Both Molchanov and Gauntlett anticipate that
consolidation will continue. “The big theme here in
the trend is consolidation in the downstream of the
value chain, including installers, project developers
and various specialty companies,” Molchanov says.
As such, anticipate a diverse mix of consolidation
activity in the residential U.S. solar industry this year.
“It will be a mix of everything,” Gauntlett says, “anything with monitoring and customer acquisition and
those kinds of installers. Anything related that will
streamline the installation process and reduce the
amount of admin or overhead required and marketing
required to get the customer.” Looking ahead, he anticipates another group of acquisitions and mergers
that will focus on consolidating financing in the
downstream solar market.
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Solar Edition
pv in chile
comes to life
Pozo Almonte 25 MW
PV plant developed by
Solarpack CorporaciГіn
TecnolГіgica for Minera
DoГ±a InГ©s de Collahuasi
in TarapacГЎ, 1st Region
Photo: Enertis Solar
The commissioning of the first large utility scale PV plants in combination
with a new bidding process is boosting the Chilean solar sector. Despite the
many barriers still existing, it is expected that some 600 MW of new PV
capacity will be installed during the next year.
he year 2014 is about to become the turning
point for the Chilean PV sector. After years of a
discouraging discrepancy between almost
10 GW of projects under development and the actually installed capacity, the tenacity of solar developers to overcome barriers is starting to bear fruit. The
installed PV capacity has already exceeded the
170 MW mark.
By commissioning 4 new PV plants during the
first quarter Chile has multiplied its PV park capacity
twentyfold. According to the Renewable Energy
Centre (CER) report from April, after the meagre 7 MW
installed in 2013 there are meanwhile 178 MW in operation and another 170 MW under construction. If
we accept the estimates of Chile’s Load Economic
Dispatch Center (CDEC), the volume may more than
double; the North Interconnected System (SING) expects to incorporate some 417 MW of new capacity
this year and the Central Interconnected System (SIC)
approximately 217 MW.
In 2012, the Spanish developer Solarpack already
demonstrated that the matrimony between mining
and solar was a good marriage when it commissioned
the 1 MW Calama 3 plant thanks to a PPA contract with
the country’s largest mining firm Codelco. This plant
partially covers the energy demand of Codelco’s
mines. Also, it was a positive experience that seems
to be fruitful for both partners. One year later,
Solarpack was awarded the tender for a 25 MW plant
in Pozo Almonte, TarapacГЎ Region, in a bidding process initiated by the Collahuasi mining company.
Solarpack is currently completing this plant.
The example set by Solarpack and Codelco was
followed by the French company Solairedirect with a
1 MW PV plant (Solar Andacollo) for the mining company Dayton and also by the Chilean developer E-CL
for the Quirobax mining company with a 2.2 MW plant
(El ГЃguila). None of these plants exceed 3 MW, as
plants smaller than 3 MW can benefit from a fasttrack approval procedure.
Mining and solar: a marriage of
The attractiveness of PPA
The fact that most of these projects are located close
to a mining facility is not a mere coincidence. With
electricity market prices at between 108 US$/MWh
and 112 US$/MWh, the Chilean mining sector has
one of the highest electricity prices in a miningdependent country globally.
With a larger capacity, and thus requiring more paperwork, is the 8.8 MW plant that the Swiss group
Etrion wants to build during the next few months for
Atacama Minerals Chile. However, this project is not
as large as the 100 MW plant (Amanecer Solar) that
SunEdison connected to the grid last April. It is not
only the largest plant so far implemented in Latin
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
America but also the biggest PPA signed between a
mining company (CAP) and a solar company to date.
It is an important milestone that marks a before and
after in the Chilean PV sector. “The fear of constructing has been overcome,” says Myriam García, head of
Grenergy Renovables, a company developing more
than 100 MW in Chile, even though she acknowledges that there are still “many more projects under
development than the real capacity of the system”.
Despite these success stories, the difficulty to acquire the cherished PPAs is still one of the main barriers that PV developers have to face. “There is still
not a mature market of direct PPA contracts between
PV plant owners and end consumers,” says Amadeo
HernГЎndez, Business Development Manager for the
engineering and consultancy company Enertis. Besides, the exact amounts paid by the miners in their
PPAs remain a secret. Notwithstanding, the Chilean
Renewable Energy Association (ACERA) indicates
in its last report that the prices may be below
US$ 100/ MWh.
Struggle for the land
However, the problems don’t end in the PPA phase. In
fact, they really start with the land use rights. Most of
the on-going PV projects are developed on desert
lands, mostly state-owned, and not only are the available sites scarce, but the procedure to achieve the
rights to use the land is a lengthy and costly process.
Besides, the economic securities required by the
Ministry of National Assets are large and come at an
early stage of the development process, which makes
it harder for developers to complete the project. “As
an example, for a project of 50 MW some US$ 750,000
may be required as a guarantee. This guarantee may
be called in if the construction is not completed within a 2-year period. And there is no option of a refund
even in the case of force majeure,” explains Manuel
Castro from Nexer, a Spanish consulting firm with a
presence in Chile.
The next bidding round of public assets is set for
June 2014 (after the S&WE editorial deadline). In this
round there are sites available in the Antofagasta
Region, with an overall area of 2,825 hectares.
However, the challenges with the land issue don’t
stop there. “The law ruling mining rights is an old
one, and we consider that it should be modified since
its nature sparks speculation,” says Manuel Castro
from Nexer. Traditionally there have been frictions to
claim the mining rights in a country with a huge dependency on the primary sector, especially in the
northern regions where most of the PV plants are being planned. “The problem for us as developers is the
speculators. The renewable energy developers are
new to the business and we have become a threat for
these people, who are trying to block the projects and
even blackmail us,” says Jose Ignacio Escobar, head
of Mainstream Renewable Power, with a portfolio of
some 2,300 MW of wind and solar projects.
The generally esteemed transparency of the
Chilean sector and the SEIA environmental evalua-
Solar Edition
tion system allows an evaluation of where most of
the plants will be located and what their main characteristics will be right from the early stages.
Maybe that is why ACERA recommends its
associates to cover all the arising problems and
to have secured the mining rights before going
public with the project. In fact, having those rights
is a compulsory requisite in order to reach a
financial agreement. Most banks are asking developers to have the mining rights agreed at the site
where a plant is planned right from the early stages
Financing and new models
All the interviewees recognised that financing a PV
project in Chile is a tough nut to crack. “Due to the
lack of experience of local bankers with PV projects,
they have developed conservative positions,” says
HernГЎndez from Enertis, who explains that the most
preferred model for banks is a PPA agreement with a
creditworthy company. Even if there are some plants
that have been financed mostly with private capital
funds and thanks to a Spot Market approach, such as
“Los Puquios” by Power Electronics, the truth is that,
to date, the multilateral banks such as the Interamerican Development Bank IADB, Overseas Private
Investment Corporation (OPIC) or International
Finance Corporation (IFC) have been the most active
players, financing a large part of the debt capital for
those projects.
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and tutorials
Dr. Valentin EnergieSoftware GmbH
[email protected] В·
MIX_90x125-062014SWE_engl_RZ.indd 1
11.04.14 13:10
pv in chile
Again one of the best examples is SunEdison. With
48 MW, the “San Andrés” PV plant connected in March
sells all of its output to the SIC Spot Market. In this
case the fact of not having a PPA was not a barrier to
obtaining financing. In November 2013 SunEdison
announced that they had received US$ 100.4 million
of debt financing from OPIC and IFC. Along with the
debt capital the project received a credit line of
US$ 25.6 million to finance a VAT line. This operation
was highly praised by the sector and in March 2014
Euromoney Publication’s Project Finance Magazine
awarded SunEdison the Financial Deal of the Year
2013 prize for Latin American solar projects.
Equity investors are also entering the Chilean solar market. An example is the Dutch capital investments fund Rijn Capital, which cooperates with
Element Power. Both have a portfolio of 15 solar
projects totalling 450 MW, out of which 131 MW are
expected to come online this year, all of them in the
northern SING system.
The northern grid operator CDEC-SING, which indicates in its reports that there are currently 31.8 MW
of solar photovoltaics feeding to the grid, declares
that it is aware of another 422 MW to be connected to
the grid by 2016. Despite more than 5 GW of solar
projects with granted environmental permits, CDECSING estimates that the current grid conditions won’t
allow more than 450 MW of new capacity. Even the
latest governmental energy agenda does not expect
the connection of more than a further 700 MW by the
year 2025 in the SING. Also, 85 mining companies
operate in the northern desert areas, but barely 2 %
of the country’s population live there.
The SIC central system doesn’t paint a much better picture. The areas selected to develop new PV
plants have important grid constraints and the network capacity is only expected to be enlarged in the
years 2016 to 2018. Moreover, the current governmental energy agenda does not expect that the solar
penetration will be higher than 2.4 % by the year
2025, which is to say a total of 451 MW.
Without an improved interconnection between
the SIC and SING systems it is difficult to expect a
huge leap forward for Chilean PV. “The development
of the electrical highway and the enlargement of the
current infrastructures are necessary conditions to increase the solar capacity in a sustainable way,” says
Hernandez from Enertis. That is why the Chilean solar
sector eagerly awaits the new grid infrastructures
promised by the government in its energy road map.
PV in the government bids
The PV sector is also waiting for the incorporation of
solar projects into the public bidding process to
supply electricity distributors. This was a part of the
government’s commitment to obtain a 20 % share of
RE sources by the year 2025.
Enel Green Power has made a move here. The Italian consortium can boast of being the first winning
tenderer in an electricity bid to be supplied partly by
solar. At a price of 12.8 US$/KWh, Enel announced
last December that they had been granted a supply
agreement for 4,159 GWh within the SIC up to the
year 2024. Enel indicates that this supply will be
made thanks to a plant already in operation as well as
three new plants (2 wind power and 1 solar). Even if
the report only mentions an overall new installed capacity of 161 MW by 2015, everything seems to indicate that it refers to the Lalackama PV project totalling 129 MW (expected to come online at the end of
2014) in the Taltal Municipality and to the Diego de
Almagro 36 MW PV plant (expected to come online in
August 2014). Enel also expects to install another
300 MW in the northern SING system.
With these huge plans being considered by the
heavyweights of the sector – which by the way have
more chances to reach financial agreements – the legitimate question is: is there enough room for anybody else? “Even making some reinforcement works,
the maximum current extra capacity for both SIC and
SING systems is approximately 2 GW,” says Myriam
GarcГ­a from Grenergy Renovables, who sees the outlook with a mix of optimism and discomfort, adding:
“There are too many MW concentrated in a confined
geographical area and short time frame, which involves a likely saturation in certain grid areas.”
Alejandro Diego Rosell
The Amanecer Solar CAP
plant was developed,
built and interconnected
by SunEdison under an
energy purchase agreement with CAP Group. It
has 100 MW of installed
capacity and is located
in the municipality of
CopiapГі, in the middle of
the Atacama Desert.
Photo: SunEdison
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
New PV capacity expected in 2014 according to the Chilean grid operators
Capacity (MW)
Grid connection
Expected date
Amanecer Solar (Llano de Llampos)
connected in April
Arica Solar I
1st half of 2014
Sky Solar
Arica Solar II
1st half of 2014
Sky Solar
Calama Sur
Element Power/Rjin Capital
Rjin Capital
Diego de Almagro
El Salvador
Solventus/ Total/ Etrion
IFC/DEG/Gov. Canada
La Huayca (etapa2)
1st half of 2014
Los Puquios
connected in February
Power Electronics
MarГ­a Elena
Pozo Almonte 2
connected in April
PPA Collahuasi
Pozo Almonte 3
PPA Collahuasi
Quillagua I
Parque eГіlico Quillagua
Salvador RTS
connectec in January
RTS Energy
PPA Codelco
San AndrГ©s
connected in March
San Pedro 1
Element Power/Rjin Capital
Rjin Capital
San Pedro 2
Element Power/Rjin Capital
Rjin Capital
San Pedro 3
Element Power/Rjin Capital
Rjin Capital
San Pedro 4
Element Power/Rjin Capital
Rjin Capital
SING = North Interconnected System; SIC = Central Interconnected System
costa Rica
Solar Energy Association
Promoting solar energy in Costa Rica
he small Central American country Costa Rica is
celebrated for being the first country in the
world to abolish its army forces back in 1949.
But Costa Rica has also been at the forefront of
environmental efforts having more than 25 % of its
total area protected as national parks.
This commitment with nature is also reflected on
its electricity matrix, which has a share of 93.3 %
renewable energy (hydro 75.8 %, geothermal 12.3 %,
wind 3.7 %, biomass 1.5 %, and solar less than
1.0 %), meanwhile only 7 % of its electricity comes
from fossil fuels.
Even if the demand for electricity in Costa Rica has
slowed down, there is a need to plan adequately for
the foreseen increase in the near future. Moreover, in
recent years the generation from hydro has declined
due to a diminished amount of rain in the country,
considered already as an impact of climate change.
As well, the number of profitable sites for new
hydro and geothermal power plants is decreasing, or
the sites are available on protected areas. For this
reason the use of diesel and heavy fuel oil has
increased in recent years.
Solar Edition
Under this panorama there is a need for alternative
solutions, where solar energy appears as one of the
main sources of energy to provide part of this future
demand. Irradiation values for Costa Rica range from
1,700 to 2,100 W/mВІ/year, which represent outstanding conditions for the profitability of solar PV.
The Costa Rican Solar Energy Association’s
(acesolar), created in 2012, main goal is to promote
solar energy in Costa Rica and bring together industry,
academia, government, NGOs and cooperation agencies to join forces, efforts, research and initiatives to
trigger the use of solar technologies in the country.
One of the first initiatives was the creation of a
committee to work on the development of national
standards and guidelines for solar thermal systems
and photovoltaic panels, led by the National Institute
of Standardization (INTECO).
This year the priority topics for the association are
the promotion of an adequate framework for solar
PV, distributed generation, and triggering of financial
options for investment in solar systems. Also in
November of this year, acesolar is planning the first
Solar Expo in Costa Rica.
Katja Nicola Frick
[email protected]
Phone: 00506/8550/3612
solar market mexico
PV systems in net metering scheme are growing in Mexico such as this parking lot system in Acapulco, installed by Enerland Group.
Photos (2): Enerland Group
A solar wave in sight
After some years of patient development efforts, the
Mexican utility scale PV plants market is about to take
off. Still, despite of more than 1 GW of projects
registered, most of these developments will have to wait
at least until 2015 to see the light of day. The muchawaited legal reform is expected to trigger a sector with
good perspectives.
he Mexican PV sector is arousing great expectations within and outside its borders. On
March 27th, President Enrique PeГ±a Nieto attended the inauguration of the largest PV plant in the
country to date. With 39 MW, the Aura Solar I plant,
developed by the local company Gauss EnergГ­a and
constructed by the Portuguese Martifer Solar, had already achieved a 20 year PPA contract with the
Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). Aura Solar, installed in the municipality of La Paz, Baja California,
has been the symbol of the kick-off for the promising
utility scale solar segment in Mexico.
There are several reasons to remain optimistic.
There is a growing electricity demand – the Energy
Secretary expects a year on year increase in demand
of 4.5 % and some 45 GW of new capacity to be installed by 2027, high irradiation levels average more
than 5 kWh/m2/day – reaching 7 kWh in some areas,
and a regulatory framework allows PPAs and net metering contracts. Everything points toward a “sunny”
forecast in the Aztec country.
Additionally, the PeГ±a Nieto Government has set
a target in its Climate Change Act to reach some 35 %
of electricity generation through renewable energy
sources by 2024. During the Aura Solar I inauguration, PeГ±a Nieto himself expressed confidence that
this target will be met before the expected deadline.
On May 19th the Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin
Coldwell went even further and announced that a new
target may be approved to reach 33 % by 2018.
Currently the electricity generation share for renewables barely reaches 15 %.
Multinational solar companies see Mexico as
one of the most promising markets for PV technology. They are setting up branches in Mexico to be prepared for the on-coming “solar wave”. Such a
“wave” is forecast by Iván Michel Dueñas, Sales
Manager in Mexico for the Chinese Module producer Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. Some large players, such as
Canadian Solar (who last December announced the
supply of 8.7 MW of modules for the Tai-I project in
Durango state to be developed by Eosol Group and
the Spanish EPC contractor TSK Electronica y Electricidad S.A.) and Iberdrola IngenierГ­a y ConstrucciГіn
(who finished a 5 MW plant in Baja California in
2012), are actively working in the Mexican market.
“The battlefield is ready and the main players have
started the war to achieve PPAs and business
partners,” says Dueñas.
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
False start
The energy reform promoted by PeГ±a Nieto, which
aims to end the CFE monopoly, saw its general outlines approved last year. However, all the aspects regarding remuneration for RE projects and the possibility of a predictable income and revenues are still to
be regulated in secondary legislation that is currently under discussion. Besides, there is no certainty
about the date of approval and the detailed scope of
the new ruling. In May, the Secretary of Energy Pedro
JoaquГ­n Coldwell announced that the first regulation
dealing with these aspects may be discussed by the
Chamber of Deputies as early as in June. In fact, the
government sent a first draft to the Senate for
discussion in April. According to Krap, the whole regulatory approval process may take between 1 and 2
years. “It will take a while but we expect a positive
outcome: there will be more certainty and some people are talking about a sort of “energy stock market”
and the possibility to make a direct electricity sale to
individuals and companies,” he says .
Some other players, such as Juan Laso, VicePresident of Alten EnergГ­as Renovables, a Spanish
developer which registered 4 PV projects with the
CRE in May totalling 144 MW in Aguascalientes State,
sees the glass as half full. “We believe that the energy reform will be ready by the end 2014. By then our
Aguascalientes projects will have all the permits and
we expect to obtain financing to start work in early
2015,” says Laso. According to Alten’s Manager, the
legal uncertainty is hampering the closing of financial
Despite the great hopes created by the new Aura Solar
I project, the truth is that to date there are barely 130
MW of PV installed in Mexico, of which 27 MW are net
metering systems and about 50 MW are off-grid systems. The new inauguration of utility scale projects is
long overdue. Some players such as Michel DueГ±as
expect that some 70 MW will be newly installed in
2014 and a substantial growth is only expected for
2015. Bearing in mind that the Energy Regulatory
Commission (CRE) has already registered large
projects amounting to 1.2 GW – most of them registered in the last year – the legitimate question is: what
is hampering such growth?
“The main barrier in Mexico is the lack of a regulated fixed price for renewable energy generation. The
current generation price declared by the CFE has a
high volatility,” explains Teodoro Krap, head of
Intertec Solar Gmbh, a German-Mexican developer
that is currently promoting some tens of MW of PV. The
short-term electricity price declared by the CFE between September 2013 and March 2014 went down
to levels of 400 to 600 MXN/MWh (between € 22.8
and 34.2) – prices hitherto unseen. “This was due to
exceptional rainfalls that allowed a high hydroelectric
generation. However, these figures are scaring away
PV investors,” explains Krap. Most PV projects need to
sign a PPA agreement with the CFE and these price levels could make it unfeasible to reach a financial deal.
Oct. 22 - 24 , 2014
Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC)
Taiwan Int’l Photovoltaic Exhibition
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Solar Thermal
Testing & Reliability Forum
Co-organized by:
This PV system was set
up on a mall rooftop.
solar market mexico
deals. “We are making progress, but to date most
financing players are awaiting the legal reforms,” he
In fact, the barriers to be overcome for a large PV
project in Mexico are considerable. All interviewees
agreed on the lack of really clear and foreseeable procedures as well as a certain bureaucracy, together
with the aforementioned energy price uncertainty and
the distrust of financial institutions. According to
Jinko’s Michel, obtaining permits means important
costs in time and money. Achieving all the permits
may take between 1 and 2 years. Besides, most of the
country’s registered projects are in the northern areas,
which also happen to be some of the most insecure
and conflict-prone regions. Likewise, states such as
Durango or Sonora face high crime and corruption
rates, which can discourage foreign investors.
According to Manuel Balet, head of the Enerland
Group, a developer and EPC contractor which has already finished more than 100 small-scale systems in
Mexico: “Developing projects in Mexico involves patience and a solid financial background to face all the
administrative costs. It is also crucial to know the
local legislation in detail.”
Net metering on the rise
While there are a large number of new large-scale
developments (companies such as Baz Energy and
Services or Costa Solar registered projects with the
CRE in May for 26 and 20 MW, respectively), the truth
is that the most steady and real market to date remains the net metering one.
In 2008, Mexico approved a net metering regulation for projects up to 30 kW that was enlarged to
500 kW in 2010. These projects are most attractive
since they don’t involve a lot of red tape except for the
interconnection agreement with the CRE. This type of
system has been most successful with consumers
paying the highest electricity tariff, the so-called DAC
tariff. The DAC tariff is applied to some 500,000 users
who pay between Mexican pesos (MXN) 3 and 3.7
(€-ct 17 - 21) per kWh. For those consumers, installing a PV system will pay off within 4 to 7 years.
The small-scale segment seems to be booming.
By the end of 2013 the systems under this scheme
amounted to 26.5 MW according to the CRE, in total
some 4,620 PV systems of up to 500 kW. The CRE itself declared that some 20 MW of new capacity could
be added in 2014, reaching some 200 MW overall by
2020. In more detail, the most dynamic segment was
the one with systems below 10 kW. Out of 4,620 net
metering systems, some 4,249 were below the 10 kW
According to Jinko’s Michel, “Mexico is a global
model for the distributed generation market. This
market is growing in a sustainable way, which is
creating new jobs and PV companies.” For Balet from
Enerland the segment below 10 kW has been the
most dynamic but now there is a trend shift. “Larger
rooftop systems up to 500 kW are increasing their
market share. We expect this segment to grow faster,
starting in 2015. Despite most of the end customers
still mistrusting this technology, their perception is
changing fast,” says Balet.
According to Krap, this segment is growing, although it will still take a larger market volume to
reduce the technology end prices. In fact, a fast look
at the grid-tied kits available shows prices around
US$ 3 per watt, installation not included. Prices are
thus still higher than in the EU or the USA.
With a dynamic economy and important growth perspectives, solar PV will surely play a key role in the Mexican energy market. Nevertheless, until a more stable
framework is approved, solar developers and installers
should choose the best market entering strategy.
Manuel Balet believes that “there are many
projects under development but very few really professional players. I would recommend identifying a reliable partner to form a local joint venture.” To Michel,
“those companies with an existing stock already available in the country and a permanent network operating locally will gain a client’s preference.”
Finally, according to Krap, it is crucial to maintain
a close contact with the administrative institutions: “I
would suggest working attentively with a local partner
that would be in close contact with institutions such
as the CFE, CRE or SENER.” For Krap, despite the incoming flood of new foreign developers and suppliers, there is still enough room for new projects. “It is
still possible to find many good locations in places
where grid infrastructure is favourable. Companies
are doing their homework. We are only missing a last
push coming from the authorities,” he concludes.
Alejandro Diego Rosell
Further information:
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
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Solar Edition
Solar thermal
large-Scale SyStemS
The big ones
are coming
EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) Building
Parma, Italy
System built for
Office and laboratory
Type of system
Collector area
84 m2
Tank size
3 x 3,000 litres
System costs (including installation)
215,000 €
8 years
Most utility scale solar thermal systems are on the roofs
of multi-family homes and hotels and are smaller than
100 m2.
ow is the market for large-scale solar thermal
systems developing? SUN & WIND ENERGY
has compiled and evaluated responses from
companies around the world. There are attractive regional markets worldwide for large solar systems.
When asked what the five most important markets
were, the respondents named 46 different countries.
Germany was named most frequently, followed by
Spain – then came Italy and the United Arab Emirates
(see Fig. 1). The fact that so many companies do business successfully in Germany can be attributed to its
large and relatively advanced solar thermal market.
The large number of companies that identified
Germany as their most important market can be
chalked up, at least in part, to the fact that of the 31
companies taking part in the survey, six were
In terms of incentives, however, Germany was far
from the top of the list among the respondents.
Austria and Switzerland were cited most frequently
as the countries with the best government support
programmes for large solar thermal systems. But
Korea, Italy, and Lebanon are also considered
countries with attractive incentive programmes.
Just what exactly constitutes a large-scale system
is not easy to define. This survey is based on the very
Photo: Ariston Thermo
broad definition of a large-scale systems, which it
characterises as any system with more than 20 m2 of
collector area; that is, any system too large for a
typical single-family home. Ernst Schweizer is a company that deviated from this definition, as its
response to the survey did not include any systems
smaller than 50 m2.
The largest market segment belongs to the smallest large-scale systems, those that range from 20 to
100 m2. On average, the surveyed companies said that
nearly three-fourths of the large-scale systems they sell
were smaller than 100 m2 (Fig. 2). The 100 to 1,000 m2
range accounted for some 20 % of sales. Systems approaching the MW capacity level are rare. Nevertheless,
18 of the 31 participants have already sold systems
with more than 1,000 m2 of surface area.
As recently as a few years ago, many of solar thermal system providers still used their own personnel
to install their systems. That has changed significantly. Only Modulo Solar of Mexico, Turkey’s Ezinç Metal,
NUR Solar Systems in Jordan and Korea-based Jehin
still handle their own installations. „We have our own
installation team, but for the small capacity systems
of less than 100 m2 we use subcontractors,” says
Jehin’s Managing Director MannKwi Park. Numerous
other companies also work together with subcontractors. However, system planning still very frequently
handled by the solar companies themselves. Other
companies offer planners support. “We support the
planners in the dimensioning of systems,” says
Marco Guatini, the Solar Thermal Product Manager at
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Solar Edition
Solar thermal
large-Scale SyStemS
The most important markets for solar thermal systems
Fig. 1: Germany is mentioned
most frequently as one of the
most important markets. Every
manufacturer was asked to
name up to five countries.
Source: company data
Italy’s Ariston Thermo. Regional differences also
come into play. In Central Europe, system providers
generally have nothing to do with planning and installation, as independent planning offices and installation firms usually take care of this. But even in
that market there are exceptions, such as Ritter XL
Solar in Germany, which maintains a firm grip on
system planning.
Broad distribution of applications
Distribution by system size
Fig. 2: Most large-scale
systems are smaller than
100 m2. The percentages were
calculated by company and
were not weighted by absolute
system size.
Source: company data
Nearly half of all large-scale solar thermal systems
provide heat for multifamily homes (Fig. 3). Most of
those systems are designed to produce domestic hot
water (31 %). Combi systems – systems that use
energy harvested from the sun for space heating –
comprise 16 % of the total. Other key applications are
in the tourism industry (12 %) and the health sector
(9 %). Swimming pool heating (9 %) is closely linked
to the tourism sector. The process heat segment
has much potential but it represents just
6 % of the total market. The remaining
10 % includes district heating, commercial applications and schools,
as well as agricultural uses.
Agriculture often requires heat
for drying processes, an ideal
application for air collector sys2
tems. This segment is the home
turf of air collector specialists
Sunsiaray of the USA and Cona
Entwicklungs- und Handelsgesellschaft of Austria. Prisons and
military housing facilities also have
a high hot water demand. NUR Solar
Systems equipped a Jordanian military
housing complex with 1,500 m2 of collector
area. “This system is the largest system in Jordan
for residential use,” says the company’s Business
Development Executive Laith Zatar.
Currently, the biggest solar thermal systems are
those that feed heat into district heating networks.
For such applications 1,000 m2 does not go very far.
The Danish company Arcon Solar is a specialist in this
type of system. Arcon recently won a bid for the
world’s largest solar thermal system with a collector
area of 52,491 m2 for Vojens district heating. The
huge installation in Vojens will be producing the majority of the energy consumed in the half-year of summer. Because demand is low in summertime, the
energy will be stored in a water tank where 190 to
200 million litres of water will be heated up. This
stored energy can be used in wintertime when people
start to turn up their radiators again.
An important factor affecting the demand for
large-scale solar heating systems is the uncertainty
with regard to the price development in the fossil
fuels market. A solar heating installation has an expected lifetime of at least 25 years. In addition to the
investment in the installation itself, the ordinary cost
of operation and maintenance during this period has
to be factored in, whereas the energy from the sun is,
of course, free of charge. This locks in a guaranteed
fixed energy price for 25 years and reduces dependency on fossil fuels. Security and minimal risk have
become strong selling points. ”Danish district heating stations have revealed in recent years that largescale solar heating is not only a politically correct investment but also a sound business move. The longterm fixed cost level, in particular, is a key motivation
driving demand. This insight is now also spreading
internationally, and we expect that even this year we
will see a major breakthrough in our exports,” says
SГёren Elisiussen, Managing Director of Arcon.
There are also huge regional differences in applications. In Europe, the multifamily home sector is
particularly strong. The demand for heating energy
drops off the farther south you go. Combi systems are
thus more common in Central Europe. Hotels all over
the world need plenty of hot water. Central European
hoteliers have not yet caught on tar heating is ideally
suited to that purpose, however. The tourism sector
in the Mediterranean and the Arab world has shown
a far greater interest in solar thermal. Process heat,
on the other hand, is much more frequently cited by
Asian companies as an important segment for solar
Which sectors are in and which are out? The survey shows that solar process heat is no easy business. More so than in any other application, respondents said that the business was contracting. In contrast, many companies see strong growth ahead for
domestic hot water systems in multifamily homes
and the tourism sector. Overall, sceptics are in the
minority, however. Generally, most of the companies
see large-scale systems as up and coming.
Nevertheless, process heat systems can be built
in regions with even less intense solar radiation than
in Germany. Ritter Xl Solar supplied a system for the
public transport company in Cologne, Germany which
provides heat to dry paint on a painting line. In the
new painting hall, the transit company’s buses and
trains get a new look. The system’s 237 m² of gross
collector area delivers heat at a temperature of 70 В°C
to a storage system comprising three 8,400 litre
buffer tanks. “One special feature of these collectors
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Passive multi-family home Lodenareal
Innsbruck, Austria
System built for
Multi-family home for 354 families
Type of system
Collector area
854 m2
Tank size
80,000 litres
System costs (including installation)
480,000 €
Heat price
0.053 €/kWh (over 25 years)
12 years
Photo: Siko Solar
is that they are available in a silicon-free design for
use with painting equipment,” says Key Account
Manager Martin Willige. Although the vacuum tubes
could only be installed in a west-southwest orientation, the transit company can count on an annual
yield of at least 80 MWh, which corresponds to a
specific yield of at least 355 kWh/m2 a.
Distribution by system sector
SUMMER is all about quality.
That's why we invest in
ensuring all our products
comply with Australian and
European Technical Standards.
Contact : (603) 6157 4888
Fax : (603) 6156 8988
Fig. 3: DHW for multi-family homes and hotels are
the main sectors for large-scale solar thermal systems. The percentages were calculated by company
and were not weighted by absolute system size.
Source: company data
Solar Edition
Solar thermal
Technical concepts vary
System type
systems are mostly forced
systems. The percentages were
calculated by company and
were not weighted by absolute
system size.
Source: company data
large-Scale SyStemS
In most large solar thermal systems, pumps in
the solar circuit ensure that heat from the
collectors ends up in the storage tank
(Fig. 4). On average, 58 % of the surveyed manufacturers’ systems used
this method. The drainback concept is a special case among the
pumped systems in which the solar circuit drains fully when idle
(13 %). Thermosiphonic systems
do not use a pump at all. Instead,
gravity circulation alone transports
the heat. This technique is used in
21 % of the systems of the surveyed
manufacturers. Air collectors are a special case in which fans circulate air, which
serves as the heat transfer medium.
There are also different approaches to production and storage of domestic hot water. In the simplest and cheapest systems, the drinking water flows
directly through the collectors. The level of hygiene in
the water of such systems is not for those with high
standards. This type of system is used in 19 % of the
products surveyed (Fig. 5). Drinking water in the solar
circuit is not an option in climates with freezing temperatures in winter. For such climates, the best choice
is a system that uses a heat medium with antifreeze;
however drainback systems and Ritter’s AquaSystem
are exceptions to this rule. Thus,
the vast majority of large-scale
systems are equipped with a hot
water storage tank which is separated from the solar circuit by a
heat exchanger (64 %). These
systems also have to store large
quantities of domestic hot water. In unfavourable conditions,
dangerous legionella bacteria
can propagate. Lime scale deposits provide a fertile breeding
ground for the bacteria. Such
systems should therefore be
heated regularly to at least 70 В°C
in order to safely kill germs.
All of this can be avoided if
a buffer tank is used which only
heats water as it is needed.
Fresh water modules are increasingly being used for that
purpose. These modules draw
buffer water from the hot water
tank and use it to heat drinking
water via a plate heat exchanger.
Fresh water modules can be
used centrally for an entire
building or in a distributedfashion for individual residential units. Central fresh water
modules are becoming increas-
ingly important. These much sought-after systems
are gaining traction at the expense of systems that
store hot drinking water. Europe’s largest passive
multi-family home, in which Siko Solar of Austria installed a solar thermal system, uses this fresh water
technology. But this, too, is subject to regional differences. Although there is a recognisable trend toward
fresh water systems in the USA and Europe, in other
parts of the world inexpensive systems that heat
drinking water directly in the collectors are still in
high demand.
How much do large scale systems cost? Vladimir
Tsintsiper, Chief of Technology for German manufacturer Alpha-InnoTec Sun estimates specific system
costs in Central Europe at 500 to 600 €/m2. The Siko
Solar system for the multifamily passive-house
residential building is also in this range. Some systems can run double that cost or more, however.
Arcon offers its system, including a seasonal storage
tank, for 300 €/m2. Systems that heat up water
directly in the collectors are even cheaper. Himin
Solar of North Korea installed a system in a hotel
complex for just 200 €/m2. NUR Solar Systems supplied its system to the military residential complex at
the unbeatable price of just 43 €/m2. The return on
investment for that system is a mere 20 months. That
is an amortisation period Central European system
providers can only dream of. At Siko Solar the amortisation time is 12 years. Even at that rate, however,
a kWh of solar heat costs just 5.3 €-ct. That is clearly
less than what Central Europeans pay for heat from
natural gas.
Jens-Peter Meyer
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
DHW production
Fig. 5: Most of the systems include a hot water tank.
Hot water production with fresh water stations is
becoming increasingly important, however. Many
of the respondents said that domestic hot water
produced directly in collectors was becoming outdated. The percentages were calculated by company
and were not weighted by absolute system size.
Source: company data
Largest residential system in Jordan
Al Azraq, Jordan
System built for
Military dorms
Type of system
Collector area
1,500 m2
Tank size
70,000 litres
System costs (including installation)
65,000 €
1.75 years
Large scale solar thermal systems
District heating
Process heat
Hot water applications
Photo: NUR Solar Systems
Solar Edition
Solar thermal
heat tranSfer fluidS
Eating away
at pipes –
and investment
A rare sight: an acidic
antifreeze fluid has
truly eaten away at the
corrugated pipe.
Photo: solarklima
In order to ensure a long service life for heat transfer fluid, the appropriate
product needs to be selected for solar thermal power plants. However,
maintenance and installation also play a major role. Operators who are
stingy with fluids or negligent with maintenance risk ruining first the fluid
and, eventually, the entire solar power plant.
hen a pungent, somewhat sweet odour
wafts up the basement stairs, it is often alВ­
ready too late. At that point, the heat has
already affected the antifreeze fluid in the solar
collector so much that it is destroyed. If things are
going particularly badly, the decomposition products
may have already settled as a layer on the tube walls
or accumulated in corners as a sticky sludge. In exВ­
treme cases, solar fluid that has turned acidic can
even erode the pipe work.
Once things have deteriorated to this point, not
only do the panels need to be replaced, but so do all
pipes and the heat storage tank, where the decompoВ­
sition products can easily accumulate in the pipes.
“In other words, the whole system is a complete
write­off,” explains Keilholz, technical expert and
owner of solarklima.
In unfavourable circumstances, it may take only a
few months for the decomposing heat transfer fluid
to ruin a solar thermal plant worth several thousand
Euros. Once the degradation starts, after all, it
progresses at an increasingly rapid pace.
Time and again, Keilholz comes across this type
of case, which irritates him because the damage can
easily be avoided. “Word gets round and puts off
potential customers.”
Proper installation and
maintenance helps
It comes as quite a shock to solar energy customers
when some installers make money from such damВ­
age. Keilholz reports a case where the cost for replacВ­
ing the fluid amounted to some € 1,000. Another in­
staller explained to his customers that it was perfectВ­
ly normal to replace the fluid every year. “They are
both extreme cases. Still, a few installers who cash in
on their customers’ problems harm the solar thermal
industry’s reputation and, as a result, their col­
leagues,” the solar expert points out.
In a wellВ­designed and carefully installed solar
thermal system, a highВ­quality solar fluid can be used
for quite a while, in some cases maybe even for more
than ten years. Of course, the quality still needs to be
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
checked every year. Test sets are available from fluid
suppliers (such as SolarUS), and samples can be sent
in to be checked at inВ­house laboratories. The advanВ­
tage of the laboratories is that they can test not only
the pH value but also the remaining reserve alkaliniВ­
ty (buffer effect) to draw conclusions about how much
longer the fluid will last.
If the fluid is murky or no longer meets the manuВ­
facturer’s specifications (e.g. the pH value is below
7.5 or 7), it needs to be replaced. Even if the fluid acВ­
tually only needs to be topped up, but it is not known
which heat transfer is inside the solar thermal plant,
it must be completely removed – only fluids that have
been specifically tested together can be mixed. It is
therefore very important not to lose the label stating
the heat transfer type, antifreeze protection and
replacement date.
If the fluid is already very cloudy, has a high
amount of particulate matter or has fallen below the
minimum pH value, simple replacement will no longer
be sufficient. Thorough removal is also required if the
heat transfer is found to not actually be suitable for
the system in question.
In order to prevent spoilt fluid residue from makВ­
ing the fresh heat transfer medium age in an instant,
the system needs to be flushed thoroughly; in obstiВ­
nate cases, a cleansing fluid may be necessary, such
as Antifrogen SOL Clean from Clariant or Solarclin
from Tyforop. Before rinsing, as much of the old fluid
as possible needs to be removed. The cleansing agent
should circulate through the system for up to two
hours at about 60 В°C. If the plant is badly contamiВ­
nated, the cleansing fluid needs to be exchanged
several times. Finally, it must be thoroughly removed
from the system, using compressed air if possible.
To make sure this procedure is only rarely necesВ­
sary, the heat transfer medium must evaporate as
completely as possible and be pressed out of the colВ­
lector during standstills. On the one hand, this is an
issue of collector design and correct installation – no
medium residue should be “caught” in the collector
– but also of the proper product, especially concern­
ing vacuum tube collectors. Only in the case of heat
Solar Edition
transfer media that are especially designed for high
temperatures do the additives evaporate together
with the fluid. “No residue can remain in the tube col­
lectors in the case of a standstill,” Keilholz
emphasises, adding that he encounters many cases
of damage in tube collector systems due to destroyed
solar fluids. “Often, heat transfer media were used
that were not suitable for the collector types in
How hot can it get?
It is well known that heat negatively affects solar
fluids, but, in practice, stagnation cannot be avoided.
GГјtegemeinschaft Solarenergieanlagen (RAL Solar) of
Germany have therefore stipulated in their quality
and test regulations that heat transfers must be able
to endure at least 160 В°C. The American way looks difВ­
ferent: “We make sure that temperatures do not get
that high in the solar power system,” explains Ben D.
Kaplan, Chief Financial Officer at SolarUS. The
SolarUS systems are equipped with a heat dissipaВ­
tion system. Should it get too hot, a cross valve
switches over from storage to a heat sink.
In Europe, however, more and more customers
are asking for fluids that can withstand high temperВ­
atures, according to companies such as Staub & Co.
– Silbermann, Sunex, Clariant, BioChem and
On datasheets and in the S&WE market survey,
manufacturers therefore outdo each other in terms of
specifications for temperature resistance. However,
the product with the highest figure is not necessarily
the most stable, since for many companies, the data
comes from autoclave tests in the lab.
While propylene glycol does not yet crack in the
autoclave at temperatures of 170 to 200 В°C, for
example, it reacts considerably quicker with oxygen
from the air than at ambient temperature. If there is
already corroded metal in the collector circuit,
moreover, the metal oxides act as catalysts.
Minimising oxygen as a stress factor is, again, a
job for the installer. Keilholz, for example, strongly
Solar thermal
heat tranSfer fluidS
Overview of heat transfer fluids for solar thermal power systems
Suitable collector types
Minimum temperature [В°C]
Maximum temperature [В°C] (steady/
short term)
[g/cm3] 1
Coracon Sol 5
propylene glycol
almost colourless
- 59
180 (200)
Coracon Sol 5F
propylene glycol
- 28
180 (200)
Coracon Sol 5 HF
propylene glycol
almost colourless
- 24
230 (260)
Coracon Sol EKO
almost colourless
- 52
214 (220)
Coracon Sol EKO F
almost colourless
- 23
214 (220)
Innova-Therm P
propylene glycol
- 35
160 (200)
Innova-Therm P alu
propylene glycol
Al (additional
- 35
180 (200)
Antifrogen Sol HT
high boiling glycols
slightly yellowish
- 28
200 (260, 30
hours) 4
appr. 1.082
Antifrogen Sol HT
high boiling glycols
- 53
200 (260) 4
appr. 1.130
Zitrec LC
propylene glycol
- 50
180 (200)
Zitrec L-25
propylene glycol
- 25
180 (200)
Fragoltherm W-PGA
propylene glycol
- 50
170 (180)
Fragoltherm W-VR
propylene glycol
- 28
180 (180)
Osterwalder St.
Coolant SOL
high boiling glycols
- 28
230 (280)
pro KГјhlsole
propylene glycol
- 50
170 (200)
Pekasolar 50
propylene glycol
- 28
170 (200)
-7 В°C (- 20 F)
108 В°C (226 F)
180 В°C (356 F)
1.041 8
Staub & Co. –
Solarliquid L
propylene glycol
slightly yellowish
200 (200)
appr. 1.045
Solarliquid L
- 28В°C
propylene glycol
-2 8/- 38
200 (200)
appr. 1.040
Solarliquid L
- 22В°C
propylene glycol
- 22/-28
200 (200)
appr. 1.037
Solarliquid HT
high boiling glycols
slightly yellowish
- 24/- 27
260 (260)
appr. 1.030
- 59
189 (300)
- 46
116 (300)
- 64
Tyfocor L
propylene glycol
(40) 6
spec (usually
- 50
170 (200)
1.039 2
Tyfocor L-eco
propylene glycol
(40) 6
spec (usually .
slightly yellowish)
- 50
170 (200)
1.039 2
Tyfocor HTL
propylene glycol
and high boiling
- 35
170 (200)
Tyfocor LS
propylene glycol
red fluorescent
- 28
170 (200)
Tyfocor LS Arctic
propylene glycol
red fluorescent
- 47
170 (200)
Tyfocor LS
propylene glycol
red fluorescent
- 12
170 (200)
Tyfocor G-LS
propylene glycol
- 28
170 (200)
Glysofor Solar
propylene glycol
and high boiling
(20) 6
- 50
180 (210)
Glysofor Solar AF
propylene glycol
and high boiling
- 28
180 (210)
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Buffer alkalinity [ml 0.1
N HCl]
appr. 0.400
appr. 8
appr. 9
(50 % water)
appr. 0.400
appr. 8
appr. 9
MPG/ n.r.
appr. 0.400
appr. 8
appr. 9
appr. 0.400
appr. 8
appr. 2
appr. 0.400
appr. 8
appr. 2
appr. 1.3890
8.0 - 9.5
min. 8.0
appr. 1.3890
8.0 - 9.5
min. 8.0
appr. 0.360
appr. 1.401
appr. 9
appr. 3 - 4
yes 3
appr. 1.460
appr. 9
mind. 8.5
yes 3
0.400 5
7.5 - 8.5
MPG/ n.e.
appr. 8
MPG/ n.e.
7.5 - 9.5
> 20
appr. 8.0
(0.258 BTU/
h*ft2* F/ft)
appr. 0.220
appr. 1.435
7.5 - 8.5
appr. 19
appr. 0.400
appr. 1.445
appr. 8
appr. 9.5
appr. 0.430
appr. 1.383
appr. 8
appr. 9.5
appr. 1.400
7.5 - 8.5
appr. 9.5
7.5 - 9.5
7.5 - 9.5
0.387 2
1.3792 2
7.5 - 8.5 2
Tyfocor L-eco,
others: n.r.
0.387 2
1.3792 2
7.5 - 8.5 2
Tyfocor L,
others: n.r.
7.5 - 8.5
9.0 - 10.5
> 20
LS Arctic
LS Mediterraneo
Tyfocor G-LS
9.0 - 10.5
> 25
LS Mediterraneo
Tyfocor G-LS
9.0 - 10.5
> 12
Tyfocor LS, LS Arctic
Tyfocor G-LS
9.0 - 10.5
> 20
Tyfocor LS, LS Arctic,
LS Mediterraneo
Solar Edition
FPC = flat plate collector; VTC = vacuum tube collector; HP = heat pipe; Al = aluminium;
Cu = copper; SS = stainless steel; spec = customer specific; conc / ready = concentrate /
ready to use mixture; n.r. = not recommended; MPG = monopropylene glycol
1 at 20 В°C; 2 at used concentration of 40 Vol. %; 3 tested only for Tyforop L and LS %; 4 tested
in laboratory autoclave; 5 mix ratio 50 %; 6 in brackets: minimum concentration [Vol. %];
7 developed for VTC; 8 at 16 В°C (60 F)
TYFOROP - Your Specialist
for Heat Transfer Fluids - Solar Fluids
for all Thermal Installations
environmentally friendly & biodegradable
pH-value 1
sin • [email protected]
[W/mK] 1
Unfortunately, there are still no standardised conditions for determining
specified temperatures, so this value actually says little about a product’s
durability. Aqua-Concept and SolarUS, for example, use the same base
material but specify dramatically different values.
Solar thermal
Metal samples after the
ASTM1384 was conducted. While the test does
not reflect the conditions
in a solar thermal power
system, it is currently the
only suitable, standardised procedure for
comparing the durability
and aggressiveness of
antifreeze agents for
different metals.
Photo: Tyforop
heat tranSfer fluidS
advises against the use of not closed automatic
exhaust fans. “With this type of vent valves oxygen in­
take can not be avoided. If this occurs in a vacuum
tube system under thermal stress, even the best fluid
cannot endure it for long,” he reports. “It may take
just a few years for a solar thermal system to be
ruined in this way.”
While propylene glycol does not yet crack in the
autoclave at 150 В°C, for example, it reacts considerably
quicker with oxygen from the air or from oxidised
metal than at ambient temperature.
The ASTM1384 test, originally used in the autoВ­
motive industry, therefore examines a combination of
precisely defined stress factors. It checks what hapВ­
pens to standardised samples of various metals when
they bathe for a fortnight in a heat transfer solution
with air bubbles that are diluted in saline water and
kept at 88 °C. “Conditions do not get this extreme in
a solar thermal plant,” Marco Bergemann of Tyforop
concedes. “But this is the only way to truly differenti­
ate the materials.” However, results are no longer
comparable as soon as individual manufacturers
modify the test. Most
products fare well with
reduced air supply,
desalinated water and
higher fluid concentraВ­
tions. When comparing
ASTM1384 tests, the
fine print therefore
deserves attention.
AquaВ­Concept and
SolarUS show exactly to
what extent various comВ­
panies can interpret the
test differently. They
both use the same
below) as a basic material for their heat transfer meВ­
dia. According to manufacturer DuPont Tate & Lyle,
this basic material is more heat resistant (with less
thermal degradation) than propylene glycol. HowВ­
ever, while AquaВ­Concept specifies the maximum perВ­
manent heat resistance to be 214 В°C (which is also
the boiling point of pure 1.3В­propanediol at atmoВ­
spheric pressure), SolarUS has determined it to be
just 108 °C – the boiling point of a 40 % solution with
water. The company explains that higher temperaВ­
tures would lead to cavitation in pressureless sysВ­
tems. SolarUS specifies 180 В°C as a maximum tempoВ­
rary temperature. According to manufacturer specifiВ­
cations, the shortВ­term exposure temperature was
determined by assessing flash steaming of residual
fluid in collectors.
No testing standardisation in sight
Dirk Wittig, CEO of Wittig, observes that customers
lately have been attaching more value to quality.
“Clients are showing increasing interest in how long
products have already proven their worth and how
much experience has been gained with the prodВ­
ucts,” he explains. However, a standardized test es­
pecially for solar fluids does not yet exist. The appliВ­
cation for a preВ­standard that originated from a joint
project of the fluid manufacturers Clariant, pro
KГјhlsole, Sentinel and Tyforop at the FQZ OderbrГјcke
research centre in Germany has been on hold since
FQZ filed for bankruptcy in the spring of 2013.
Outside company labs, a defined test especially
for solar fluids is available at the Institut fГјr
Solartechnik SPF in Rapperswil, Switzerland.
Researchers also use the test structure, which tries to
emulate a genuine solar circuit including collectors in
material, form, temperature and flow rate, to conduct
the fluid tests which aluminium manufacturer Hydro
uses to determine approval for its absorbers.
The SEIDO Line of Evacuated Tubes
Affordable Aerospace Technology for---
Beijing Sunda Solar Energy Technology Co., Ltd.
Tel:+86-10-57930205/57930251 Fax:+86-10-57930220
[email protected]
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Last year, the Swiss institute enlarged its test rig
somewhat so that, for example, the pH value can be
tracked throughout the test. They are currently planВ­
ning a test that reproduces a mixed installation with
pipes made of copper and other metals in the solar
circuit. So far, however, the test is not set up to be a
general comparison test for solar fluids.
Heat transfer fluids that are compatible with aluВ­
minium are increasingly in demand, according to
Tyforop, Clariant, BioChem and Sunex. AquaВ­Concept
did not state that there had been any changes, and
the remaining manufacturers did not answer this
question. Aluminium manufacturer Hydro has apВ­
proved pro Kühlsole’s Pekasolar fluid, while BioChem
is currently waiting for certification. Sunex recently
added the SL AL fluid to its product line.
Glycol remains costly, high pricing
pressure in the solar industry
The prices for heat transfer fluids once again dropped
slightly last year, by as much as 10 % for some manuВ­
facturers, as a result of pricing pressure in the solar
thermal energy industry. According to some companies,
the fluid manufacturers have also noticed the market
downturn. At the same time, prices for glycol, the most
important raw material, have been high since the cold
winter of 2010В­2011. Margins are getting tighter for the
fluid manufacturers. But this hardly presents a major
emergency for the companies themselves, because soВ­
lar fluids usually are only a fraction of their business.
One supplier, who combines fluids for solar energy sysВ­
tems, heating and cooling equipment and heat pumps
in its statistics, even states a positive total amount.
Corn instead of crude oil
One alternative to glycol is antifreeze agents based
on 1.3В­propylenediol, which is produced from corn.
DuPont Tate & Lyle sells it under the name Susterra В®
to solar fluid manufacturers in various countries, who
then add their own inhibitors, buffers and dyestuffs.
In the US, the product is turned into SoВ­blu, available
from system provider SolarUS starting this summer.
In the GermanВ­speaking countries, the biofluid is
called CORACON SOL EKO F and was recently brought
to the market by AquaВ­Concept; in France, it has been
available as Greenway since 2012, although its
vendor, Climalife, has not participated in the market
survey for the last two years. According to DuPont
Tate & Lyle, the corn antifreeze requires 40 % less
energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by
more than 40 % compared to petroleumВ­based
1.3В­propanediol and propylene glycol.
Staub & Co is now represented as Staub & Co –
Silbermann in the market survey. Staub & Co.
Chemiehandelsgesellschaft, part of the Stockmeier
Group, acquired F.B. Silbermann in June 2013 after
approval from the German Cartel Office, retroactively
applied to January 2013. The two companies have
operated jointly as Staub & Co. – Silbermann since
December 2013.
Eva Augsten
This corrugated pipe is
contaminated with black
sludge from decomposed
antifreeze fluid.
Photo: solarklima
Now compatible with:
conexio 200
de in Ge
any, Eg
10 0%
Flawless visualization and remote control
over the internet
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I/O extension module
– In der BГјg 5 – D-91330 Eggolsheim – Tel: +49 (91 91) 61 66 0 – – E-Mail: [email protected]
Solar Gmbh
micro-inverters & oPtimizers
Two groundbreaking PV technologies?
Market leaders show lots of
According to the company, the Sunny Boy 240 was developed mainly for the North
American market, but can be used worldwide.
Photo: SMA Solar Technology AG
The sale of micro-inverters and DC optimizers on the
American market is continuously growing. Some
manufacturers have already left the niche market. They
should soon be followed by others.
he year 2014 launched the next chapter of the
success story of micro-inverters and DC optimizers for PV systems. At any rate, the
Canadian market research firm and publishing company Publications firmly believes this
and thus relies on a new study of GTM Research. The
market researchers of Navigant Research report a
similar story and make the industry hope for a dynamic development. Navigant thus predicts growth to
a production volume of 52.7 GW between 2013 and
2020. The MLPE industry – MLPE stands for modulelevel power electronics; this term summarizes optimizers and micro-inverters – is developing very fast,
with a growing number of module manufacturers
which integrate these products into their modules.
Furthermore, there are many established companies
that enter into partnerships with producers of power
electronics or buy them up, Navigant adds. This trend
is expected to accelerate even further in the next few
years. The drivers of this development are technical
progress, cost reduction and political factors.
The industry is dominated by only a few companies.
According to Publications, Enphase
Energy with its micro-inverters and SolarEdge
Technologies, as well as Tigo Energy with its optimizers shared almost 90 % of the global MLPE market in
2013. Like the research institutes, they are quite optimistic about the future of their industry. “The MLPE
market is amongst the fastest growing segments of
the global solar industry,” the marketing department
of SolarEdge Technologies, for example, writes on request. “In the past, MLPE technologies have demonstrated notable success in residential applications –
last year, for example, according to GTM, approximately two out of every three new residential systems
in the United States featured an MLPE solution. However, in the case of power optimizers, we are also seeing increased demand from the commercial sector.
Globally, the MLPE market is expected to grow considerably in the next few years, achieving 5 GW installed by 2017.” All of this shows that this technology has left its niche existence behind, says the leading manufacturer of optimizers.
The DC optimizers from Tigo Energy, Inc. have in
the meantime also reached the universal market.
Proof for this is the fact, the company says, that leading module and inverter manufacturers now also integrate this technology into their products. The
“smart market” is currently growing faster than the
overall market, and thus the day when the MLPE products are becoming the standard should not be far
away. “We at Tigo believe that smart modules are the
future of the optimizer and micro-inverter industry”,
says Tigo’s Marketing Manager James Bickford. The
expectations are primarily based on the advantage to
be able to communicate with the module, Bickford
continues because communication enables amonst
others advanced safety functions, as well as larger
energy harvests, longer strings, lower system costs,
as well as improved and easier maintenance.
Like his competitors, Senior Vice President Paul
Barlock of the micro-inverter manufacturer APS
America is optimistic with regard to market opportunities: “Our success in the global market demonstrates that micro-inverters are the new paradigm for
PV power inversion. They are the technology of the future. As for the optimizers, the success of the microinverters lies in the advantages of the technology, explained Barlock: “Micro-inverters are the best solution for all rooftop solar applications because they offer greater energy harvest than string inverters;
simplify PV system design and installation; reduce installation costs, including balance of system components; offer monitoring and control of individual solar panels in an array; and offer the increased safety
of distributed current and rapid shutdown. According
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
DC optimizer, string inverter and
monitor of SolarEdge
The reliable
way To increase
your yield
Photo: SolarEdge
to GTM Research, the US company is market leader in
China and Australia for the micro-inverters, and it is the
second biggest player on the North American market. But
APS America is also successful in South America and
Power conversion at module level
It is widely believed that Enphase Energy is market leader
for the manufacturing and marketing of micro-inverters.
However, the Californian company does strictly not talk
about individual units, but about a complete microsolution. It consists of an Enphase micro-inverter, an Envoy
Communications Gateway, a monitoring system with
Enlighten monitoring software and plug&play cabling. The
service is also expressly included. The latest product, the
micro-inverter M250, is the “the world’s most advanced
micro-inverter”, the latest press release states. It improves
the solar yield and simplifies the installation and management of solar power systems. According to Enphase, the
unit is based on the inverters of the third generation and
forms a new standard for the micro-inverters with a reduced number of parts. “Optimized for high-power solar
modules, our fourth-generation technology delivers reliable, high-performing systems at great value,” summarises Anna Valeria Porta, PR Manager (EMEA).
German SMA already presented a module inverter at
the Intersolar Europe 2012: the Sunny Boy 240. According
to the company, it was developed primarily for the North
American market, but can be used worldwide. The unit is
particularly suited to small photovoltaic systems with
complicated shading situations and photovoltaics integrated into buildings, it is stated further. It provides high
flexibility when planning systems in the power range below two kilowatt. “During market launch, the focus for us
was first of all on the USA as the largest market for module inverters,” says Susanne Henkel, Manager of Corporate Press at SMA, on request. “Since February 2014, we
have now been offering the Sunny Boy 240 in many
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micro-inverters & oPtimizers
Micro-inverter M250 from
Photo: Enphase Energy
European markets”. The smallest of the family can be
combined with the monitoring solution Sunny Multigate. Another advantage – which not always immediately springs to mind – is provided by the associated
data sheet: Due to their modular structure, systems
with the Sunny Boy 240 and the Sunny Multigate can
be restructured and upgraded at any time, which
might become necessary in case of structural changes or in case of an extension of performance, for
The Chinese manufacturer LeadSolar Energy Co.,
Ltd. supplies the solar markets in the USA and Mexico
and Brazil with its micro-inverters LeadSolar LS250
and LeadSolar LS600. The easy-to-handle units are
designed for module voltages of a maximum of 60 V,
the MPPT voltage ranges from 27 to 45V. The maximum output power is specified as 250W or 600W, respectively. In addition to the inverter, the complete
system includes the communication gateway
LeadSolar Link and the monitoring platform LeadSolar
Management. LeadSolar Link monitors the safe
function and the performance of the module and can
be supplied as Utility, Residential Superior and
Residential Basic versions. LeadSolar Management
provides customers with the option to visually
represent the module or PV system.
The Californian Chilicon Power, LLC. claims to
have developed the most efficient micro-inverter
worldwide, with built-in long-term reliability. This is
owing to the usage of highly reliable capacitors –
while some competitors use electrolyte capacitors,
who are known to fail at an early stage. According to
Chilicon Power, the micro-inverter CP-250 produces
an AC output power of 250W, the recommended input
power is specified as 300 W. Efficiency is 96 % (CEC)
or 96.6 %, respectively (peak). Micro-inverters are
usually combined into one system with a gateway
technology and a web-based software. The gateway
networks with each micro-inverter and represents the
information on a 7” LCD display. It also transmits performance information to the internet for ubiquitous
access. According to co-founder Alexandre Kral,
Chilicon Power is currently only selling its microinverters in North America, but is planning to extend
the sale to South America at some stage.
As with the competition, APS America’s microinverter system also consists of three key compo-
nents: a micro-inverter, a communication unit (APS
Communicator), and a monitoring software (APS
Monitor). Amongst the inverters supplied by the company so far, the APS YC500A is the flagship, which is
able to handle two solar modules simultaneously.
APS America announced the impending introduction
of the worldwide “first true 3-phase, 4-panel microinverter” named APS YC1000-3. “It is designed to
work with 3 or 4 PV modules (up to 310W each) and
provides 208V-480V 3-phase grid voltages – all at a
price competitive with regular string inverters,” APS
America claims on its website.
The next manufacturer intending to introduce his
product here is SolarBridge Technologies from Austin
in Texas. It designs, develops and produces a microinverter series named Pantheon. “But SolarBridge
does not sell micro-inverters directly to the open inverter market; instead the SolarBridge Pantheon and
Pantheon II micro-inverter products are exclusively
sold to module companies who incorporate the SolarBridge Pantheon and Pantheon II micro- inverters into
their own products,” the company wrote on request.
The Pantheon II micro-inverters are certified and
approved for installation not only in the United States
of America and Canada, but also in Australia. According to Solarbridge, partners integrating Pantheon
micro-inverters into their products are module manufacturers SunPower, ET Solar and BenQ.
The micro-inverter system from ABB comprises
an inverter of the “micro” family and a Concentrator
Data Device (CDD). Available for selection are inverters with capacities of 250W and 300W with a maximum DC input voltage of 65V, which enables connection of 96-cell modules. The ABB Concentrator Data
Device forms the communication interface between
the inverter system and the system operator. It shows
the current system status via an integrated display.
For a complete and detailed status report, the integrated web server can be used at local level. ABB provides the Aurora Vision Plant Management platform
for complete recording of the system data. “The ABB
micro family is available in North America and selected South American countries,” wrote Chavonne Yee,
Director of Product Management North America,
Power Conversion, Product Group Solar. And how
does she assess the market potential? Yee: “The
micro-inverter will remain as one approach to the DC
to AC conversion with particular use for complex
sites. The simplification of site design using microinverters makes it attractive to growth markets with
relatively inexperienced solar installation and design
resources. As markets mature and look for cost
optimisation, the market will utilise micro-inverters
for energy production in the part of the market with
sub-optimal site shading.”
DC optimizer instead of
junction box
Power optimizers are DC/DC converters, which are
either embedded by module manufacturers into their
modules, thus replacing the function of the junction
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
box, or which are connected as an add-on by installers. Tigo Energy puts the first option into practice,
with great success: “Tigo currently has over 10 PV
module manufacturers shipping products with its
embedded technology,“ says James Bickford, Tigo’s
Marketing Manager. The design of such an optimisation system is such that each module receives an
electronic Module Maximizer (MM), which is responsible for MPP tracking together with the Maximizer
Management Unit (MMU). The maximizers are
equipped with communication components, analog
sensors as well as a switching technology for DC performance control, and communicate with the MMU,
either via cable or radio. This device combination
then determines and adjusts the MPP of the individual modules based on module and string information. The MMU also serves as internet access, so that
the performance data can be transmitted to the Tigo
analytical unit. One special feature: While the majority of the MPP trackers used today detect the MPP
step by step (iterative procedure), Tigo Energy focuses on the patented procedure of the so-called
“impedance adaptation” and with this expects the
highest average efficiency on the module (“statistically 99.5 %”) with minor changes to the existing
PV system.
The leading manufacturer SolarEdge probably
has the most comprehensive programme in the optimizer sector (as we cannot mention all of them here,
we have selected the Module Embedded Power
Optimizer OPJ300-LV and the Commercial Power
Optimizer OP600-96V). The rated input DC power of
the OPJ300-LV is specified as 300W, the maximum input voltage as 55V and the MPPT range as 5 to 55V.
The add-on optimizer OP600-96V is designed for two
60-cell modules connected in series. Due to the
higher voltage and performance values, this unit is
ideally suited to commercial use. According to the
data sheet, the peak efficiency for both optimizers is
specified as 99.5 %. SolarEdge has by
its own account delivered a total of
3.3 million optimizers to more than 60
countries worldwide, that is to North,
Central and South America, as well as
the Caribbean, Europe and Asia and
the Middle East.
Trina Solar, Ltd. sells modules with
integrated power electronics from Tigo
Energy, which is housed in the junction
box. This solution called “TrinaSmart”
works with a patented feature called
“SmartCurve”. It enables up to 30 %
longer strings and thus decreases installation costs, the company reported.
Furthermore, Trinasmart boosts system performance by up to 20 %, for example in case of clouding and different
module capacities within one string,
and increases safety for the whole system. Communication between the modules and the system monitoring is
radio-based via a gateway to the monitoring and
management unit MMU, which is also supplied by
Tigo. According to the data sheet, a maximum of 120
modules can be assigned to each gateway, and up to
seven gateways can be assigned to each MMU. The
MMU calculates and controls the operating points of
the modules in real-time, and transmits all data to a
monitoring portal, from where the system operator
can then request and use them internet-based, that
is via smartphone or laptop. “We sell this product
worldwide, but have had some success recently in the
Americas markets,” wrote Trina’s Philip Dawsey,
Product Marketing Manager. Furthermore, he revealed that TrinaSolar is considering an integrated AC
module, but currently has no commercially available
PV Monitoring
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TrinaSmart modules with
integrated power electronics in the junction box
Photo: Trina Solar
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Solar Edition
tracking systems
The ugly
duckling industry?
For years things were quiet around the tracking system market.
But as trackers become less costly and innovative systems are being
developed, leading manufacturers think that the ugly duckling
might soon turn into a swan.
The SolBot on its way to
turn the trackers.
Photo: QBotix
n the last few years the tracking market has
changed rapidly. During the Spanish boom in
2007 and 2008 about 50 to 100 modules were
needed for a plant with a capacity of 1 MW, today just
40 to 80 modules achieve the same capacity. Technological developments have also led to a drop in
tracker prices, which means that the systems are now
becoming competitive.
Of course there are different approaches for surviving within a struggling market. Either a company
finds its niche or it offers a wide range of services.
Nuevosol, for example, only sells horizontal axis
trackers for use in regions close to the equatorial
belt. As Himamsu Popuri, CEO and Managing Director
of Nuevosol, told Sun & Wind Energy, his company
regards other tracking systems as too costly and not
viable. In comparison to this, Romain Buisine,
Business Development Manager at Jusheng Solar,
says that they do not want to narrow down their
possible target markets and that they are ready to
deliver their systems anywhere in the world. Their
product portfolio includes horizontal, tilted, azimuth
and even concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) trackers.
When asked about future markets, tracking expert Deger Energy also sees several potential markets
all over the world. Among them are the Southwest of
the US, Canada, Chile, Ghana and South Africa,
Jordan and Israel, the European countries Sweden
and Turkey, as well as Malaysia and Australia.
Wind is not an issue
“Some people think that trackers are more vulnerable
towards wind damage. But although the systems
have more movable connection points, trackers can
go into a safety position, whereas conventional
ground mounted systems cannot,” points out Maria
Lahuerta, Marketing Director at Exosun.
At wind speeds of 70 km/h the Exosun trackers
go into a horizontal safety position to provide less
wind resistance. But wind tunnel tests have shown
that trackers mounted with three piles can withstand
wind speeds of around 200 km/h before taking some
damage and with six piles a system can even endure
up to 240 km/h winds. But these wind speeds only
occur during a very strong storm or a hurricane, which
means that the modules themselves will very likely be
damaged some time before those speeds are
But while there is a safety regulation for fixed systems in the US, there are no definite safety regulations for tracking systems right now. There is only a
Eurocode for grounding and the CE-mark, which the
companies can assign themselves.
Lahuerta would be glad if there were more standards: “Honestly, it would be great if we had a clear set
of rules for construction and resistance. This is because if someone installs a badly constructed tracker
and it breaks, all the other companies making trackers
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
are also affected. We consider it a key
point to certify with independent engineering companies.” Exosun certifies its
systems with UL 3703 and 2703 compliancy and wind tunnel tests.
Deger also deals with the issue of
wind resistance. Its new two-axis tracker
D60H was especially created for regions
with high wind loads. With the maximum
area of modules (40 mВІ) it can withstand
up to 170 km/h wind speeds; with fewer
modules, it can defy wind speeds of up to
300 km/h. Its durability was tested by the
University of Stuttgart and Deger filed a
patent for the mechanics behind the
tracker’s high wind resistance, in which
both axes are integrated within a swivel
head unit. The systems are also certified
for the US and Canada in accordance with
UL/CSA standards.
Another advantage of the new system
is that Deger simplified the installation by
pre-assembling some components. Maria
Lahuerta of Exosun also emphasises how
important it is to reduce the complexity of
the installation: “We need a fast and easy
installation process, which is as simple as
building an IKEA shelf. This means that no
cranes or specialised workmanship are
needed.” Exosun wants to adapt to fixed
ground mounted systems, especially in
the large-scale sector, so that the same
EPC contractors can work with them. In
contrast to the other companies mentioned in this article, Deger uses its
Maximum Light Detection Sensor (MLD)
instead of astronomical tracking via
High concentration PV
For concentrated photovoltaics a highprecision alignment with a deviation below 0.1В° is required. This means CPV
trackers have to be constantly adjusted
and use more energy than conventional
PV trackers, which only move for approximately 30 min per day. Additionally, the
strict alignment means that if the tracker
motor is broken, there will be no electricity production at all. To limit the risks accompanying CPV, Exosun mixes normal
PV trackers with CPV trackers in bigger solar plants. For example, three quarters of
the plant can be normal PV trackers and
one quarter will be concentrated PV
trackers. If the CPV works, it will increase
the overall yield of the plant, but if the
CPV trackers malfunction, the conventional horizontal tracking systems will still
The lowest life-cycle
cost utility solar tracker
Robotic tracking
At the Intersolar Europe in Munich, robotics expert QBotix presented their innovative tracking system, which uses a unique
approach. Their robotic tracking system
(or RTS) consists of around 210 photovoltaic trackers with 6 modules each and
the trackers are installed on a rail. The innovative part about this is that the
trackers themselves do not have motors.
Instead, two small robots move along the
rail and turn the modules according to the
sun’s path. With this, tilt and azimuth
tracking is possible. To correct for the
40 minutes it takes the SolBots to adjust
all panels, they turn the trackers 5В° ahead
of the sun’s position, explained Matt
Lugar, Vice President of Sales and
Marketing at QBotix.
Amidst such interesting developments Deger also looks positively into
the future. “We see a rising interest in
our tracking systems worldwide. By now
a lot of investors have adapted their
business models so that solar energy
pays off without state subsidies. […] The
cost-effectiveness of photovoltaic systems is becoming more and more independent of state subsidies. The market
for solar energy is accelerating again,”
says Artur Deger, founder and CEO of
Optimizes Utility-Scale Solar Plants
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• Up to 20 years product warranty
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The horizontal
single-axis tracker
Exotrack HZ only
needs 6 motors per
MW capacity due
to its centralised
control system.
Photo: Exosun
Solar Edition
Growth in residential segment will
affect many U.S. manufacturers
Large PV installation at Rancho
Santa Fe
Photo: SolarWorld Americas
The conditions for market growth in the renewable energy sector could not
be more promising. Solar accounted for 74 % of all new U.S. electric
capacity installed in Q1 2014. 6.6 GW of PV will be installed by the end of
the year. Analysts predict more than 8 GW by the end of the year. The
forecast also shows after years of the utility sector’s steady growth the
residential market is now ready to seriously expand.
hen it comes to PV manufacturing for the
U.S. Greentech Media reports in its 2013
year-end analysis “after two years of overcapacity-induced price declines and heavy financial
losses, 2013 marked a turnaround. The bestpositioned U.S. suppliers, particularly downstreamintegrated firms, enjoyed healthy profits and sales
growth in 2H 2013, and 2014 promises to be the most
profitable and stable year for PV manufacturing since
the heady days of 2010. However, U.S. solar manufacturing growth in 2013 still lagged behind the rest of
the world. Consequently, 2013 also witnessed some
notable historical producers such as REC, SolarWorld
and Sharp announce layoffs and plant shutdowns, a
reminder that consolidation in the manufacturing
landscape will still continue despite improving business conditions and overall market growth.”
For the first quarter of 2014 GTM states
polysilicon production in the U.S. was reduced to
three major facilities: Hemlock, SunEdison and REC,
which in total produced 10,318 MT solar polysilicon
with the bulk of the output being consumed in China,
according to GTM.
Wafer production in the last quarter has been
gone down to 11 MW of wafers by the only remaining
U.S. wafer production line at SunEdison in Oregon, a
180 MW monocrystalline plant. SolarWorld’s ingot
and wafer production line (250 MW also in Oregon)
was discontinued. Cell production only remained in
Oregon (SolarWorld) and Georgia (Suniva) with a
slight increase in the first quarter from 103 to
132 MW.
Good news came from the inverter sector. “Yearover-year, the U.S. inverter industry saw an increase
of 62 % as large utility projects and the commercial
sector continue to be dominated by domestically produced inverters. In the residential sector, deployment
of U.S. inverters continues to be weak as foreignmanufactured module-level power electronics companies continue to control the majority share,” stated
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Solar Edition
GTM. The total reported production capacity in the
U.S. remained stagnant at 1.9 GW “although the continued growth of the U.S. market and expansion of
domestic players has resulted in plans to build new
capacity,” according to GTM.
“It is my belief that the US will soon become a
major player internationally and have an important
role in the PV market,” said Frank Rosenkranz from
TE Connectivity. Regarding the growth on the residential market, which has experienced big growth in
the previous quarters, Rosenkranz wonders about “a
lack of marketing to the end customer, to further inform them of the initiatives they could be benefitting
from. For the end customer looking to install PV arrays on their house, there is little to no information
at all.”
Thanks to the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
and several state incentive programmes, Ron Corio,
Founder & CEO of Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI), said
the U.S. has “created relatively stable primary
drivers for growth of the U.S. solar energy industry.
A federal renewable energy standard applied to all
states would drive growth further and more uniformly across the country.” Corio has seen “an �air
pocket’ in utility scale growth in Q1 of 2014, momentum is building as we progress into 2014 however. We believe that the Q1 hiccup was primarily
due to lower PPA prices that did not anticipate stable
or higher module prices.” Array Technologies, a
manufacturer of solar tracking and racking systems
for utilities, businesses and homeowners is headquartered in Albuquerque, NM. ATI’s 120 employees
primarily deliver to the utility and commercial-scale
sectors of the U.S. market. “However, we are focusing on specific international markets and look to
these markets for long-term growth.”
SolarMax USA, with inverter production in Switzerland, has seen a lot of the
predicted growth for the U.S. market,
“with residential growth being the most
steady, commercial irregular but growing
quickly, and utility business the largest
but flattening due to fewer extremely
large solar plants like we have seen in
the past,” said Alan G. Beale, General
Manager and President. “To support the
growth in the U.S., we have made a substantial investment in R&D and product
development in our Atlanta headquarters.” According to Beale, “utilities have
become a driving force, like we see in
Georgia with the Georgia Power Advanced
Solar Initiative (GPASI).”
Despite the record growth in solar
deployments manufacturing related
businesses are not experiencing such a
Dean Middleton, Director Renewable Energy
burst. Still, Frank Rosenkranz, from TE
Sales for Trojan Battery is seeing a “growing
Connectivity, sees a “tremendous potenconsumer demand for energy storage solutial and opportunity for smaller compations to serve the rapidly growing residennies to open their doors; companies that
tial grid-tied with battery backup market in
develop niche products and serve
the U.S.”
specific markets with tailored soluPhoto: Trojan Battery
Alan G. Beale, General Manager and President of
SolarMax USA, Inc. expects a lot of growth for the
U.S. market, “with residential growth being the most
steady, commercial irregular but growing quickly,
and utility business the largest but flattening.
Photo: SolarMax USA
tions.“ Rosenkranz also sees a trend for bifacial
modules and thin-film modules in building designs
gaining popularity, where TE Connectivity sees themselves to better serve the market.
Another side effect of the residential market getting momentum has been seen by Dean Middleton,
Director of Renewable Energy Sales for Trojan Battery,
a leading manufacturer of deep-cycle batteries. The
company with its headquarter in Santa Fe Springs,
CA, with 600 employees, usually focuses on the offgrid market which is less affected by the uncertainty
of subsidies. Although, Middleton wished that storage solutions would be included in the state or
federal subsidy programmes to shorten the payback
period for solar systems with battery back-up. “Incentivizing on-site energy storage will create new opportunities for growth in the solar market in the U.S.
while giving consumers the energy independence
they demand.”
Despite pending policies to support that,
Middleton is already seeing a “growing consumer demand for energy storage solutions to serve the rapidly growing residential grid-tied with battery backup
market in the U.S.” The east coast has been experiencing many power outages, often lasting days or
weeks, after floods and hurricanes became almost
common during the summers. But grid-tied solar
panels can’t deliver electricity to the home owner
when the grid is down, due to the system setup.
This development is still not backed up by many
state policies. According to Middleton, until recently,
utility companies in California have “essentially
blocked the integration of energy storage into solar
projects […] by way of excessive fees and permitting
bureaucracy that have stalled the progress of over
10 MW of energy storage projects in the state.” Just
last month a ruling by the California Public Utilities
Commission will now “require these utilities to
simplify the process and remove many of the barriers
that have held these projects back in the past, essentially paving the way for a new solar market in the
Anja Limperis
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
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Solar Edition
Solar energy can mitigate impact
of weather-related disasters
The pictures show
some effects of the
flood crisis for people
and energy production
in Thailand.
Photos: Suntech
The benefits of renewable energy, including solar energy, in helping reduce
global greenhouse gas emissions are well known and well documented. For
example, the recent report by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of climate change once again
demonstrates the benefits associated with nations increasing the share of
renewable energy in their energy mix. However, what is not as well studied
– and what is missing from this most recent report – is an analysis of the
benefits that solar fields provide as a robust and resilient energy supply
enabling countries to lessen the impact of the growing number of extreme
weather-related disasters.
tudies have shown that extreme weatherrelated disasters are on the rise, and that
these disasters are disproportionally affecting Asian cities and countries. According to the Asian
Development Bank, Asia accounts for half of the
world’s estimated economic losses from extreme
weather events over the past 20 years. The region is
also estimated to experience US$ 53.8 billion in
losses annually from disasters, with scientists predicting that the frequency and severity of extreme
weather events is set to accelerate. Businesses,
governments and citizens are facing both expected
and unexpected challenges, such as the rising cost of
power, long-term environmental impact and scarcity
of resources, as they seek to confront these extreme
weather conditions.
Many Southeast Asian countries have responded
to the changing landscape by implementing progressive policies to build more sustainable energy
sources. For example, Thailand, which suffers from
frequent catastrophes, particularly floods, has set an
ambitious goal of achieving 25 % of its total energy
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
from renewable sources by 2021. Thanks
to Thailand’s geographic advantage, located near the Equator and with an average solar radiation of 5.05 kWh/m2 per
day, the country has invested significantly in solar power projects and is expected
to generate nearly 2,000 MW in cumulated installed capacity from solar fields by
Suntech is proud to support
Thailand’s ambitious plan. In 2010,
Suntech provided the solar panels used
to build, one of South East Asia’s largest
silicon photovoltaic power plants, a
45 MW project called “Sunny Bangchak”.
The project, located in Bang Pa-in,
Ayutthaya, 60 kilometres outside Bangkok, was led by Bangchak Petroleum PLC,
and utilizes 157,200 PV modules. The solar power plant is estimated to reduce
nearly 30,000 tons of coal equivalent and
to mitigate 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide
emissions — the equivalent of planting
3,000,000 trees or removing 9,000 cars
from the roads. Sunny Bangchak’s ground
breaking took place in August 2010 and
its 8 MW plant started commercial operation on August 5, 2011.
But Sunny Bangchak has done more
than diversify Thailand’s energy sources:
it is contributing to Thailand’s resiliency,
as demonstrated by its rapid return to
use following the Great Flood of 2011,
whose 3-year anniversary is approaching. In October 2011, after only a few
months of operation, Sunny Bangchak
was completely submerged in fresh water
for nearly two months during the nation’s
flooding. Although the solar field suffered damages during this period, it
quickly bounced back producing 8 MW of
output 6 months after the flood receded
and resuming full production on July 16,
2012. The field’s operator praised the
quick turn around with Watcharapong
Saisuk, Managing Director of Bangchak
Solar Energy (BSE), calling the highly resilient solar field a landmark for green
environment and sustainable business in
But the high quality and resiliency of
the solar panels used in the Sunny
Bangchak project also created opportunities to expand the use of solar energy in
Thailand beyond the solar field. Following the flood, the original panels used in
the Bang Pa-in solar field were replaced
with new Suntech modules. However, a
review of Suntech’s original solar panels
found that the vast majority were not only
fully functioning, but in “excellent”
condition. The replaced panels were then
Solar Edition
purchased by World Machine Centre Co.,
Ltd (WMC) who rehabilitated the panels
and sold the panels to families, farmers,
temples and companies throughout the
country. According to Amphol Kovadhana,
Managing Director of WMC, the company
has resold more than 80 % of the panels,
thanks to the high quality and strength of
the products. “I am thrilled that the
Energy. Anytime. Anywhere.
rescued panels can be reused and that
we are able to help Thailand’s citizen to
get access to cheap and reliable
The short timeline to return to full
operation and reuse of the panels is a
unique quality for solar fields and a true
benefit to solar energy. According to the
report assessing the impact of the
Thailand flooding developed by the
Ministry of Finance, Royal Thai
Government and The World Bank, severe
damages were experienced to the power
generation plants in Ayutthaya province
as well as to distribution networks and
Victron Energy
property and assets. These damages,
inverters, chargers, inverter/chargers,
which totaled Thai Baht (THB) 3,185
solar charge controllers, battery monitors,
billion (US$ 98 million), were estimated
batteries, solar panels and more.
to take 18 months to rehabilitate.
Other nations have faced similar reE: [email protected]
habilitation challenges as well as substantial environmental disruption following natural disasters. In June last year,
following a devastating flood in the
Northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, ten
Advert_SWW Africa_June2014.indd 1
major hydropower projects in operation
and under construction were severely
damaged. Many were so badly impaired
that they may never be built. Another 19
smaller hydropower projects were completely destroyed.
Nations are facing increasing challenges to adapt and respond to the
changing climate conditions. Adopting
renewable solar energy offers a way to
not only help mitigate the impact of the
climate changes by reducing our global
carbon footprint, but also helps build resilience into our energy systems.
Suntech’s experience with Sunny
Bangchak tells us that solar fields and
solar can offer needed resilience for
countries that suffer from ongoing
threats from natural disasters. Solar
energy can mitigate unexpected risks as
Solarpeace Corp.(Korea)
well as drive growth in a more sustainTel:+86-186 8809 7799
able way.
Email:[email protected]
Eric Luo
Eric Luo is the CEO of Wuxi Suntech. Prior to this
role, he served as the Senior Vice President of
Sales & Operations, where he was responsible for
Suntech’s worldwide sales and marketing activities.
Email:[email protected]
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Solar Edition
> Directory
Biomass / Biogas
Co-generation plants
Research, development, production and distribution
of high quality solar thermal collectors (sealed CPC),
biomass boilers, storage technology and fresh water
A-4451 St. Ulrich/Steyr, Werkstr. 1
Tel. +43/7252/50002-0, [email protected]
SeVa energie aG
Block-Type Thermal Power Stations
Biogas Plants, Vegatable Oil Plants
D-49685 Emstek, Europa-Allee 14
Tel. +49 4473 9281 0, Fax +49 4473 9281 10, [email protected]
pellets – heating systems
Measurement Technology
Biotech energietechnik GmBH
Pellet and wood chips heating facilities,
feeding systems and autom. feeding systems
for pellet stoves
A-5101 Bergheim, FurtmГјhlstr. 32
Tel. +43/662/454072-0, Fax 454072-50, [email protected]
ammonit measurement GmbH
Data loggers, measurement systems for wind and solar
resource assessment, online monitoring software
D-10997 Berlin, Wrangelstrasse 100
Tel. + 49/30/6003188-0, Fax -10, [email protected]
High quality german solar company.
In the market since 2001. Pioneer in 10 years
product warranty and plus tolerances.
D-71034 Böblingen, Otto-Lilienthal-Straße 5
Tel. +49/7031/6288-5186, Fax +49/7031/6289-5187, [email protected]
Heraeus materials Technology
Thin Film Materials Division
Heraeus TMD supplies the complete package of
sputtering targets for various types of solar cells.
D-63450 Hanau, Wilhelm-Rohn-Str. 25
Tel. +49/6181/35-2229, Fax 35-2220, [email protected]
Krannich Solar GmbH & Co.KG
System provider for pv installers
D-71263 Weil der Stadt (Hausen),
Heimsheimer Str. 65/1
Tel. +49/7033/3042-0, Fax +49/7033/3042-222
[email protected]
Lebherz und Partner Ingeniere
int. Qualitiy assurance, Manage analyses
areal Inspection with Copters, EL, Thermographie
Jakobstrasse 218, D-52064 Aachen
Tel. +49 241 477074 0 [email protected],
mounting Systems GmbH
Manufacturer of mounting systems and components for
Photovoltaic and SolarThermal
D-15834 Rangsdorf, Mittenwalder Str. 9a
Tel. +49/33708/529-0, Fax 529-199
Phaesun GmbH
The Off-Grid Experts
Phaesun is the leading system integrator for
Off-Grid solar systems
D-87700 Memmingen, BrГјhlweg 9
Tel. +49/8331/990420, Fax 9904212, [email protected]
renusol GmbH
Solar Mounting Systems
D-51063 Köln, Piccoloministrasse 2
Tel. +49/221/788707-0, Fax -99, [email protected]
Cutting Machines for Tedlar, EVA and many more
Winding Machines for Tedlar, EVA and many more
Friction Winding Shafts
D-42899 Remscheid, Garschager Heide 41
Tel. +49/2191/56118-0, Fax -75, [email protected]
SCHmID Group|Gebr. SCHmID GmbH
Process equipment and turnkey lines
For the production of wafer, cells,
modules and thin film application.
D-72250 Freudenstadt, Robert-Bosch-Str. 32-36
Tel. +49/7441/538-0, Fax 538-121, [email protected]
Solar Edition
skytronВ® energy GmbH
Complete Monitoring, Control and Supervision System
for utility-scale photovoltaic installations
D-12489 Berlin, Ernst-Augustin-StraГџe 12
Tel. +49/30/6883159-0, Fax +49/30/6883159-99, [email protected]
SOLar23 GmbH
D-89073 Ulm, Zeitblomstr. 7
Tel. +49 (0) 731/708099-0, Fax 708099-99, [email protected]
Solarc Innovative Solarprodukte GmbH
Customized solar systems from very small up to large
PV power, including electronics development
D-10999 Berlin, Glogauer Str. 21
Tel. +49/30/3198554-00, Fax -99, [email protected]
Solar-Fabrik aG
Aktiengesellschaft fГјr Produktion und Vertrieb
von solartechnischen Produkten
D-79111 Freiburg, Munzinger Str. 10
Tel. +49/761/4000-0, Fax 4000-199
SolarWorld aG
SolarWorldВ® construction kits
SolarWorld Energy RoofВ®
Solar Power Plants
SolarWorldВ® Modules
D-53175 Bonn, Martin-Luther-King-Str. 24
Tel. +49/228/55920-0, Fax 55920-99, [email protected]
Sunways aG Photovoltaic Technology
Manufacturer of solar cells and solar inverters
D-78467 Konstanz, Macairestr. 3-5
+49/7531/99677-0, Fax 99677-444, [email protected]
Steca electronik GmbH
German manufacturer of controllers and inverters;
sectors: PV- On- and Off-Grid, Solar thermal
D-87700 Memmingen, Mammostr. 1
Tel. +49-(0)8331-8558-0, Fax +49-(0)8331-8558-132, [email protected]
Talesun Solar Germany GmbH
80339 MГјnchen, Landsberger Str. 110
Tel. +49/89/1891770, Fax +49/89/189177499, [email protected]
Universal energy engineering GmbH
Modules, Inverters, Customized Packages, Development Roof and Greenland
D-09119 Chemnitz, Neefestr. 82
Tel. +49 371 9098590, Fax +49 371 90985919, [email protected]
elettronica Santerno
Leader in the production of inverters for industrial
automation, renewable energies and hybrid drive
I-40026 Imola (BO), Strada Statale Selice 47
Tel. +39/0542/489711, Fax 489722,
[email protected]
Italian manufacturer of PV modules, lamps,
components and complete systems
I-85050 Tito (PZ), Area Industriale Tito Scalo
Tel. +39/0971/485157, Fax 651970, [email protected]
SUnerG SOLar Srl
COLLECTORS and complete systems
distribution from 1978.
I-06012, CittГЎ di Castello (PG), via D.Donini 51
Tel. +39/075/8540018, Fax +39/075/8648105, [email protected]
SVGe Sp. z o.o.
Canadian Solar Authorized Reseller.
System integrator for photovoltaics.
Provider of high quality components.
PL-02-963 Warszawa, ul. Z. Vogla 8
Tel. +48223782000 Fax +48223782001, [email protected], [email protected]
Sputnik engineering aG
CH-2502 Biel, Höheweg 85
Tel. +41/32/3465600, Fax 3465609, [email protected]
rITeK Solar
An expert manufacturer of PV-Modules from Polycrystalline, Mono-crystalline, to BIPV certificated by TГњV,
UL, CEC, and MCS.
No 42, Kuan-Fu N. Rd., Hsin Chu Industrial Park, 30351,
Hsinchu, Taiwan
Tel. +886-03-598-7298 #4013
Fax +886-03-599-8449, [email protected]
Te Connectivity - Intelligent Buildings
TE is a full-service innovation partner, leveraging
cross-industry engineering expertise to provide
connection products so building systems connect more
PO Box 3608 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,
Phone: 1-800-522-6752,
morningstar Corporation
The World’s Leading Solar Controllers and Inverters
8 Pheasant Run
Newtown, PA 18940
Tel. +1/215-321-4457, Fax 4458
[email protected]
pV-ConneCtor systems
QC Solar
Leader in manufacturing and marketing
Solar PV junction boxes, cables, connectors and solar
distributing systems. TГњV and UL approved.
CN-215123 Suzhou, SIP, Xinfa Road No. 31
Tel. 0086/512/62603392; [email protected]
multi-Contact aG
PV connector systems manufacturer:
connectors MC3 & MC4, cables, junction boxes, custom
CH-4123 Allschwil, Stockbrunnenrain 8
Tel. +41/61/306 55 55, Fax +41/61/306 55 56, [email protected]
pV – inVerters
Selectronic australia Pty Ltd
Designer and manufacturer of high quality interactive
inverter chargers Off Grid, Grid Support, Grid Backup
Chirnside Park VIC 3116, Suite 5, 20 Fletcher Rd
Tel. +61/3/9727/6600, Fax +61/3/9727/6601, [email protected]
Wagner & Co Solartechnik GmbH
Solaranlagen fГјr WW und Heizung
PV-Systeme fГјr Netzeinspeisung & Inselbetrieb
D-35091 Cölbe, Zimmermannstr. 12
Tel. +49/6421/8007-0, Fax 8007-22, [email protected]
GreaT BrITaIn
Hi-Bond Tapes Ltd.
High Performance Tapes for frame
bonding, junction box mounting cell
fixing and conductive tapes
UK-NN17 5TS, Corby, Northamptonshire
1, Crucible Road Phoenix Parkway
Tel. 0044/1536/260022, Fax 0044/1536/260044, [email protected]
IBC SOLar a.e.
GR-15125 Marousi - Athens
29 Paradeisou & Zagoras str.
Tel.: +30 21 06 855090, Fax: +30 21 06 80 17 23, [email protected]
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Fronius International GmbH
International quality leader and manufacturer of
grid-connected inverters for PV-Systems.
A-4600 Wels, Froniusplatz 1
Tel. +43/7242/241-0, [email protected]
Frankensolar CZ s.r.o.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +420 2747 76744
[email protected], www.
Danfoss Solar Inverters a/S
DK-6300, Graasten, Ulsnaes 1
Tel. +45/7488/1300, Fax +45/7488/1301, [email protected]
Delta energy Systems (Germany) GmbH
Delta Energy Systems has been investing in the
research and development of solar inverter
products at its German location since 1999.
The result of this is something to be proud of reliable solar inverters with high efficiencies
and state-of-the-art high-frequency topology.
D-79331 Teningen, Tscheulinstr. 21
Tel. +49 7641 455 0, Fax +49 7641 455 318,
[email protected]
GreaT BrITaIn
Frankensolar UK Ltd.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +44 1903 477 980
Mobile +44 (0) 75 40 80 40 39
[email protected],
SIEL is one of the world leaders in the production
and maintenance of PV solar inverters.
Tel. +39/02/909861, Fax +39/02/90968490, [email protected]
E-08840 Viladecans, Barcelona
Carrer del' Enginy, nave7
Tel. +34/93/633 44 16, Fax +34/93/633 44 19
[email protected]
Frankensolar americas Inc.
Tracking Systems
Phone +1/416/822/7983
pV – modules
KIOTO Photovoltaics GmbH
Since 2004 KIOTO is producing high
efficient pv-modules on the world’s most
modern production unit in Austria.
A-9300, Sankt Veit/Glan,SolarstraГџe 1,Industriepark
Tel. 0043/4212-28300-0, [email protected]
Solar Edition
Frankensolar CZ s.r.o.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +420 2747 76744
[email protected], www.
BayWa r.e. Solarsysteme GmbH
Provider of high quality photovoltaic components from
sales to service including modules, inverters,
pv-storage solutions and mounting systems
D-72072 TГјbingen, Eisenbahnstr. 150
Tel. +49/7071/989870, Fax 9898710
[email protected]
Talesun Solar Germany GmbH
80339 MuМ€nchen, Landsberger Str. 110
Tel. +49/89/1891770, Fax +49/89/189177499, [email protected]
GreaT BrITaIn
Frankensolar UK Ltd.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +44 1903 477 980
Mobile +44 (0) 75 40 80 40 39
[email protected]
Philadelphia Solar
Clean Renewable Energy Solution
The FIRST Photovoltaic Modules
Producer in JORDAN
JO-11814, Amman, Airport St.-Al Qastal Industr.Area
Tel. +962/6/471/6601, Fax +962/6/471/6602,
[email protected]
SVGe Sp. z o.o.
Canadian Solar Authorized Reseller.
System integrator for photovoltaics.
Provider of high quality components.
PL-02-963 Warszawa, ul. Z. Vogla 8
Tel. +48223782000 Fax +48223782001, [email protected], [email protected]
Frankensolar americas Inc.
Tracking Systems
Phone +1/416/822/7983
pV– modules – thin
film modules
Frankensolar CZ s.r.o.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +420 2747 76744
[email protected], www.
GreaT BrITaIn
Frankensolar UK Ltd.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +44 1903 477 980
Mobile +44 (0) 75 40 80 40 39
[email protected]
Frankensolar americas Inc.
Tracking Systems
Phone +1/416/822/7983
pV – Crystalline modules
Frankensolar CZ s.r.o.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +420 2747 76744
[email protected], www.
Talesun Solar Germany GmbH
80339 MuМ€nchen, Landsberger Str. 110
Tel. +49/89/1891770, Fax +49/89/189177499, [email protected]
GreaT BrITaIn
Frankensolar UK Ltd.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +44 1903 477 980
Mobile +44 (0) 75 40 80 40 39
[email protected]
evergreen Solar Systems India Pvt Ltd
Manufacturer of high efficiency Solar Photovoltaic
Modules and EPC contractor of Solar Power Projects
IND-641017 Coimbatore
Sulochana Mills Campus,
Mettupalayam Road, Vadamadurai,
Tel. +91422/2642564, Fax +91422/2642830
Frankensolar americas Inc.
Tracking Systems
Phone +1/416/822/7983
pV – monitoring
3e (SynaptiQ)
SynaptiQ is a universal PV monitoring and reporting
software platform, developed by the technical
consultancy: 3E
Offices in Belgium, France, UK, Italy,
South Africa and China
Phone +32 2 217 58 68,
QOS energy
QOS Energy is a leading renewable energy performance
management solution. 100 % Hardware independent
and flexible.
16 rue de Bretagne
& Gebäude 4 office 356 Landshuterstrasse 26
D 85716 UnterschleiГџheim
Phone France +33 2 51 89 46 00
Phone Germany + 49 8136-4077785
pV– mounting systems
Sadef nV
Design and manufacturing of steel structures for PV
B-8830 Gits, Bruggesteenweg 60
Tel. +32/51/261211, Fax +32/51/261301, [email protected]
Frankensolar CZ s.r.o.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +420 2747 76744
[email protected], www.
Exosun designs, develops and supplies
a range of innovative solar tracking systems
for utility-scale ground mounted solar plants,
delivered with associated engineering services
33650 Martillac, Technopole Bordeaux
Montesquieu, rue Jacques Monod
Tel. +33 (0)5 56 64 09 24, [email protected]
BayWa r.e. Solarsysteme GmbH
Provider of high quality photovoltaic components from
sales to service including modules, inverters,
pv-storage solutions and mounting systems
D-72072 TГјbingen, Eisenbahnstr. 150
Tel. +49/7071/989870, Fax 9898710
[email protected]
GreaT BrITaIn
Frankensolar UK Ltd.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +44 1903 477 980
Mobile +44 (0) 75 40 80 40 39
[email protected]
Hi-Bond Tapes Ltd.
High Performance Tapes for frame
bonding, junction box mounting cell
fixing and conductive tapes
UK-NN17 5TS, Corby, Northamptonshire
1, Crucible Road Phoenix Parkway
Tel. 0044/1536/260022, Fax 0044/1536/260044, [email protected]
Frankensolar americas Inc.
Tracking Systems
Phone +1/416/822/7983
Johnson Bros. metal Forming Co.
Custom shapes for Solar Panels
USA-60163 Berkeley IL, 5520 McDermott Drive
Tel. +1/708/449-7050, Fax +1/708/449-0042, [email protected]
pV – suppliers
AKASOLВ® Weather-resistant backsheet
for PV modules. With fluoropolymer films
D-71665 Vaihingen/Enz, Papierfabrikstr. 4
Tel. +49/7042/915-0, Fax +49/7042/15985, [email protected]
pV – wire + Cable
Frankensolar CZ s.r.o.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +420 2747 76744
[email protected], www.
Cable & Accessories for photovoltaic
installations and for Wind Turbines
D-71282 Hemmingen, Dieselstr. 8-12
Tel. +49/7150/9209-0, Fax +49/7150/81786, [email protected]
GreaT BrITaIn
Frankensolar UK Ltd.
Solar thermal systems
Phone +44 1903 477 980
Mobile +44 (0) 75 40 80 40 39
[email protected]
Frankensolar americas Inc.
Tracking Systems
Phone +1/416/822/7983
Solar thermal systems
Research, development, production and distribution
of high quality solar thermal collectors (sealed CPC),
biomass boilers, storage technology and fresh water
A-4451 St. Ulrich/Steyr, Werkstr. 1
Tel. +43/7252/50002-0, [email protected]
Technische alternative
Elektron. Steuerungsgeräte GmbH
Solar-, Heizungs- und Wintergartenregler
A-3872 Amaliendorf, Langestr. 124
Tel. +43/2862/53635, Fax 536357, [email protected]
Development + production of solar-collectors
(in-roof, on-roof, facade-integrated, free-setting up),
storage tanks, solar-boiler, solar fittings
A-6306 Söll
Tel. +43/5333/201-0, Fax 201-100, [email protected]
aLanOD GmbH & Co. KG
sunselectВ® (copper) and mirothermВ® (aluminium)
with a selective PVD absorptive layer. mirosolВ® TS
with a selective absorptive lacquer. MIRO-SUNВ® for
weatherproof solar applications.
D-58256 Ennepetal, Egerstr. 12
Tel. +49/2333/986-500, Fax 986-525, [email protected]
almeco GmbH
TiNOX energy® Selective absorber surfaces –
vega energyВ® Reflective surfaces for solar energy
concentration systems
D-06406 Bernburg, Claude Breda Strasse 3
Tel. +49/3471/34655 00, Fax +49/3471/34655 09, [email protected]
BlueTec GmbH & Co. KG
our highly selective surfaces on copper
+ aluminium substrat: eta plus a new generation of absorber coating
D-34388 Trendelburg, In der Bau 17
Tel. +49/5671/7797-0, Fax -199, [email protected]
CitrinSolar GmbH
Energie- und Umwelttechnik
D-85368 Moosburg, Böhmerwaldstr. 32
Tel. +49/8761/3340-0, Fax 334040, [email protected]
Consolar GmbH
Hocheffiziente Solaranlagen, Solare Wärmepumpen,
Röhrenkollektoren, Kombisysteme, Internet-Systemregler
D-79539 Lörrach, Gewerbestrasse 7
Tel. +49/7621/42228-30, Fax 42228-31, [email protected]
Grammer Solar GmbH
Ihr Projektpartner beim Bauen mit der Sonne
D-92224 Amberg, Oskar-von-Miller-Str. 8
Tel. +49/9621/30857-0, Fax 30857-10, [email protected]
KBB Kollektorbau GmbH
Flat plate collectors and full surface absorbers
(copper and aluminium)
D-12439 Berlin, Bruno-BГјrgel-Weg 142-144
Tel. +49/30/6781789-10, Fax 6781789-55, [email protected]
OVenTrOP GmbH & Co. KG
Valves, controls and systems
Solar Thermal Energy
D-59939 Olsberg, Paul-Oventrop-StraГџe 1
Tel. +49/2962/82-0, Fax -400, [email protected]
proKГјhlsole GmbH
Solar Thermal Systems, Solarfluids, Liquid Heat Carrier,
D-52353 DГјren, Am Langen Graben 37
Tel. +49/2421/59196-0, Fax +49/2421/59196-10, [email protected]
PrOZeDa GmbH
Manufacturer of controllers for solar thermal, freshwater,
heating, heating pumps and air handling systems
91330 Eggolsheim, In der BГјg 5
Tel. 09191/6166-0, Fax 6166-22, [email protected]
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
ritter energie und Umwelttechnik GmbH & Co. KG
Development, production and distributing of
ecological energy systems
D-72135 Dettenhausen, Kuchenäcker 2
Tel. +49/7157/5359-1200, Fax 5359-1209, [email protected]
SOreL GmbH mikroelektronik
Manufacturer of Solar and Heating Controllers
and Pump Groups with integrated TDC-Controller
D-45549 Sprockhövel, Jahnstr. 36
Tel. +49/2339/6024, Fax 6025, [email protected]
Steca electronik GmbH
German manufacturer of controllers and inverters;
sectors: PV- On- and Off-Grid, Solar thermal
D-87700 Memmingen, Mammostr. 1
Tel. +49-(0)8331-8558-0, Fax +49-(0)8331-8558-132, [email protected]
TyFOrOP Chemie GmbH
Heat-Transfer Fluids
D-20537 Hamburg, Anton-RГ©e-Weg 7
Tel. +49/40/209497-0, Fax 209497-20, [email protected]
Wagner & Co Solartechnik GmbH
Solaranlagen fГјr WW und Heizung
PV-Systeme fГјr Netzeinspeisung & Inselbetrieb
D-35091 Cölbe, Zimmermannstr. 12
Tel. +49/6421/8007-0, Fax 8007-22, [email protected]
WaTer Way engineering GmbH
Pipework systems for solar installations with
flexible stainless steel or copper tubes /
collector connectors
D-47441 Moers, Baerler Str. 100
Tel. +49/2481/88320-0, Fax 88320-20, [email protected]
Producer of flat plate collectors, vacuum tube collectors, hot water tanks and complete solar thermal
GR-11743 Athens, Sygrou Avenue 9
Tel. +30/210/9247250, Fax 9231616, [email protected]
nOBeL XILInaKIS D. & Co.
Solar & electric water heating systems industry
G-14231 Nea Ionia, Athens, 69-71 Ag.
Vasileiou & 59 Karaoli Str.
Tel./Fax +30/210/2478677, 2405388, 2753912, [email protected]
SOLe S.a.
Solar Water Heaters and Collectors Manufacturers
GR-13671 Acharnai - Athens
Lefktron Str. and Laikon Agonon Str.
Tel. +30/210/2389500, Fax 2389502, [email protected]
DaGan maCHIne enGIneerInG
Manufacture of machines for complete
absorber production line.
Tube punching and customized machines
IL-53211 Givatayim, 20, K.Joseph st.
Tel. +972/544/324418
CmG Solari Srl
PATENTED special solar thermal system
with condensation heat transfering.
Manufacturer of absorbers, flat plate
collectors and complete systems.
I-73040 Melissano (LE), C. da Vore – Zona Ind.le
Tel. 0039/0833581428, Fax 0039/0833581428, [email protected]
Solar Edition
HANANIA В® Solar Systems
Manufacturer of Solar Thermal Systems
Elia Abu Madi St. #26, Shmeisani, P.O. Box 2858
11181 Amman, Jordan
Tel. +962/65663355, Fax +962/65683777, [email protected]
Flat plate, vacuum tube collectors
and solar systems production
PL-43-502 Czechowice-Dziedzice, Slowackiego 33
Tel. 0048/32/214-1710, Fax 0048/32/214-5004, [email protected]
Manufacturer of solar systems
PL-41-208 Sosnowiec, ul. Watta 6
Tel. +48/32/28766-80, Fax 28766-84,, [email protected]
SOnDer reGULaCIГ“n S.a.
E-08191 Rubi, Avda. La Llana, 93; P.I. La Llana
Tel. +34/935884211, Fax 4994
Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) GmbH
Antifrogen-Heat Transfer Fluids for
Solar Thermal Systems
D-84504 Burgkirchen, Werk Gendorf
Tel. +49/8679/7-2272, Fax +49/8679/7-5085
TACONOVA GROUP AG produces quality valves and
systems for balancing, regulating, mixing, venting,
underfloor and solar heating systems
CH-8902 Urdorf, Steinackerstr. 6
Tel. +41/447355555, Fax 447355502, [email protected]
ezinc metal San. tic. a.S.
Manufacturer of Solar Collectors, Thermosiphon
Solar Water Heaters, Storage Tanks, Boilers and
related accessories for Solar Thermal Systems.
TR-38070 Kayseri, 1. O.S.B. 23. Cad. No: 31
Tel. +90/352/3211776, Fax 3211325, [email protected]
OURASET is a manufacturer of solar thermal
systems, solar panels and solar tanks
recognized in over 20 countries
Tansug Makina Ltd. Adana-Ceyhan Yolu 10. KM
TR-01340 Incirlik Adana
Tel. +90/322346/4900, Fax -5008, [email protected]
sts – absorbers
HANANIA В® Solar Systems
Manufacturer of Solar Thermal Systems
Elia Abu Madi St. #26, Shmeisani, P.O. Box 2858
11181 Amman, Jordan
Tel. +962/65663355, Fax +962/65683777, [email protected]
sts – flat plate ColleCtors
HANANIA В® Solar Systems
Manufacturer of Solar Thermal Systems
Elia Abu Madi St. #26, Shmeisani, P.O. Box 2858
11181 Amman, Jordan
Tel. +962/65663355, Fax +962/65683777, [email protected]
Helvetic energy
CH-8247 Flurlingen, Winterthurerstrasse
Tel. +41 52 647 46 70, Fax: +41 52 647 46 79, [email protected]
Baymak BDr Thermea
Manufacturer of laser welded solar thermal forced darf
systems, Solar thermo-siphon water heaters, Storage
tanks, Biomass/Oil/Gas Boilers and Expansion tanks.
Exporting over 50 countries.
Tepeoren Mevkii Orhanli Beldesi, Akdeniz Sokak No 8
TR-34989 Istanbul
Tel. +90/216/5816500, Fax 3041964, [email protected]
ezinc metal San. tic. a.S.
Manufacturer of Solar Collectors, Thermosiphon Solar
Water Heaters, Storage Tanks, Boilers and related
accessories for Solar Thermal Systems
TR-38070 Kayseri, 1. O.S.B. 23. Cad. No: 31
Tel. + 90/352/3211776, Fax 3211325, [email protected]
apricus Inc.
Apricus is a global company focused on providing
simple and effective solar hot water solutions for
families and businesses. All Apricus products are
designed and manufactured in compliance with
IS09001:2008 management and international
production standards.
USA-06405 Branford CT, 6 Sycamore Way, Unit 2,
Tel. +1 203 488 8215, Fax +1 203 488 8572, [email protected]
sts – pool heating
HANANIA В® Solar Systems
Manufacturer of Solar Thermal Systems
Elia Abu Madi St. #26, Shmeisani, P.O. Box 2858
11181 Amman, Jordan
Tel. +962/65663355, Fax +962/65683777, [email protected]
aquatherm Industries, Inc.
Largest U.S. manufacturer of polymer solar pool
heating collectors.
Aquatherm manufactures the solar pool heating
industry`s most trusted brands, including the
latest breakthrough in solar pool heating, Ecolite
1940 Rutgers University Blvd.
USA, 08701, Lakewood, New Jersey
Tel. +1/7329059002, Fax 7329059899, [email protected]
sts – solartanks & boilers
HANANIA В® Solar Systems
Manufacturer of Solar Thermal Systems
Elia Abu Madi St. #26, Shmeisani, P.O. Box 2858
11181 Amman, Jordan
Tel. +962/65663355, Fax +962/65683777, [email protected]
ezinc metal San. tic. a.S.
Manufacturer of Solar Collectors, Thermosiphon Solar
Water Heaters, Storage Tanks, Boilers and related
accessories for Solar Thermal Systems
TR-38070 Kayseri, 1. O.S.B. 23. Cad. No: 31
Tel. + 90/352/3211776, Fax 3211325, [email protected]
Ge Wind energy China
6/F West Wing, Hanwei Plaza
No. 7 Guang Hua Road, Chaoyang District
Beijing 100004, China
Tel. +86/10/65611166-294, Fax 65611536
sts – thermosiphon
Ge Wind energy Denmark
Niels Jernes Vej 10
DK-9220 Aalborg
Tel. +45/96354207, Fax 96354206
[email protected]
ezinc metal San. tic. a.S.
Manufacturer of Solar Collectors, Thermosiphon Solar
Water Heaters, Storage Tanks, Boilers and related
accessories for Solar Thermal Systems
TR-38070 Kayseri, 1. O.S.B. 23. Cad. No: 31
Tel. + 90/352/3211776, Fax 3211325, [email protected]
sts – VaCuum tube
apricus Inc.
Apricus is a global company focused on providing
simple and effective solar hot water solutions for
families and businesses. All Apricus products are
designed and manufactured in compliance with
ISO9001:2008 management and international production standards.
USA-06405 Branford CT, 6 Sycamore Way, Unit 2,
Tel. +1 203 488 8215 Fax +1 203 488 8572, [email protected]
Wind energy
Ge Wind energy australia
Level 5, 379 Collins Street
AUS-Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Tel. +61/3/96147444, Fax 96147555
[email protected]
Ge Wind energy
555 Boul. Frederick Philipps, 3rd. Floor
H4M 2X4 Montreal-Quebec
Tel. +1/905/858/5110, Fax 858/5390
Ge Wind energy France
Immeuble Le Bayard Part-Dieu
3, Place Renaudel
F-69003 Lyon Cedex
Tel. +33/437/483500, Fax 483501
[email protected]
aBO Wind aG
Planning and turnkey construction of wind farms and
biogas projects, structured financing,
operational management
D-65195 Wiesbaden, Unter den Eichen 7
Tel. +49/611/26765-0, Fax 26765-99, [email protected]
Bachmann monitoring GmbH
Bachmann Monitoring offers certified Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS) for early fault detection on the
main components (main bearing, gearbox, generator)
in the drive train of wind turbines
D-07407 Rudolstadt, Weimarische Str. 10
Tel. +49/3672/3186-0, Fax, 3186-200,
[email protected]
Gamesa energie Deutschland GmbH
D-26122 Oldenburg, Staulinie 14-17
Tel. +49/441/925400, Fax 92540325,
[email protected]
Ge Wind energy GmbH
Manufacturer/Sales Wind turbines
from 900 kW to 3.6 MW
D-48499 Salzbergen, Holsterfeld 16
Tel. +49/5971/980-0, Fax 980-1999
[email protected]
KGW Schweriner maschinen- u. anlagenbau GmbH
Manufacturer of steel-tube towers for wind turbines
D-19055 Schwerin, Wismarsche Str. 380
Tel. +49/385/5731-0, Fax 565126, [email protected]
nordex Se
22419 Hamburg, Langenhorner Chaussee 600
Tel. 040/300 30 1000, Fax 040/30030 1101, [email protected]
Phaesun GmbH
The Off-Grid Experts
Phaesun is the leading system integrator for
Off-Grid solar systems.
D-87700 Memmingen, Luitpoldstrasse 28
Tel. +49/8331/90420, Fax 9964212, [email protected]
James Walker Deutschland GmbH
Der Spezialist fГјr geschlitzte Wellendichtungen
D-22767 Hamburg, Mörkenstr. 7
Tel. +49/40/3860810, Fax 3893230
WeserWind GmbH
Offshore Construction GeorgsmarienhГјtte
Fertigung von Offshore-Fundament-GrГјndungsstrukturen sowie Komponentenlieferung fГјr die
D-27572 Bremerhaven, Riedemannstr. 1
Tel. +49/471/809310, Fax 80931100, [email protected]
CUBe engineering GmbH
Management Consulting, Wind Site Assessment,
Project Planning and Management, Environmental
Assessment, Electrical Grid Assessment, Decentralized
Energy Systems
D-34119 Kassel, Breitscheidstr. 6
Tel. +49/561/288573-0, Fax 288573-19
[email protected]
WInDTeST Grevenbroich GmbH
Consulting- and Measuring Institut for WEC
D-41517 Grevenbroich, Frimmersdorfer Str. 73
Tel. +49/2181/2278-0, Fax 2278-11, [email protected]
[email protected]
eOL energy – GmbH
Data and Services for Wind Energy Projects, online shop
D-34119 Kassel, BreitscheidstraГџe 6
Tel. +49/ 561 / 288 573-70 Fax: -71, [email protected]
WKn aG
Development, Construction, Financing
D-25813 Husum, Otto-Hahn-Str. 12-16
Tel. +49/4841/8944100, Fax 8944225, [email protected]
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Ge Wind energy Spain (Sales Office)
Juan Bravo 3C, 8В° Planta
E-28006 Madrid
Tel. +34/91/5870500, Fax 5870665
Ge Wind energy USa
13000 Jameson Road
USA-Tehachapi, CA 93561
Tel. +1/661/8236700, Fax 8227880
[email protected]
GreaT BrITaIn
Ge Wind energy UK
Prince Consort House 27-29; Albert Embankment
GB-London SE1 7TJ
Tel. +44/207/7932800, Fax8203401
e-mail: [email protected]
Ge Wind energy India
Third Floor, A1
Golden Enclave Corporate Towers; Airport Road
Bangalore 560017
Tel. +91/80/5263496, Fax 5203860
Ge Wind energy Italy
Via Felice Matteucci, 2
I-50127 Florence
Tel. +39/055/4233333, Fax 055/4232963
Ge Wind energy Japan
35 Kowa Bldg.
1-14-14 Akasaka, Minato-ku; J-Tokyo 107-8453
Tel. +81/3/3588-5175, Fax 3589-3372
[email protected]
wind energy – suppliers
amphenol-Tuchel electronics GmbH
Connectors, Cable Assemblies & System Solutions
for Wind Power as well as other Applications and
D-74080 Heilbronn, August-Haeusser-Str.10
Tel. +49/7131/929-0, Fax +49/7131/929-486,
[email protected]
Ge Wind energy Korea
18th, Mirae-Wa-Saram Bldg
942-1, Daechi-dong, Kangnam-ku
ROK-Seol 135-280
Tel. +82/2/5280083, Fax 5610430
[email protected]
Cable & Accessories for photovoltaic
installations and for Wind Turbines
D-71282 Hemmingen, Dieselstr. 8-12
Tel. +49/7150/9209-0, Fax +49/7150/81786, [email protected]
Ge Wind energy asia
240 Tanjong Pagar Road, GE Tower
88540 Singapore
Tel. +65/6326/3492, Fax 3522
y included
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Building Solar China 2014
September 04, 2014
Shanghai, China
�Smart Solar Building Solutions’ and
�Building Integrated Photovoltaic Systems’
will be the two major discussion themes at
BSC 2014. Highlighted topics include
smart solar building solutions, solar building energy infrastructure, market analysis,
government policy as well as various case
studies. Additionally, some of the latest
products on display at the 2014 event will
include building-integrated photovoltaic
systems (BIPV), specialised solar facade
and curtain wall products for buildings,
innovative energy-saving and energy
renewal solutions.
Contact: WIP, Philipp Arnold, Munich, Germany,
Phone 0049/8972012735, Fax 0049/8972012791,
[email protected],
Contact: Solarplaza International BV, Rotterdam,
Netherlands, Phone 0031/102809198,
[email protected],
BIT’s 4th Annual New Energy
September 21 – 23, 2014
Qingdao, China
New Energy Forum 2014 aims to provide opportunities for industry peers for
knowledge exchange and capital attracting. It will continue to offer professionals in the new energy related fields
a multidisciplinary informative platform. In addition to the general new
energy area (solar, wind, nuclear etc.),
NEF-2014 will also get new energy
economy, materials, energy efficiency,
safety and several novel new energy
technologies involved.
Contact: BIT Congress Inc., Allison Wang, China,
Phone 0086/41184799609 ext. 827,
[email protected],
stakeholders and get connected to potential partners and clients during the Desert
Solar conference on the last two days of
the event. Over 200 local participants and
a variety of exhibitors will join the event.
gy Po
CIREC 2014
September 09 – 10, 2014
Santiago, Chile
CIREC 2014 brings together key senior
stakeholders from the wind and solar industries to discuss the developments
taking place in the Chilean market. With
over 350 delegates last September, the
event is a chance to hear updates from the
people and organisations responsible for
key renewable energy projects in Chile and
Latin America.
Contact: Green Power Conferences, London, England,
Phone 0044/2033554219, Fax 0044/2079001853,
[email protected],
[email protected],
The GREEN Expo Mexico
September 24 – 26, 2014
Mexico City, Mexico
The Green Expo is an event in the environmental, energy, water, and sustainable cities (green construction) industries. It serves as a multinational business forum, hosting both national and
international companies offering cutting-edge technology and solutions for
ALL industries paving the way for great
savings and profitability in the industrial, private, and governmental sectors.
Contact: EJKrause de Mexico, AngГ©lica RodrГ­guez
Dufau, Mexico City, Mexico,
Phone 0052/5510871650, [email protected]
2nd edition
Solar Trade Mission: Saudi Arabia
September 14 – 18, 2014
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Solar PV Trade Mission: Saudi Arabia is a
5-day trade mission to discover, evaluate
and enter the emerging Saudi Arabian solar PV market. Participants meet the key
10th Renewable Energy Sri Lanka 2014
International Expo
September 25 – 27, 2014
Colombo, Sri Lanka
The 10th Renewable Energy Sri Lanka 2014
International Expo will offer renewable
energy solutions and showcase the latest
green energy products, technologies, services, and information related to Energy and
the Environment, including everything associated in the new and renewable energy
fields. The aim of this exhibition is to contribute to the promotion of Renewable Energy business, spread information related
to Energy and the Environment in Sri Lanka,
and encourage the transition to a new sustainable society by creating an opportunity
for exhibitors involved in a wide variety of
fields to communicate with visitors.
Contact: Conference & Exhibition Management Services
Ltd., New York City, USA, Phone 001/2126344833,
Fax 001/2126344835, [email protected],
PV Taiwan
October 22 – 24, 2014
Taipei, China
PV Taiwan is an international PV exhibition
and a sourcing hub for the world market.
It fields the R&D breakthroughs and
products that shape the future. This year,
PV Taiwan 2014 comes with several activities packed with tips and info that are led
by the Executive Summit, Advanced Technology Symposium and the Market Deployment Forum. The event showcases PV materials, silicon wafers/ ingots, solar cells/
HCPV, PV modules/ BIPV, power generator
systems, processing equipment, evaluation/ testing /analysis, storage batteries/
systems, solar application products and
solar thermal products/systems.
Contact: Taitra, Evonne Lee, Tapei, China,
Phone 00886/227255200 ext. -2661,
[email protected],
Announce your events
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your event.
Please contact: Natalie Bieding,
e-mail: [email protected]
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Publishing company:
BVA Bielefelder Verlag GmbH & Co. KG
Richard Kaselowsky
Niederwall 53, 33602 Bielefeld, Germany
S&WE 7/2014 Solar Edition
Prof. Dr. Bernhard von Schubert
The upcoming S&WE Solar Edition will be focusing on the Turkish solar
energy market. There will be a bound-in supplement at the end of the
magazine with a translation of various articles into Turkish.
Publishing Manager:
Lutz Bandte
Dr. Volker Buddensiek (responsible), Silke Funke,
Katharina Garus, Jan Gesthuizen, Ralf Ossenbrink,
Jennifer Mettenborg, Tanja Peschel
Patrizia Solito (office),
Phone: +49/521/59 55 72 ,
E-mail: [email protected]
International market
overview solar collectors
Photo: IBC Solar
Photo: British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA)
The selection of vacuum tube collectors and
flat-plate collectors is huge. S&WE presents
the latest models from key international
World map of cell and
module manufacturers
Demand for PV systems is rising
worldwide, and the industry is more
professional than ever. Our world
map shows the locations for manufacturers of cells, crystalline
modules, and thin-film panels.
Solar Thermal
Graphic : Eilers Media
Sun & Wind Energy explains how the
new heat incentive system works and
offers a rundown of some initial experiences with the new programme.
Since the United Kingdom has become
the hottest photovoltaics market in
Europe this year, S&WE also zooms in
on who is buying solar panels there.
Electrification for
everyone, everywhere:
off-grid systems
An overview of clever solutions
beyond the power grid, featuring new
developments in special inverters,
charge controllers, and batteries.
Freelance authors:
In China: Sven Tetzlaff, Zhengua Weng
In Germany: Joachim Berner, Johannes Bernreuter,
Martin Frey, Claudia Hilgers, Jörn Iken, Jens-Peter
Meyer, Ina Röpcke, Torsten Thomas
In Great Britain: Elizabeth Block
In India: Jaideep N. Malaviya
In Italy: Cristina Barbero
In the USA: Lisa Cohn, Reid Smith, Anja Limperis,
Chris Meehan
International contact:
Stefanie Schwarz, Phone: +49/5 21/59 55 75
E-mail: [email protected]
Yvonne Fedeler, Phone: +49/521/59 55 81
E-mail: [email protected]
Martin Haase, Phone: +49/5 21/59 55 90
E-mail: [email protected]
German contact:
Christine Michalsky, Phone: +49/5 21/59 55 25
E-mail: [email protected]
Christiane Diekmann, Phone: +49/5 21/59 55 47
E-mail: [email protected]
Uta Haffert, Phone: +49/521/59 55 91
E-mail: [email protected]
Fax: +49/5 21/59 55 56
Advertising sales China:
Sven Tetzlaff
Phone: +86/13777476258, Fax: +86/571/87044210
E-mail: [email protected]
Advertising sales Italy:
Quaini PubblicitГ , Graziella Quaini
Phone: +39/02/39216180; Fax: + 39/02/39217082
E-mail: [email protected]
Advertising sales USA:
Avani Media, Inc., Leslie Hallanan
Phone: +1/415/3312150 ; Fax: + 1/415/3312151
E-mail: [email protected]
Customer Service:
Imen Boudemagh (subscription)
Phone: +49/221/2587242, Fax: +49/221/2587249
E-mail: [email protected]
Photo: Viessmann
UK: EPCs and the
new heat incentive
United Kingdom
S&WE Solar Edition 7/2014 will be published on Aug 19th
Layout: Bernd Schulte zur WiГџen, Virginie BГ©clu,
Kristin Iven, DSV Deutscher Sportverlag GmbH, Cologne, Germany
Print: Dierichs Druck + Media GmbH & Co. KG,
Frankfurter Str. 168, 34121 Kassel, Germany
SUN & WIND ENERGY is an independent journal
published ten times a year. Subscription costs € 108
per year plus shipping costs (printed edition).
Period of cancellation: six weeks before the end of
the respective subscription period. Otherwise the
subscription will automatically be extended by
another year. Material in this publication may not be
reproduced, reprinted or stored in any form without
the publisher’s written permission.
Translationes (Berlin), Jeremy Heighway (Leipzig),
Mark Wigfall (Bad Harzburg), Timothy Hanes
(Erlangen), ГњbersetzungsbГјro Hartmann (Chemnitz),
Frank Esser (Bonn), Thomas Schickling (Hamburg),
Raymond Culp (Bad Oeynhausen)
S&WE Wind Edition 8/2014 will be published on Sept 12th
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
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Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
The Magazine for Renewable energies
ISSN 1861-2741 74714
€ 12.00 • international issue
atenciГі l
The solar ediTion
MIcroINverSoreS y optIMIzadoreS
ВїDos tecnologГ­as fotovoltaicas
eNergГ­a terMoSolar
estГЎn llegando las
instalaciones grandes
MegaceNtraleS fotovoltaIcaS
Oleada solar
en AmГ©rica Latina
Optimismo en SГЈo Paulo
Foto: Intersolar
Es la pequeГ±a hermana de la Intersolar Europe. Pero crece y crece, la
Intersolar South America. Entretanto, tiene lugar por segunda vez en
la ciudad brasileГ±a SГЈo Paulo. Y para el tiempo del 26 hasta el 28 de
agosto, cuando abre sus puertas en el centro de exposiciones Center
Norte, sus organizadores esperan un vivo interГ©s en su feria solar.
PГЎgina 3
Fotovoltaica: Chile sale del letargo
Foto: Enertis Solar
La puesta en marcha de megacentrales comerciales y la adjudicaciГіn de la primera licitaciГіn de energГ­a anima el sector solar
chileno. A pesar de las muchas barreras todavГ­a existentes, este
aГ±o se espera la incorporaciГіn a red mГЎs de 600 nuevos
megavatios fotovoltaicos.
PГЎgina 5
Microinversores y optimizadores:
ВїDos tecnologГ­as fotovoltaicas innovadoras?
El Г­ndice de ventas de microinversores y optimizadores DC en
el mercado americano aumenta de forma constante. Algunos
fabricantes ya han desaparecido de este nicho de mercado.
Seguramente, pronto les seguirГЎn otros.
Foto: SMA
PГЎgina 8
EnergГ­a termosolar:
EstГЎn llegando las grandes
Foto: AristonThermo
La mayorГ­a de las instalaciones termosolares de gran escala se
encuentran en los techos de edificios multifamiliares u hoteles
y ocupan un ГЎrea de menos de 100 m2.
PГЎgina 11
EnergГ­a termosolar en Brasil:
Falta mucho aГєn
Foto: dpa
El sector termosolar ha tenido un Г©xito consistente y muestra
buenas prospectivas para la expansiГіn, sin embargo, en el
clima econГіmico nublado de hoy y los tiempos difГ­ciles
actuales, el lema del dГ­a es la precauciГіn.
PГЎgina 15
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
Intersolar south amerIca
En la Intersolar de este aГ±o el trabajo en red estarГЎ de boga otra vez.
Fotos (2): Intersolar
Optimismo en SГЈo Paulo
Es la pequeГ±a hermana de la Intersolar
Europe. Pero crece y crece, la Intersolar
South America. Entretanto, tiene lugar
por segunda vez en la ciudad brasileГ±a
SГЈo Paulo. Y para el tiempo del 26 hasta
el 28 de agosto, cuando abre sus puertas
en el centro de exposiciones Center
Norte, sus organizadores esperan un vivo
interГ©s en su feria solar.
tienen buenos motivos para sentirse optimistas. Ya
que el mercado sudamericano de fotovoltaica se
estГЎ desarrollando de forma maravillosa desde
hace algГєn tiempo. La Agencia Internacional de la EnergГ­a
AIE confirma este desarrollo. En 2013, el continente sudamericano ha traspasado por primera vez el umbral de
5 GW en el desarrollo anual de construcciГіn. Y esto aunque el mercado estГЎ solo al principio de su desarrollo. Lo
que vale para el continente vale también para el país anfitrión de la Intersolar South America. ”el 2014 es un año
histórico para la fotovoltaica en Brasil”, opina Tina Engelhard, portavoz de la Intersolar South America. Por primera vez, el gobierno del país ha lanzado ofertas públicas
para proyectos solares. Al mismo tiempo, la Autoridad Nacional de la EnergГ­a ha publicado metas para el desarrol-
Solar Edition
Intersolar south amerIca
lo de la energГ­a solar. Hasta
el 2018, se prevГ© la instalaciГіn
de plantas con un rendimiento de
3,5 GW. ”Con esto, el futuro para la fo
fotovoltaica en Brasil se muestra brillante.
Por eso, Brasil es el lugar perfecto para nunu
estra segunda Intersolar South America.”
MГЎs grande que el aГ±o
Y parece que los players del mercado solar
lo ven de esta forma también. ”Ya tres meses antes de su inauguración, sabíamos
que la Intersolar 2014 serГ­a mГЎs grande
que la vez anterior.”, dice Engelhard. Ya en
ese entonces, las cifras de registro eran
mГЎs altas que el nГєmero de participantes
de la Гєltima feria. El Гєltimo aГ±o, representantes de 64 empresas de once paГ­ses diferentes encontraron el camino a SГЈo Paulo
para presentarse en la feria solar. Asistieron 2.288 visitantes de 22 paГ­ses diferentes. Con un 61.1 %, la mayorГ­a de ellos
estaba interesada sobre todo en la fotovoltaica. Esto es el resultado de una encuesta realizada por los organizadores de
la Intersolar South America. De todos modos, aГєn el 18.3 % de los visitantes estaba
interesado en la energГ­a solar tГ©rmica.
”Aunque nos hallamos todavía en la fase
inicial con nuestro evento, la feria representarГЎ la cadena completa de generaciГіn
de valor agregado en las ГЎreas fotovoltaica
y energía solar térmica.” Sobre todo la oferta alrededor del tema acumuladores de
energГ­a para sistemas solares ocuparГЎ mucho mГЎs espacio en comparaciГіn con el
aГ±o anterior. Y esto no gira solo en torno a
Brasil. Por supuesto, tambiГ©n el desarrollo
positivo del mercado chileno serГЎ un tema
en la Intersolar South America. Lo mismo
vale para los paГ­ses Argentina y Uruguay,
donde el interГ©s en la producciГіn de elec-
tricidad y calor con energГ­a solar estГЎ aumentando fuertemente. Y no olvidar los
pequeГ±os estados caribeГ±os, donde ya algunas grandes instalaciones al aire libre
estГЎn prestando su servicio.
Pero esto no termina ahГ­ todavГ­a. Como
se debe para una Intersolar, los organizadores tambiГ©n han concertado una gran
conferencia que tiene lugar paralelamente
a la feria durante tres dГ­as. La conferencia
trata tambiГ©n las temГЎticas de fotovoltaica
y energГ­a solar tГ©rmica. Por supuesto, en
esto tambiГ©n se dilucida el mercado brasileГ±o y se presentan las diferentes posibilidades. Aparte de la presentaciГіn de diferentes tecnologГ­as, un punto fundamental
en el ГЎmbito de la fotovoltaica es el tema
Off-grid y las soluciones de tipo isla, ya que
el mercado latinoamericano se presta especialmente para instalaciones de este
tipo. Como por ejemplo en Chile, donde
tales instalaciones ya son usadas a gran escala por la industria minera. Pero tambiГ©n
la realizaciГіn y el financiamiento de proyectos serГЎn tratados. En el marco de la conferencia estГЎ incluido el Congreso BrasileГ±o
de Calentamiento Solar en el ГЎmbito de la
energГ­a solar tГ©rmica, organizado por el
Departamento Nacional de Calentamiento
Solar. Los representantes de Г©ste quieren
abrirles los ojos a los visitantes sobre el tema energГ­a solar tГ©rmica en Brasil y en
SudamГ©rica. Ellos opinan que el potencial
es enorme.
Eventos paralelos
Al mismo tiempo tiene lugar en SГЈo Paulo
tambiГ©n la Conferencia de Exposiciones y
Conferencias de Instalaciones ElГ©ctricas
(ENIE). Y esto ha sido planeado exactamente asГ­ por ambos organizadores. Hay
efectos de sinergia, dice Engelhard. Esto se
demostrГі el aГ±o pasado, en el que los dos
eventos tambiГ©n tuvieron lugar al mismo
tiempo. Personas que visitan la Intersolar
también se interesan por la ENIE y viceversa. ”Desde hace tres décadas, la ENIE es el
polo de atenciГіn y lugar de encuentro para
personas que se ocupan del tema de la instalaciГіn elГ©ctrica en el campo de edificios
e industria”, dice Engelhard. ”Entre los visitantes están, entre otros, ingenieros, mayoristas de componentes correspondientes
o consumidores finales de los mГЎs diversos
campos industriales.
A esto se aГ±aden representantes de
proveedores de energГ­a y empresas de
telecomunicación.” Las sinergias son evidentes. ”Con esto, la Intersolar South
America ofrece con su ambiente la plataforma ideal a todos los profesionales de la energГ­a solar para interrelacionarse, para el
intercambio de informaciones o para la
bГєsqueda de nuevos proyectos y socios
comerciales”, opina Engelhard. Los organizadores presuponen que la Intersolar South
America y la ENIE atraerГЎn a mГЎs de 10.000
visitantes en agosto de este aГ±o. Pronto
tendrá lugar también en Sao Paulo el evento Greenbuilding Brasil 2014. �Se trata también de una feria que va acompañada por
una conferencia que tiene lugar al mismo
tiempo. Y tambiГ©n aquГ­, las interrelaciones
de temas son obvias. Ya que en la feria
Greenbuilding todo gira en torno al tema de
la construcciГіn sostenible. Aparte del aislamiento calorifugado de edificios, aquГ­ sobre todo el enfriamiento eficaz y favorable
al medio ambiente estГЎ en el centro de atenciГіn. Por supuesto, esto tambiГ©n vale
para las tГ©cnicas de captaciГіn de agua y sobre todo para el ahorro de agua en el consumo diario de SudamГ©rica.
De modo que despuГ©s del Mundial
2014 vale la pena echar el ojo tambiГ©n en
Brasil a los eventos en SГЈo Paulo y hasta viajar hasta allГЎ. Ya que la pequeГ±a hermana
de la Intersolar Europe estГЎ en el mejor
camino de hacerse mayor y convertirse en
el centro de actividades del sector solar en
el continente sudamericano. Al mismo
tiempo, se ofrece como trampolГ­n para todos aquellos que quieren estar activos allГЎ
tambiГ©n en el futuro. El horario en la Expo
Center Norte, SГЈo Paulo, es diariamente de
las 12 a las 20 horas durante los tres dГ­as.
La conferencia tiene lugar el martes, 26 de
agosto, desde las 11 hasta las 17:30 horas,
el miГ©rcoles y jueves respectivamente
desde las 9 hasta las 13:30 horas.
Markus Grunwald
MГЎs informaciones:
Intersolar South America:
Para el 2014 los organizadores esperan un nuevo rГ©cord de visitantes.
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
fotovoltaica En chilE
sale del letargo
La puesta en marcha de megacentrales comerciales y la
adjudicaciГіn de la primera licitaciГіn de energГ­a anima el
sector solar chileno. A pesar de las muchas barreras todavГ­a
existentes, este aГ±o se espera la incorporaciГіn a red mГЎs de
600 nuevos megavatios fotovoltaicos.
l aГ±o 2014 va camino de convertirse
en el punto de inflexiГіn de la fotovoltaica chilena. Tras aГ±os de un negativo balance entre la casi decena de gigavatios de potencia pretendida y la anecdГіtica capacidad realmente instalada, la tenacidad del sector solar por superar barreras
parece que da fruto y el parque fotovoltaico chileno ya supera los 170 megavatios instalados.
Con la simple puesta en marcha en los
tres primeros meses de este aГ±o de cuatro
instalaciones solares, Chile ha conseguido
multiplicar por veinte su parque fotovoltaico. De los escasos siete megavatios que
en 2013 estaban conectados a red se ha
pasado a contar con 178 megavatios solares en operaciГіn y otros 170 en fase de
construcciГіn, segГєn indica el Гєltimo reporte del Centro de EnergГ­as Renovables
(CER) del mes de abril.
De hacer caso a las estimaciones de los
Centros de Despachos EconГіmico de Carga
(CDEC), el volumen se duplica: el Sistema
Interconectado del Norte Grande (SING)
tiene previsto este aГ±o incorporar 417
Solar Edition
nuevos megavatios y el Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) 207 megavatios.
MinerГ­a y solar, matrimonio
de conveniencia
El que la mayorГ­a de esos proyectos se encuentren ubicados localizados en las inmediaciones de una explotaciГіn minera no es
mera casualidad. Con unos precios medios
de mercado en 2013 que rondaban los 112
y 108 dГіlares el megavatio hora en el SIC y
SING, respectivamente, la minerГ­a chilena
se enfrenta al segundo precio mГЎs alto con
respecto a los paГ­ses mineros a nivel mundial.
La espaГ±ola Solapack ya demostrГі en
2012 que el matrimonio minerГ­a-solar tenГ­a
posibilidades al poner en operaciГіn la central Calama 3 de 1 MW bajo un contrato PPA
con la minera Codelco. Un sistema aislado
que satisface las demandas energГ©ticas de
la minera y una experiencia que parece
haber resultado satisfactoria: Solarpack se
adjudicГі un aГ±o mГЎs tarde una licitaciГіn de
la minera Collahuasi, para quien ahora es-
Planta de 25 MW Pozo Almonte desarrollada or Solarpack CorporaciГіn TecnolГіgica
para la CompaГ±Г­a Minera DoГ±a InГ©s de
Collahuasi en TarapacГЎ, Primera RegiГіn,
Foto: Enertis Solar
tГЎ ultimando un parque de 25 megavatios
en Pozo Almonte, regiГіn de TarapacГЎ.
El ejemplo que dieran en su dГ­a Solarpack y Codelco ha sido seguido por la francesa Solair direct en 2013 con una central de
1 megavatio (Solar Andacollo) para la minera Dayton y tambiГ©n por la elГ©ctrica chilena E-CL para Quirobax con una instalaciГіn
de 2,2 megavatios (El ГЃguila). Todas centrales menores de tres megavatios, las
cuales disfrutan de un proceso de
tramitaciГіn abreviado.
El atractivo de los PPA
De mayor potencia, y con ella sujeta a todo
el papeleo, es la planta de 8,8 megavatios
que la suiza Etrion va a construir el prГіximo
aГ±o para Atacama Minerals Chile. No
obstante, nada que ver con los 93 megavatios nominales y 100 pico de la central
“Amanecer Solar” que SunEdison conectó
el pasado mes de abril a la red. Esta no
solamente es la hasta ahora mayor central
fotovoltaica de AmГ©rica Latina, sino tambiГ©n el mayor acuerdo PPA firmado entre
una minera, en este caso CAP, y una empresa solar. Todo un hito que marca un antes y
fotovoltaica En chilE
un después en la fotovoltaica chilena. “Se ha roto el miedo a construir”, afirma Myriam
GarcГ­a, gerente de Grenergy Reno
Renodesarrolvables, empresa que estГЎ desarrol
meglando proyectos por mГЎs de 100 meg
avatios en Chile, aunque reconoce que
sigue habiendo “muchos más proyectos
en tramitación de los que puedan ser ejecutados”.
A pesar de esos casos de Г©xito, la dificultad para la obtenciГіn de los ansiados
PPA sigue siendo una de las grandes barreras “Aún no se ha desarrollado una tendencia a la firma de contratos de venta directa con plantas de generación FV”, indica Amadeo Hernández, director de desarrollo de negocio de Enertis, empresa
espaГ±ola de asesorГ­a tГ©cnica y consultorГ­a
para proyectos solares en Chile. AdemГЎs,
la cuantГ­a exacta de los pocos contratos
PPA firmados entre mineras y empresas
solares se ha quedado como secreto de alcoba. No obstante, la AsociaciГіn Chilena
de EnergГ­as Renovables (ACERA) indica en
su Гєltimo reporte que estos estarГ­an por
debajo de los 100 dГіlares por megavatio
Pugna por el suelo
Sin embargo los problemas no solo estГЎn
en conseguir firmar un PPA. Empiezan ya
con la obtenciГіn del terreno. La mayorГ­a de
los proyectos solares se desarrollan en zonas desГ©rticas, principalmente propiedad
del Estado. Los buenos terrenos no abundan y el proceso de licitaciГіn para acceder
a ellos es largo y costoso. AdemГЎs, las garantГ­as que exige el Ministerio de Bienes,
organismo encargado de su administración, son elevadas y demasiado adelantadas en tiempo. “A modo de ejemplo, por
un proyecto de 50 megavatios te pueden
estar exigiendo unas garantГ­as de 750.000
dГіlares, las cuales se ejecutan si no has
construido en dos aГ±os y no hay posibilidad de devoluciГіn, aunque las causas
sean motivadas por eventos de fuerza
mayor”, explica Manuel Castro de Nexer,
otra consultora de proyectos espaГ±ola con
presencia local. La prГіxima licitaciГіn de
terrenos del Ministerio de Bienes para la
implantaciГіn de centrales eГіlicas o solares estГЎ convocada para el mes de junio.
En esta ocasiГіn se ofrecen trece terrenos
en la regiГіn de Antofagasta con una superficie conjunta de cerca 2.825 hectГЎreas.
Y los problemas con los terrenos no se
acaban ahí. “La ley que regula los derechos mineros es antigua y debe ser modificada porque da pie a la especulación por
Planta “Amanecer Solar CAP” fue desarrollada, construida e
interconectada por la empresa SunEdison bajo un acuerdo
de compra de energГ­a con Grupo CAP. Tiene una capacidad
instalada de 100MW y estГЎ ubicada en la comuna de CopiapГі,
en pleno Desierto de Atacama.
Foto: SunEdison
parte de terceros”, indica Manuel Castro de
Nexer Renovables. Roces ha habido muchos por reclamar los derechos mineros en
un paГ­s con confesa vocaciГіn minera, especialmente en el norte del paГ­s, zona que
acapara la mayorГ­a de los megaproyectos
solares. “El problema para nosotros son los
especuladores. Los desarrolladores de
ERNC somos los nuevos en la casa y nos hemos transformado en un ГЎrea de negocios
para estas personas, que buscan bloquear
proyectos y chantajean”, declaraba al portal José Ignacio Escobar,
gerente general de Mainstream Renewable
Power, firma que participa tanto en generaciГіn eГіlica como solar con un portafolio
de 2.300 megavatios. La muy alabada
transparencia del sistema chileno permite
vislumbrar desde un principio dГіnde se
pretenden ubicar las centrales energГ©ticas
en la pГЎgina web del Servicio de EvaluaciГіn
Ambiental (SEIA). Por ello, desde la asociaciГіn renovable ACERA recomiendan a sus
socios cubrir todos los aspectos y tener
clara la servidumbre minera antes de figurar pГєblico en un proyecto. Un requisito
que es imprescindible para poder acceder
a la financiaciГіn, puesto que los bancos
han incorporado a las exigencias de su
modelo de project finance la obtenciГіn de
la concesiГіn minera del terreno donde se
piense ubicar cualquier planta de energГ­a.
FinanciaciГіn y nuevos
Todos los entrevistados estГЎn de acuerdo
en que la financiaciГіn es uno de los huesos
duros por roer en el mercado chileno. “La
inexperiencia de la banca local en la financiaciГіn de este tipo de proyectos ha deriva-
do en posiciones más bien conservadoras”,
indica HernГЎndez de Enertis, que explica
que el modelo preferido por los bancos es
casi siempre un PPA. Aunque sГ­ que existen
centrales que van a mercado spot y que se
han construido con capital privado, como
“Los Puquios” de Power Electronic, lo cierto es que de momento son los bancos multilaterales como el Banco Interamericano
de Desarrollo (BID), Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) o International Finance Corporation (IFC) los que estГЎn
participando en la financiaciГіn de buena
parte de los proyectos. El mejor ejemplo de
ello lo da de nuevo SunEdison, que en marzo de este aГ±o conectГі a la red su proyecto
“San Andrés” con 48 MW de potencia. San
AndrГ©s vende toda su energГ­a al mercado
spot del SIC. El no tener un PPA no ha sido
inconveniente alguno para que la empresa
estadounidense accediera a la financiaciГіn.
En noviembre de 2013, SunEdison comunicaba haber recibido 100,4 millones de
dГіlares en financiamiento de deuda sin recurso de OPIC, la instituciГіn financiera de
desarrollo del gobierno de Estados Unidos,
y de IFC. AdemГЎs del financiamiento de
deuda provisto por la OPIC y el IFC, el
proyecto recibiГі una facilidad de IVA con
Rabobank equivalente a 25,6 millones de
dГіlares. Una transacciГіn modГ©lica que hizo
que SunEdison recibiera en marzo de este
aГ±o el premio al Acuerdo Financiero del
AГ±o para Proyectos Solares Latinoamericanos 2013, otorgado por la revista Project
Finance de Euromoney.
Con buenos ojos ve tambiГ©n el sector
solar la introducciГіn fondos inversores en
la parte del “Equity” de los proyectos. Un
ejemplo de ello Rjin Capital, una firma
holandesa que invierte en proyectos de en-
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
ergГ­a renovable y que trabaja conjuntamente con Element Power. El tГЎndem tiene
en cartera 15 proyectos solares por una potencia total de 450 megavatios, de los
cuales 131 estГЎ previstos que se conecten a
la red este mismo aГ±o, todos ellos previstos para el mercado spot del SING.
el atore de las redes
El operador del sistema CDEC-SING, que indica en sus reportes que actualmente tiene
31,8 megavatios solares inyectando en su
red, afirma tener constancia de que se estuvieran construyendo otros 422 megavatios, que se incorporarГЎn hasta 2016. Lamentablemente para los mГЎs de cinco gigavatios solares que cuentan con permiso
medioambiental para construirse en sus
dominios, CDEC-SING estima que sus condiciones actuales de operaciГіn no permitirГ­an mГЎs que incorporar 450 megavatios solares. E incluso la reciГ©n publicada
Agenda de EnergГ­a del gobierno no espera
que en el SING se cuente con mГЎs de 700
megavatios en el aГ±o 2025.
Mientras que las zonas desГ©rticas por
las que trascurre son muy pretendidas por
los promotores solares, especialmente
porque aglutinan al 85 por ciento de la minerГ­a del paГ­s, lo cierto es que en los dominios del SING no habita mГЎs que el dos por
ciento de la poblaciГіn del paГ­s andino. Y el
SIC no pinta mucho mejor para los promotores solares. La zona de interГ©s para el desarrollo de proyectos solares se encuentra
con capacidades de inyecciГіn bastante reducidas, escenario que debiera modificarse a partir de la ejecuciГіn de obras de
ampliaciГіn del sistema que debieran hacerse entre los aГ±os 2016 y 2018. No obstante, la actual Agenda de EnergГ­a del gobierno chileno no prevГ© que la aportaciГіn
de la solar al mix energГ©tico del SIC sea superior al 2,4 por ciento en el aГ±o 2025, o lo
que es lo mismo, 451 megavatios.
Sin la interconexiГіn entre el SING y el
SIC es difícil que la fotovoltaica pueda realmente dar un salto cualitativo. “El desarrollo de la carretera eléctrica y la ampliación
de las infraestructuras existentes serГЎ una
condiciГіn necesaria para un aumento de la
capacidad sostenible en el tiempo y para
poder planificar el desarrollo de la energГ­a
solar fotovoltaica a medio y largo plazo”,
indica HernГЎndez de Enertis. Por ello, el
sector solar chileno espera impaciente a
que el gobierno acometa las obras de infraestructura a las que se ha comprometido
en su hoja de ruta energГ©tica.
Solar Edition
Fotovoltaica en las
licitaciones estatales
Como tambiГ©n espera impaciente a la incorporaciГіn de la solar en el proceso de licitaciones para el abastecimiento de las distribuidoras, que forman parte del compromiso del gobierno para obtener un 20 por
ciento de energГ­as renovables en la matriz
energГ©tica con cara al aГ±o 2025.
Enel Green Power ya ha movido ficha en
ese terreno. El consorcio energГ©tico de origen italiano puede presumir de ser el primer adjudicatario en una licitaciГіn de energГ­a del mercado elГ©ctrico regulado
chileno que va a satisfacer la demanda contratada parcialmente con centrales solares.
A un precio de 12,8 dГіlares por kilovatio
hora, Enel comunicaba en diciembre del
pasado aГ±o el haber resultado adjudicataria para suministrar 4.159 gigavatios hora
hasta el aГ±o 2024 en el SIC. El consorcio indica que el suministro serГЎ cubierto parcialmente por una planta que ya estГЎ en operaciГіn asГ­ como por tres nuevas centrales,
una planta eГіlica y dos plantas solares.
Aunque solamente hace menciГіn a un total
de potencia conjunta por instalar de 161
megavatios en el primer semestre de 2015,
todo parece indicar que se refiere la central
Lackalama de 129 megavatios de potencia
en la comuna de Taltal, cuyos primeros 55
megavatios deberГ­an estar listos en diciembre de 2014 segГєn las estimaciones del operador del SIC, y posiblemente a la central
Diego de Almagro de 36 megavatios de potencia, que se espera estГ© ya terminada
este mismo mes de agosto y cuyo propГіsito es ir al mercado spot. Enel tambiГ©n tiene
puesto el punto de mira en el SING, donde
pretende instalar mГЎs de 300 megavatios.
Con los planes gigantescos que barajan
los pesos pesados del sector – que obviamente tienen más recursos para acceder a
financiación–, la pregunta legítima que se
plantea es si va a quedar sitio para alguien
más. “Lo máximo que admiten los dos sistemas es dos gigavatios si se acometen importantes obras de refuerzo”, dice Myriam
GarcГ­a de Grenergy Renovables, quien ve el
panorama con una mezcla de optimismo y
desazón: “son muchos megavatios concentrados en un espacio corto de tiempo y en
la misma zona geogrГЎfica y eso implica saturaciГіn casi inmediata de ciertos sectores
de la red”.
Alejandro Diego Rosell
EnergГ­a, en cualquier momento, en cualquier lugar.
Victron Energy
Inversores, cargadores, inversores/cargadores, monitores de
baterГ­a, controladores de carga, baterГ­as, paneles solares y mГЎs.
E: [email protected]
Fotovoltaica – microinversores y optimizadores
ВїDos tecnologГ­as fotovoltaicas innovadoras?
El Г­ndice de ventas de microinversores y optimizadores DC
en el mercado americano aumenta de forma constante.
Algunos fabricantes ya han desaparecido de este nicho de
mercado. Seguramente, pronto les seguirГЎn otros.
on el aГ±o 2014 ha comenzado un
nuevo capГ­tulo en la historia de Г©xitos de microinversores y optimizadores DC para instalaciones fotovoltaicas.
De ello estГЎ firmemente convencida la empresa canadiense de investigaciГіn de mercados y editora Publications,
tomando como base un nuevo estudio de
GTM Research. Los analistas de mercados
de Navigant Research informan de forma
similar, dejando prever un enГ©rgico desarrollo del sector. AsГ­, Navigant profetiza
un crecimiento a un volumen de producciГіn
de 52,7 gigavatios entre los aГ±os 2013 y
2020. “La industria de MLPE (MLPE significa “modul-level power electronics”, término que abarca tanto optimizadores como
microinversores) seguirГЎ manteniendo su
muy rГЎpido desarrollo con un nГєmero creciente de fabricantes de mГіdulos que integrarГЎn estos productos en sus mГіdulos.
AdemГЎs, habrГЎ muchas empresas ya establecidas que entablen marcos de asociaciГіn o que absorban empresas fabricantes
de sistemas electrónicos de potencia”,
sigue señalando Navigant. “Esta tendencia
se acelerarГЎ en los prГіximos aГ±os. Los impulsores de este desarrollo serГЎn el avance
tГ©cnico, la reducciГіn de los costes y
también factores políticos”.
Los lГ­deres del mercado
muestran un gran
El sector estГЎ dominado por unas pocas
empresas. SegГєn Publications, Enphase Energy con sus microinversores y SolarEdge Technologies asГ­ como
Tigo Energy con sus optimizadores, se
repartieron en el aГ±o 2013 casi un 90 % del
mercado global de MLPE. Al igual que los
analistas de mercados, tambiГ©n ellos mismos ven de forma muy optimista el futuro
de su industria. “El mercado de MLPE es
uno de los segmentos de más rápido crecimiento de la industria solar global“, escribe, por ejemplo, el departamento de
marketing de SolarEdge Technologies. ”Las
tecnologГ­as de MLPE han venido mostrando un Г©xito notable en aplicaciones residenciales. Por ejemplo, segГєn GTM, el
pasado aГ±o aproximadamente dos de cada
tres nuevos sistemas residenciales en los
Estados Unidos incorporaron una soluciГіn
MLPE. Por otro lado, en el caso de los opti-
El Sunny Boy 240,
segГєn informaciГіn de la
empresa, fue desarrollado
en primer tГ©rmino para el
mercado norteamericano,
pero puede utilizare en
todo el mundo.
Foto: SMA
mizadores, tambiГ©n vemos una creciente
demanda del sector comercial. A nivel mundial se espera que el mercado de MLPE
crezca de forma considerable en los prГіximos aГ±os, alcanzando en el aГ±o 2017 5 gigavatios instalados. De esta forma se demostrarГ­a que esta tecnologГ­a ha dejado ya
de ser un nicho de mercado“.
Los optimizadores DC de Tigo Energy,
Inc. tambiГ©n han llegado entre tanto al mercado global. SegГєn indican fuentes de la
empresa, una prueba de ello es el hecho de
que ahora tambiГ©n los fabricantes lГ­deres
de módulos e inversores integran esta tecnología. El “mercado inteligente” crece actualmente de forma más rápida que el mercado global y, por ello, cada vez está más
cerca el dГ­a en el que los productos MLPE
sean norma. “En Tigo creemos que los
módulos inteligentes son el futuro de la industria de optimizadores y microinversores“, indica James Bickford, director de
marketing de Tigo. “Esta expectativa se basa principalmente en la ventaja de que es
posible la comunicaciГіn con el mГіdulo. La
comunicaciГіn hace posible, entre otras cosas, una ampliaciГіn de las funciones de
seguridad, una mayor captaciГіn de energГ­a, cadenas mГЎs largas, menores costes
de los sistemas y un mejor y mГЎs sencillo
Paul Barlock, vicepresidente del fabricante de microinversores APS America es,
al igual que sus competidores, optimista
en lo que respecta a las posibilidades de
mercado: “Nuestro éxito en el mercado global demuestra que los microinversores son
el nuevo paradigma para la inversión en energía fotovoltaica. Son la tecnología del futuro“. Como en el caso de los optimizadores, el éxito de los microinversores radica en las ventajas de la tecnología, como
explica el Sr. Barlock: “Los microinversores
son la mejor soluciГіn para todas las aplicaciones solares instaladas en tejados, dado
que ofrecen una mayor captaciГіn de energГ­a que los inversores de cadena, simplifican el diseГ±o y la instalaciГіn del sistema
fotovoltaico, reducen los costes de instalaciГіn, incluyendo todo el balance de componentes del sistema, ofrecen la posibilidad del monitoreo y control de paneles solares individuales en una red y una mayor
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
seguridad de la corriente distribuida y una
desconexión rápida.” Según GTM Research,
la empresa norteamericana es lГ­der de microinversores en China y Australia y ocupa
la segunda posiciГіn en el mercado norteamericano. APS tambiГ©n goza de gran Г©xito
en SudamГ©rica y Europa.
ConversiГіn de energГ­a en
base modular
SegГєn la opiniГіn generalizada, Enphase
Energy es lГ­der del mercado en la fabricaciГіn y comercializaciГіn de microinversores. La empresa californiana no habla de
forma consecuente de aparatos individuales, sino de una microsoluciГіn completa
formada por el microinversor Enphase, una
pasarela de comunicaciones Envoy, un sistema de monitoreo con software Enlighten
y un cableado “plug & play”. También se incluye de forma expresa el mantenimiento.
El Гєltimo producto, el microinversor M250,
es “el microinversor más avanzado del
mundo”, según se indica en el último comunicado de prensa. Según Enphase “mejora
el rendimiento solar y simplifica la instalaciГіn y la gestiГіn de los sistemas solares.
El aparato se basa en los inversores de tercera generaciГіn y conforma con un nГєmero
reducido de componentes un nuevo estándar en los microinversores”. “Optimizada para módulos solares de alta potencia,
nuestra tecnologГ­a de cuarta generaciГіn
proporciona sistemas fiables, de alto
rendimiento con un alto valor”, resume Anna Valeria Porta, directora de relaciones
pГєblicas (Europa, Oriente Medio y ГЃfrica).
La empresa alemana SMA AG presentГі
ya en la feria Intersolar Europe 2012 un inversor modular: el Sunny Boy 240. SegГєn
informaciГіn de la empresa fue desarrollado
en primer tГ©rmino para el mercado norteamericano, pero puede utilizarse en todo el
mundo. Este aparato es especialmente apto para pequeГ±as instalaciones fotovoltaicas con situaciones complicadas de sombra y sistema fotovoltaico integrado en el
edificio. Ofrece una alta flexibilidad en la
planificaciГіn de instalaciones en un rango
de potencia inferior a dos kilovatios. “En el
lanzamiento al mercado nos centramos en
un primer momento en Estados Unidos como el mayor mercado para inversores modulares“, indica Susanne Henkel, directora
de prensa corporativa en SMA. “Desde febrero de 2014 ofrecemos el Sunny Boy 240
también en muchos mercados europeos“.
El mГЎs pequeГ±o de la familia puede combinarse con la soluciГіn de supervisiГіn Sunny
Multigate. En la ficha tГ©cnica, que no siempre se tiene a la vista, aparece otra ventaja:
Solar Edition
Optimizador DC,
inversor de cadena
y monitor de
Foto: SolarEdge
dada su estructura modular, las instalaciones con el Sunny Boy 240 y el Sunny
Multigate pueden redisponerse y reequiparse, algo que, por ejemplo, puede
ser necesario en caso de cambios estructurales o de necesidad de un aumento de
El fabricante chino LeadSolar Energy
Co., Ltd. abastece con sus microinversores
LeadSolar LS250 y LeadSolar LS600 los
mercados solares en Estados Unidos, MГ©jico y Brasil. Estos manejables aparatos se
diseГ±aron para tensiones modulares de
mГЎximo 60 V, el rango de tensiГіn MPPT va
de 27 a 45 V. Como potencias mГЎximas de
salida se indican 250 W y 600 W respectivamente. Dentro del sistema completo se encuentran ademГЎs del inversor, la pasarela
de comunicaciones LeadSolar Link y la
plataforma de monitoreo LeadSolar Management. LeadSolar Link supervisa la funciГіn segura y el rendimiento del mГіdulo y
estГЎ disponible en las versiones Utility,
Residential Superior y Residential Basic. La
plataforma LeadSolar Management proporciona al cliente la posibilidad de tener una
representaciГіn visual del mГіdulo y/o la instalaciГіn fotovoltaica.
La empresa californiana Chilicon Power,
LLC. reivindica para sГ­ el haber desarrollado
el microinversor mГЎs eficiente del mundo,
con una fiabilidad a largo plazo integrada
(“built-in long-term reliability”). Según su
información “esto se debe a la utilización
de condensadores mГЎs fiables que los condensadores de electrolitos utilizados por
algunos competidores que, como es sabido, fallan pronto”. Según Chilicon Power, el
microinversor CP-250 tiene una potencia de
salida AC de 250 W, la potencia de entrada
recomendada aparece indicada en 300 W.
La eficiencia se encuentra en el 96 % (CEC)
y/o 96,6 % (mГЎximo nivel). Normalmente,
los microinversores se encuentran recogidos en un sistema con tecnologГ­a de
pasarela (gateway) y software basado en la
red. La pasarela se conecta con cada microinversor y representa la informaciГіn en una
pantalla LCD de 7”. Igualmente proporciona información de rendimiento a internet
posibilitando el acceso desde cualquier lugar. SegГєn informaciГіn del cofundador Alexandre Kral, Chilicon Power vende en la
actualidad sus microinversores Гєnicamente
en NorteamГ©rica, pero tiene previsto expandir la distribuciГіn a SudamГ©rica en el
Como en el caso de sus competidores,
el sistema que ofrece APS America estГЎ formado por tres componentes clave: un microinversor, una unidad de comunicaciГіn
(APS Communicator) y un software de monitoreo (APS Monitor). Entre los inversores
ofrecidos hasta ahora por las empresas, el
APS YC500A es el buque bandera que
puede manejar simultГЎneamente dos
mГіdulos solares. APS America anunciГі la
pronta introducción del “primer auténtico
microinversor trifásico de cuatro paneles”
en el mundo, con el nombre APS YC1000-3.
“Está diseñado para trabajar con 3 o 4
mГіdulos fotovoltaicos (de hasta 310 W
Microinversor M250
de Enphase
Foto: Enphase Energy
Fotovoltaica – microinversores y optimizadores
respectivamente) y proporcionar tensiones trifГЎsicas de
red de 208 V - 480 V a un precio
competitivo con inversores de caca
dena corrientes”, escribe APS AmerAmer
ica en su pГЎgina web.
tamEl siguiente fabricante que tam
biГ©n quiere presentar aquГ­ su producto
es SolarBridge Technologies de Austin,
Texas. DiseГ±a, desarrolla y produce una
serie de microinversores con el nombre
Pantheon. “SolarBridge no vende microinversores directamente en el mercado de
inversores, los microinversores SolarBridge Pantheon y Pantheon II se venden
exclusivamente a empresas de mГіdulos
que incorporan dichos microinversores en
sus propios productos”, respondió la empresa a nuestra pregunta. Los microinversores Pantheon II han sido certificados y
aprobados para su instalaciГіn no solo en
Estados Unidos y Canadá, también en Australia. Según SolarBridge, “entre las empresas que integran los microinversores
Pantheon en sus productos se encuentran
los fabricantes de mГіdulos SunPower, ET
Solar y BenQ”.
El sistema de microinversores de ABB
estГЎ formado por un inversor de la familia
“micro” y un dispositivo concentrador de
datos (CDD). Puede elegirse entre inversores con potencias de 250 W y 300 W con
una tensiГіn mГЎxima DC de entrada de 65 V
que permite la conexiГіn de mГіdulos de 96
cГ©lulas. El dispositivo concentrador de datos (CDD) de ABB conforma la interfaz de
comunicaciГіn entre la instalaciГіn del inversor y el operador de la instalaciГіn. El
estatus de la instalaciГіn se muestra en un
display integrado. El servidor de red integrado puede utilizarse a nivel local para
obtener un informe de estatus completo y
detallado. Para un registro completo de los
datos de la instalaciГіn, ABB pone a disposiciГіn la plataforma Aurora Vision Plant
Management. “La familia “micro” de ABB
estГЎ disponible en NorteamГ©rica y algunos
países de Sudamérica”, escribe Chavonne
Yee, directora de gestiГіn de productos,
ConversiГіn de potencia NorteamГ©rica,
Grupo de productos solares. “¿Y cómo valora el potencial de mercado?” Yee: “El microinversor seguirá siendo un enfoque
para la conversiГіn de DC a AC con un uso
particular en lugares complejos. La simplificaciГіn del diseГ±o del lugar utilizando microinversores lo hace atractivo a mercados
en crecimiento con instalaciones y recursos de diseГ±o con relativamente poca experiencia. Dado que los mercados se desarrollan y buscan optimizar los costes, el
mercado utilizarГЎ microinversores para la
producción de energía en la parte del mercado con zonas de sombra no óptimas.”
Optimizadores DC en lugar
de caja de conexiones
Los optimizadores de potencia son convertidores DC/DC que o bien los integran los
fabricantes de mГіdulos en sus mГіdulos y
sustituyen así la función de la caja de conexiones o bien se conectan de forma complementaria. Tigo Energy lleva a cabo la primera posibilidad con gran éxito: “Tigo tiene
actualmente mГЎs de 10 fabricantes de
módulos fotovoltaicos con su tecnología integrada“, indica James Bickford, director
de marketing de Tigo. “El montaje de un
sistema de optimizaciГіn tal se realiza de
forma que cada mГіdulo recibe un maximizador electrГіnico modular (MM) que, conjuntamente con la unidad de gestiГіn del
maximizador (MMU), se encarga del seguimiento del punto mГЎximo de potencia
(“MPP-Tracking”). Los maximizadores están equipados con componentes de comunicación, sensores analógicos así como sistemas técnicos de conmutación para el control de potencia DC y se comunican con la
MMU, bien por cable o bien de forma inalГЎmbrica. Esta combinaciГіn de aparatos
calcula y ajusta el MPP de los diferentes
mГіdulos de forma conjunta tomando como
base informaciones de mГіdulo y cadena.
La MMU sirve ademГЎs como acceso a internet para poder transmitir los datos de
rendimiento a la unidad de anГЎlisis de Tigo.
Una particularidad: mientras la mayorГ­a de
los seguimientos “MPP-Tracker” utilizados
hoy calculan el MPP de forma progresiva
(procedimiento iterativo), en Tigo Energy se
apuesta por el procedimiento patentado
llamado ajuste de impedancia, prometiГ©ndose la eficiencia media mГЎs alta en el
módulo (“a nivel estadístico 99,5 por cien“)
con mГ­nimas modificaciones en la instalaciГіn existente.
El programa seguramente mГЎs amplio
en el sector de optimizadores lo tiene el
fabricante lГ­der SolarEdge (como aquГ­ no
podemos tratar todos, hemos elegido el
optimizador modular embebido OPJ300-LV
y el optimizador comercial OP600-96V). La
potencia de entrada nominal del OPJ300-LV
aparece indicada con 300 W, la tensiГіn
mГЎxima de entrada con 55 V y el rango de
MPPT con 5 - 55 V. El optimizador complementario OP600-96V estГЎ diseГ±ado para
dos mГіdulos de 60 cГ©lulas conectados en
serie. Con sus valores mГЎs altos de tensiГіn
y potencia, este aparato es ideal para un
uso comercial. SegГєn la ficha tГ©cnica, el
pico de rendimiento de ambos optimiza-
MГіdulos TrinaSmart con sistema electrГіnico integrado en la caja de conexiones
Foto: Trina Solar
dores alcanza el 99,5 %. SolarEdge, segГєn
propia informaciГіn, ha suministrado hasta
la fecha un total de mГЎs de 3,3 millones de
optimizadores a mГЎs de 60 paГ­ses del mundo, tanto de NorteamГ©rica, AmГ©rica Central
y SudamГ©rica como del Caribe, Europa y
Asia asГ­ como del Oriente Medio.
Trina Solar, Ltd. vende mГіdulos con sistema electrГіnico de potencia integrado de
Tigo Energy, alojado en la caja de conexiones. Esta solución, llamada “TrinaSmart”
trabaja con una función patentada denominada “Smart Curve”. Según comunican en
la empresa “hace posible hasta un 30 % de
cadenas mГЎs largas, reduciendo asГ­ los
costes de instalaciГіn. AdemГЎs, Trinasmart
aumenta la potencia del sistema, por ejemplo, en caso de zonas sombreadas y diferentes potencias modulares dentro de una
cuerda en hasta un 20 % y aumenta la seguridad de toda la instalación”. La comunicación entre los módulos y la supervisión
de la instalaciГіn tiene lugar de forma inalГЎmbrica a travГ©s de una pasarela a la unidad de monitoreo y gestiГіn MMU, que tambiГ©n es de Tigo. SegГєn la ficha tГ©cnica, a cada pasarela (gateway) pueden asignarse
mГЎximo 120 mГіdulos y a cada MMU hasta
siete pasarelas. La MMU calcula y regula en
tiempo real los puntos de funcionamiento
de los mГіdulos y transmite todos los datos
a un portal de monitoreo desde donde el
operador de la instalaciГіn puede verlos y
utilizarlos, por ejemplo, con el smartphone
o el portátil. “Vendemos este producto en
todo el mundo, pero nuestro Г©xito ha
llegado recientemente en los mercados
americanos”, escribe Philip Dawsey,
gerente industrial para AmГ©rica de Trina.
AdemГЎs aГ±adiГі que Trina Solar estГЎ considerando un mГіdulo integrado AC, pero
actualmente todavГ­a no hay un producto
Wilhelm Wilming
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
EnErgГЌa TErmoSolar
EnErgÍa TErmoSolar – SiSTEmaS DE gran EScala
EstГЎn llegando
las grandes
Edificio de la Autoridad Europea de Seguridad Alimentaria AESA
UbicaciГіn de la planta
Parma, Italia
Sistema construido para
oficina y laboratorio
Tipo de sistema
Agua Caliente DomГ©stica
Superficie de colector
84 m2
TamaГ±o del tanque
3 x 3.000 litros
Costes del sistema (incluida la instalaciГіn)
215.000 €
Rentabilidad de la inversiГіn
8 aГ±os
Foto: AristonThermo
La mayorГ­a de las instalaciones termosolares de gran escala
se encuentran en los techos de edificios multifamiliares u
hoteles y ocupan un ГЎrea de menos de 100 m2.
Гіmo estГЎn evolucionando los mercados para las instalaciones termosolares de gran escala? SUN AND WIND
ENERGY ha recopilado y evaluado las respuestas de empresarios de todo el mundo. Alrededor de todo el globo hay regiones interesantes para la venta de instalaciones de
gran escala. A la pregunta de ВїcuГЎles son
los cinco mercados mГЎs importantes?, los
encuestados contestaron con los nombres
de 46 paГ­ses distintos.
En la mayorГ­a de las respuestas, venГ­a
Alemania antes que EspaГ±a. DespuГ©s seguГ­an Italia y los Emiratos ГЃrabes Unidos
(vea ilustraciГіn 1). El Г©xito que tantas compaГ±Г­as tienen en Alemania tiene que ver
con el grande y comparativamente desarrollado mercado termosolar en el paГ­s.
La preeminencia de Alemania tambiГ©n se
debe al hecho de que de las 31 compaГ±Г­as
que participaron en la encuesta, seis de ellas son alemanas.
Con respecto a la producciГіn, segГєn los
encuestados Alemania no estГЎ de ninguna
manera entre los primeros. Sobre todo Aus-
Solar Edition
tria y Suiza se mencionaron como paГ­ses
con una fuerte promociГіn estatal para instalaciones termosolares de gran escala.
AdemГЎs se nombraron Corea, Italia, y el
LГ­bano como paГ­ses con programas de promociГіn estatal especialmente atractivos.
No es fГЎcil definir exactamente quГ© es
una instalaciГіn termosolar de gran escala.
Para la encuesta se utilizГі una amplia
definiciГіn, designГЎndoles de gran escala a
las instalaciones que tengan colectores con
un ГЎrea de mГЎs de 20 m2. Es decir, cuando
el conjunto de colectores es mГЎs grande
que lo que se necesitarГ­a para la instalaciГіn
tГ­pica de una casa unifamiliar. A diferencia
de esta definiciГіn, la empresa Ernst Schweizer AG considerГі para la encuesta como
instalaciones de gran escala aquellas con
mГЎs de 50 m2 de tamaГ±o.
Las instalaciones de gran escala de
menor extensiГіn, con un ГЎrea de colectores
entre 20 y 100 m2 representan el segmento
mГЎs grande del mercado. Las empresas dieron a conocer que casi dos tercios de las
instalaciones de gran escala vendidas mi-
den menos de 100 m2 (vea ilustraciГіn 2).
Las instalaciones de entre 100 y 1.000 m2
son aproximadamente un 20 por ciento.
Hay muy pocas instalaciones con un
rendimiento nominal que alcance la gama
de megavatios. Sin embargo, 18 de las 31
empresas participantes han vendido instalaciones con un ГЎrea de colectores de mГЎs
de 1.000 m2.
Hace pocos aГ±os, muchos fabricantes
de instalaciones termosolares las instalaban con su propio personal. Eso ha cambiado bastante. Hoy sólo siguen Módulo Solar SA de CV de México, Ezinç Metal San. Ve
Tic. A.S. de TurquГ­a, NUR Solar Systems de
Jordania y Jehin Co. Ltd. de Corea utilizando
sus propios instaladores. ”Tenemos
nuestro propio equipo, pero para las instalaciones de menos de 100 m2 usamos subcontratistas,” nos dice el director gerente
de Jehin, MannKwi Park. Muchas otras empresas trabajan tambiГ©n con subcontratistas. La planificaciГіn de las instalaciones
aГєn la siguen haciendo frecuentemente las
propias empresas solares. En otros casos,
se ofrece asistencia a los planificadores .
”Apoyamos a los planificadores con el dimensionamiento de sistemas,” dice Marco
Guatini, gerente de productos solares tГ©rmicos de Aristonthermo SPA de Italia. Diferencias regionales juegan tambiГ©n un papel
EnErgÍa TErmoSolar – SiSTEmaS DE gran EScala
Los mercados mГЎs importantes para las instalaciones de gran escala
Emiratos ГЃrabes Unidos
IlustraciГіn 1: Se menВ­
cionГі Alemania sobre
todo. Cada empresa
podГ­a nombrar hasta
cinco paГ­ses.
importante. En Europa central los fabricantes de sistemas no tienen nada que ver
ni con el planeamiento ni con la instalaciГіn,
ya que de esto se encargan agencias de
planificaciГіn y empresas de instalaciГіn independientes. Pero existen tambiГ©n excepciones como Ritter XL Solar GmbH de
Alemania, que no encarga el planeamiento
de sus instalaciones a nadie.
Fuente: Encuesta de los
Amplia distribuciГіn de las
zonas de aplicaciГіn
ClasificaciГіn de instalaciones segГєn tamaГ±o
IlustraciГіn 2: La mayorГ­a de las instalaВ­
ciones de gran escala ocupan menos de
100 m2. Se calculГі los porcentajes segГєn
las respuestas de los encuestados, sin
tomar en cuenta la cantidad absoluta de
las instalaciones.
Fuente: Encuesta de los fabricantes
La mitad de las instalaciones termosolares de gran escala proveen
calefacciГіn para casas multifamiliares (vea ilustraciГіn 3). De ellas, la mayorГ­a son para la producciГіn de agua
caliente domГ©stica (31 %). Las instalaciones combinadas, que tambiГ©n utilizan la energГ­a calefactora del sol, representan el 16
por ciento de ellas. Otros campos significativos son el turismo (12 %) y el sector de la
salud (9 %). Estrechamente
vinculado con el turismo estГЎ la
calefacciГіn de piscinas (9 %).
Sistemas industriales de calentamiento tienen mucho potencial,
sin embargo hasta la fecha representan solo 6 por ciento del total. El 10 por
ciento que queda incluye calefacciГіn de
distritos, comercial y de escuelas, asГ­ como
la agricultura. Precisamente la agricultura
necesita muchas veces el calor para
procesos de secado, para los cuales se
prestan de forma ideal los sistemas de
colectores de aire. Para este campo de
aplicaciГіn se dispone de los especialistas
de colectores de aire Sunsiaray Inc. de Estados Unidos y Cona Entwicklungs- und
Handels GmbH de Austria. TambiГ©n cГЎrce-
les e instalaciones militares tienen mucha
necesidad de agua caliente. NUR Solar
Systems instalГі un equipo de colectores
de 1.500 m2 en un alojamiento militar en
Jordania. ”Es el sistema solar de uso residencial más grande de Jordania” dio a
conocer el oficial de desarrollo de negocios Laith Zatar.
Instalaciones solares para la alimentaciГіn de redes de calefacciГіn urbana son
las mГЎs grandes que existen hoy en dГ­a.
1.000 m2 son muy poco en este contexto.
Un especialista en este campo es la empresa danesa Arco Solar A/S. Hace poco Arcon
ganГі el contrato para construir la instalaciГіn solar mГЎs grande del mundo, con un
ГЎrea de colectores de 52,491 m2. La instalaciГіn enorme, situada en el distrito de Vojens, producirГЎ la mayorГ­a de energГ­a durante el medio aГ±o de verano. Como la demanda es baja durante el verano, la energГ­a
se almacenarГЎ en una presa de agua en la
que se calentarГЎn entre 190 y 200 millones
de litros de agua. De esta manera la energГ­a se podrГЎ utilizar en el invierno, cuando la gente prenda su calefacciГіn de
Un aspecto importante de la demanda
para los sistemas de calefacciГіn solares
grandes es la inseguridad con respecto a la
evoluciГіn de los precios en el mercado de
los combustibles fГіsiles. Una instalaciГіn
solar de calefacciГіn tiene una vida Гєtil prevista de por lo menos 25 aГ±os. AdemГЎs de
la inversiГіn en la instalaciГіn misma hay
que sumar los gastos para el mantenimiento y operaciГіn durante este periodo, mientras la energГ­a del sol es gratis. Eso significa que durante 25 aГ±os, usted tiene gastos
fijos garantizados para energГ­a, ademГЎs de
reducir su dependencia de combustibles
fГіsiles. Seguridad y un riesgo mГ­nimo se
han convertido en un fuerte argumento de
compra. ”Las estaciones de calefacción de
distrito daneses han descubierto en los Гєltimos aГ±os que la calefacciГіn solar de gran
escala no es solamente una inversiГіn correcta, sino tambiГ©n un gestiГіn de negocio
muy astuta. Especialmente los costos fijos
a largo plazo son una motivaciГіn importante que impulsa la demanda. Este conocimiento se estГЎ difundiendo internacionalmente y esperamos ya para este aГ±o un
gran avance para nuestras exportaciones,”
asegura SГёren Elisiussen, director general
de Arcon.
TambiГ©n en el campo de las aplicaciones existen bastantes diferencias regionales. En Europa el sector para casas
multifamiliares es especialmente fuerte.
Mientras mГЎs al sur vaya uno, mГЎs se reduce la demanda para calefacciГіn. Por con-
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
EnErgГЌa TErmoSolar
siguiente, en Europa central se utilizan mГЎs
las instalaciones combinadas. Los hoteles
en todo el mundo tienen una alta demanda
de agua caliente, pero el hecho de que el
calentamiento solar es la mejor opciГіn todavГ­a sigue sin ser de conocimiento general para el sector hotelero de Europa central.
El sector de turismo del MediterrГЎneo y del
Medio Oriente se interesa mucho mГЎs por
el calentamiento solar. En cambio, el sector
de procesos industriales es mencionado
por las empresas en Asia como un campo
importantede aplicaciГіn.
Entonces, ВїcuГЎles sectores estГЎn ahora
de moda y cuГЎles no? AquГ­ se ve que el
campo de procesos industriales solares no
es un negocio fГЎcil. En ningГєn otro sector
indicaron tantos encuestados que la demanda se estГЎ reduciendo. En cambio, muchas empresas ven un fuerte aumento en la
calefacciГіn de agua para casas multifamiliares y en el sector de turismo. En total, los
escГ©pticos representan la minorГ­a. En general la mayorГ­a de las empresas ven las instalaciones de gran escala con optimismo.
Sin embargo, las instalaciones de
procesos industriales se pueden utilizar
tambiГ©n en regiones con radiaciГіn solar de
menos intensidad, como Alemania. Ritter
XL Solar instalГі para el transporte pГєblico
de Colonia un sistema que proporciona calor para el secado de pintura en el taller de
pintura. AllГ­ los autobuses y tranvГ­as de la
red pГєblica reciben un nuevo aspecto. Un
ГЎrea total de 237 m2 proporciona calor a
una temperatura nominal de 70 °C a un sistema de almacenamiento de 3 depósitos intermedios de 8,400 litros cada uno. ”Una
particularidad de estos colectores es que
se pueden suministrar en ejecuciГіn libre
de silicona para el uso en talleres de pintura,” dijo el director de clientes claves Martin
Willige. Aunque solo se pudo realizar una
orientaciГіn oeste-suroeste de los tubos de
vacГ­o, la red de transporte puede contar
con un rendimiento anual de por lo menos
80 MWh, que implica un rendimiento especГ­fico de por lo menos 355 kWh/mВІ/a.
para la transferenClasificaciГіn segГєn sector
cia del calor. Esta
tГ©cnica se encuentra en el 21 % de las
instalaciones. El
caso especial de
los colectores de
aire utiliza ventiladores para la circulaciГіn del medio
de la transferencia
tГ©rmica: el aire.
La producciГіn y
el almacenamiento
del agua caliente
modalidades. El sistema
mГЎs sencillo y mГЎs
barato deja el agua
destinada al uso
domГ©stico fluir directamente por los colectores. La importanIlustraciГіn 3: La calefacciГіn de agua para casas
cia de la higiene es imprescindible en tales
multifamiliares y los hoteles son los sectores
sistemas. Este tipo se usa en el 19 % de las
mГЎs importantes de las instalaciones de gran
instalaciones (vea ilustraciГіn 5). El uso del
escala. Se calculГі los porcentajes segГєn las
agua domГ©stica en el sistema de circurespuestas de los encuestados, sin tomar en
laciГіn se imposibilita en lugares donde Г©scuenta la cantidad absoluta de las instalaВ­
ta se puede congelar en el invierno. En tales
Fuente: Encuesta de los fabricantes
Conceptos tГ©cnicos varГ­an
En la mayorГ­a de las instalaciones de gran
escala solares hay bombas que transfieren
calor de los colectores hacia el depГіsito
(vea ilustraciГіn 4). En promedio entre todas
las empresas, las bombas se utilizan en el
58 por ciento de las instalaciones. Un caso
especial entre los sistemas con bombas es
el concepto �drainback’, en el cual el sistema se vacía cuando está fuera de uso
(13 %). Los sistemas de termosifГіn que funcionan sin bombas utilizan la gravedad
Solar Edition
EnErgÍa TErmoSolar – SiSTEmaS DE gran EScala
Tipos de instalaciones
IlustraciГіn 4: Las instalaciones de gran
escala son por lo general sistemas forzВ­
ados. Se calculГі los porcentajes segГєn las
respuestas de los encuestados, sin tomar
en cuenta la cantidad absoluta de las
Fuente: Encuesta de los fabricantes
ProducciГіn de agua domГ©stica caliente
IlustraciГіn 5: Las instalaciones incluyen
mayormente un depГіsito para el agua
domГ©stica. La generaciГіn de agua de
consumo mediante estaciones de agua
fresca estГЎ cobrando importancia. El
calentamiento del agua directamente
en los colectores se considera regresivo
segГєn los encuestados. Se calculГі los
porcentajes segГєn las respuestas de los
encuestados, sin tomar en cuenta la cantiВ­
dad absoluta de las instalaciones.
Fuente: Encuesta de los fabricantes
casos se utilizan anticongelantes para la
fuerte tendencia hacia los sistemas de
transferencia de calor, aunque existen las
agua dulce, en otras partes del mundo se
excepciones como el sistema drainback o
utilizan sobre todo los medios mГЎs
el Aqua-system de Ritter. La mayorГ­a de
econГіmicos que calientan el agua en los
las instalaciones de gran escala
colectores mismos.
cuentan por tanto con un depГіsiВїCuГЎnto cuesta una instalaciГіn de gran
to para el agua domГ©stica, que
escala? Vladimir Tsintsiper, el director tГ©cse separa del sistema de cirnico del fabricante de colectores Alpha-InculaciГіn solar por medio de
notec Sun GmbH estima el costo especГ­fico
un termocambiador (64
de tales sistemas en Europa de 500 a 600 €/
%). TambiГ©n en estos sism2. Г‰ste es el costo tambiГ©n de la instatemas se tienen que almalaciГіn de Siko Solar para la casa multifamilcenar grandes cantidades
iar pasiva. Pero, algunas instalaciones
de agua caliente para el
pueden costar hasta el doble o aГєn mГЎs.
uso domГ©stico. AllГ­ es donArcon puede ofertar sus instalaciones
de se puede establecer la
incluyendo el depГіsito estacional por solo
peligrosa bacteria legionela
300 €/m2. Aún más baratas son las instabajo las condiciones propicias.
laciones que producen el agua caliente en
Se forman depГіsitos de lechadas
los colectores mismos. En una instalaciГіn
de cal, que pueden servir como un
para un hotel en Corea del Norte, Himin Sosuelo alimentario para las bacterias. Por
lar alcanzó el precio de 200 €/m2. El precio
eso, estos sistemas se tienen que calentar
mГЎs econГіmico fue la instalaciГіn para el
regularmente a temperaturas de por lo
alojamiento militar con justo 43 €/m2. A
menos 70 В°C para eliminar los gГ©rmenes
este precio, se recuperarГ­a la inversiГіn en
con seguridad.
tan solo 20 meses. Las empresas centroeuSe puede evitar todo eso utilizando los
ropeas sГіlo pueden soГ±ar con plazos de
depГіsitos intermedios, produciendo el
amortizaciГіn tan cortos. Con Siko Solar el
agua caliente sГіlo entonces cuando se la
plazo es de 12 aГ±os. Pero de todos modos
usa. TambiГ©n se estГЎn usando cada vez
el kilovatio hora de calefacciГіn solar cuesmГЎs los mГіdulos de agua dulce, que utilita solamente 5,3 cГ©ntimo de euro. Eso es
zan el agua caliente del depГіsito intermemucho menos de lo que se tiene que pagar
dio para calentar el agua domГ©stica sobre
en Europa para el gas natural.
las placas de calefacciГіn.
Jens-Peter Meyer
Los mГіdulos de agua
pueden utilizar o con una
central para un edificio entero, o con
descentralizada en
apartamentos individuales. Especialmente las instalaciones centrales estГЎn cobrando
importancia. Muchos
de los encuestados las ven
en ascenso sobre los sistemas que almacenan el agua
Vivienda multifamiliar pasiva Lodenareal
caliente. En la casa multifaUbicaciГіn de la planta
Innsbruck, Austria
miliar mГЎs grande en que
Sistema construido para
Vivienda multifamiliar para 354 familias
Siko Solar GmbH de Austria
Tipo de sistema
ha instalado un conjunto
Superficie de colector
854 m2
solar, tambiГ©n se utiliza la
TamaГ±o del tanque
80.000 litros
tГ©cnica de agua dulce. Pero
Costes del sistema
480.000 €
aquГ­ tambiГ©n se pueden
(incluida la instalaciГіn)
notar diferencias regionalPrecio calentamiento
0,053 €/kWh (por 25 años)
es. Mientras en Estados UnRentabilidad de la inversiГіn
12 aГ±os
idos y Europa se nota una
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
EnErgГ­a tErmosolar En Brasil
Foto: dpa
Falta mucho aГєn
El sector termosolar ha tenido un Г©xito consistente y muestra buenas prospectivas para la
expansiГіn, sin embargo, en el clima econГіmico nublado de hoy y los tiempos difГ­ciles
actuales, el lema del dГ­a es la precauciГіn.
l mercado termosolar brasileГ±o estГЎ
cumpliendo 35 aГ±os. Durante este
tiempo, la tecnologГ­a ha mostrado
su viabilidad como una fuente indepenВ­
diente y sostenible de energГ­a con un
crecimiento persistente. Eso se debe
sobre todo al clima favorable, con un nivel
de radiaciГіn solar de casi el doble que en
algunos paГ­ses europeos. AdemГЎs, gracias
a esta riqueza solar junto con las normas
de construcciГіn muy compatibles, ha sido
posible desarrollar soluciones sencillas y
significativamente menos costosas,
aunque sin sacrificar ni la funcionalidad ni
la eficacia.
Estos factores: alta radiaciГіn solar y
bajo costo, conjuntamente con precios de
energГ­a convencional cada vez mГЎs altos,
han creado un mercado robusto capaz de
hacer competencia con otras fuentes de
energГ­a para la calefacciГіn del agua
domГ©stica. Aparte de la conciencia sobre
el medio ambiente y el aumento en el conВ­
fort que brinda la energГ­a termosolar, con
el tiempo, los clientes han comenzado a
considerar la energГ­a solar tambiГ©n como
una buena oportunidad para la inversiГіn
financiera. En algunas regiones de Brasil,
un calentador de agua solar recupera su
costo en menos de dos aГ±os sin ninguna
Solar Edition
AZISSA2014_SWE_90x125_Spanisch_Layout 1 11.06.14 10:16 Seite 1
EnErgГ­a tErmosolar En Brasil
mediante los ahorros en la
electricidad. Y ahora un prograВ­
ma de etiquetado nacional muy
eficaz ha aportado la credibilidad
necesaria para las inversiones de
largo plazo. El mercado se ha estabiВ­
lizado y las empresas solares del paГ­s
han crecido tanto, que hoy en dГ­a generВ­
an tanta energГ­a como la planta nuclear
Angra 1 en el estado de RГ­o de Janeiro.
Potencial aГєn no explotado
Sin los factores restrictivos que se encuenВ­
tran en la macroeconomГ­a, la realidad poВ­
drГ­a ser aГєn mГЎs propicia para la energГ­a
termosolar. La economГ­a brasileГ±a ha sufВ­
rido tasas de interГ©s elevadas, una eleВ­
vada presiГіn fiscal y una inflaciГіn incГіmoВ­
da. La escasez de estГ­mulo directo o esВ­
quemas de crГ©dito junto con el bajo poder
adquisitivo de los consumidores han creaВ­
do un matiz que inhibe la adquisiciГіn de
calentadores de agua domГ©stica por parte
del consumidor.
Entonces, ВїcuГЎl es el potencial verdaВ­
dero de la energГ­a termosolar en Brasil?
Existe un potencial geogrГЎfico vasto, alВ­
canzando las clases sociales con un poder
adquisitivo mГЎs bajo y con un incremento
del uso en los sectores industriales y comВ­
erciales. Un anГЎlisis detallado estarГ­a mГЎs
allГЎ del alcance de este artГ­culo, pero sГ­
podemos tratar unos de los indicadores
El mercado para el agua caliente
domГ©stica representa el 83 por ciento del
mercado del calentamiento solar braВ­
sileГ±o con el 17 por ciento que queda
ocupando el uso industrial y comercial.
Sin embargo, el consumo industrial de la
electricidad es como dos veces mГЎs
grande que el consumo residencial. AsГ­
que con un crecimiento del sector indusВ­
trial alcanzando el nivel del sector resiВ­
dencial, el mercado serГ­a cinco veces mГЎs
grande. A pesar de la sencillez de esta esВ­
timaciГіn, todavГ­a demuestra la existencia
de un potencial bastante grande por alВ­
canzar, sobre todo en los procesos indusВ­
triales con rangos de temperatura media
(hasta 90В° C).
Otra manera de evaluar el mercado
serГ­a comparГЎndolo con otros paГ­ses. AleВ­
mania por ejemplo tiene una concenВ­
traciГіn de colectores solares por persona
cinco veces mГЎs grande que Brasil,
aunque su consumo de electricidad per
cГЎpita es tres veces mГЎs grande. TomanВ­
do en cuenta su consumo de energГ­a total
mГЎs bajo, Brasil tendrГ­a que aumentar su
capacidad 1,7 veces para alcanzar el misВ­
mo nivel de Alemania. Se ve claramente
que a pesar de las ventajas en costo y efiВ­
cacia, a las estrategias para estimular el
uso de la tecnologГ­a todavГ­a les falta muВ­
cho para alcanzar el potencialen el uso de
la tecnologГ­a.
Un factor clave para el crecimiento del
mercado que todavГ­a estГЎ tomando impulВ­
so es la inclusiГіn del calentamiento del
agua domГ©stica en los programas residenВ­
ciales federales y estatales. Tan solo en el
programa de promociГіn federal Minha Casa
Minha Vida (Mi Casa Mi Vida), con solo el
apoyo parcial del calentamiento solar del
agua domГ©stica, se estima que se instaВ­
larГЎn unos 350 mil aparatos durante el tranВ­
scurso de tres aГ±os.
Una vez implementada, la certificaciГіn
obligatoria de productos termosolares en
el esquema brasileГ±o de etiquetado serГЎ
tambiГ©n un factor importante para el crecВ­
imiento de la calidad en la industria ademГЎs
de mejorar el fundamento para el crecВ­
imiento sostenible y proveer nuevas perВ­
spectivas para el futuro.
ObstГЎculos y riesgos
Estas estimaciones aproximadas demВ­
uestran el potencial, pero sin embargo
existen mГЎs de un obstГЎculo para
expandir el uso limitado de la energГ­a terВ­
mosolar en la actualidad. El sector de los
procesos industriales, por ejemplo, se
encuentra aГєn en la fase inicial. La
creaciГіn de una cadena de valor, entreВ­
namiento profesional, investigaciГіn y
desarrollo, referencias de diseГ±o,
conocimiento del uso y modelos de negoВ­
cio apropiados necesitarГЎn tiempo y
esfuerzo. Existen actualmente unos proВ­
gramas, pero igual que la formaciГіn del
primer mercado, la unidad y coordinaciГіn
de las diversas partesinvolucradas son
fundamentales para generar el impulso
El gobierno tiene un papel imВ­
prescindible para promover la peneВ­
traciГіn del mercado entre las clases soВ­
ciales con menos poder adquisitivo y en
las regiones menos desarrolladas y aquГ­
tambiГ©n se nota un enlace clave con la
situaciГіn macroeconГіmica. Aunque es
poco posible el surgimiento de dificultaВ­
des en la polГ­tica de vivienda social, que
ya es considerada como un Г©xito, el
riesgo de una estructura industrial
basada en un segmento muy dependiente
de incentivos gubernamentales podrГ­a
ser considerable. Eventos recientes en la
industria de energГ­a renovable europea
demuestran claramente la existencia de
este peligro.
A corto plazo es necesario considerar
la terminaciГіn de programas econГіmicos
destinados a la estimulaciГіn del consumo
adoptados despuГ©s de la crisis global en
2008. Con resultados inmediatos pero
efГ­meros, se conocen ahora como una
especie de vГґo de galinha, o pelea de
gallinas, tГ©rmino usado por los brasileГ±os
para designar las rachas econГіmicas de
poca duraciГіn. Las consecuencias de esta
polГ­tica es la disminuciГіn del crecimienВ­
to econГіmico acompaГ±ada por un
resurgimiento de la inflaciГіn, el deterioro
de las finanzas pГєblicas, el incremento
de las tasas claves de interГ©s y la
devaluaciГіn de la moneda nacional. El
conjunto de estos efectos crea una reducВ­
ciГіn en el poder adquisitivo de la pobВ­
laciГіn y una desviaciГіn de las inversiones
productivas del sector financiero. Eso
tiene un impacto evidente en el sector de
la construcciГіn civil, que es fundaВ­
mental para la industria de la calefacciГіn
De un lado, tenemos que estar conВ­
scientes de la situaciГіn actual con reВ­
specto a la energГ­a. El paГ­s padece ahora
de una sequГ­a bastante grave. Como la
infraestructura elГ©ctrica estГЎ basada
principalmente en la energГ­a hidroelГ©ctriВ­
ca, las consecuencias podrГЎn ser serias,
resultando en el racionamiento de enВ­
ergГ­a, cargos adicionales en las tarifas e
incrementos de costo inevitables. En una
situaciГіn como esta, el calentamiento soВ­
lar del agua domГ©stica es aГєn mГЎs atracВ­
tivo. AdemГЎs, como habrГЎ una elecciГіn
presidencial este aГ±o, al electorado se le
obsequiarГЎn los regalitos econГіmicos
hasta el fin de 2014, mientras las deciВ­
siones polГ­ticas necesarias menos popuВ­
lares serГЎn postergadas hasta el 2015.
En resumen, la industria de calentaВ­
miento industrial demuestra un exceВ­
lente potencial de expansiГіn, pero aГєn le
falta mucho para alcanzarlo. Se puede
contar definitivamente con la seguridad
e integridad del mercado residencial,
por su madurez, tradiciГіn y viabilidad;
pero la dinГЎmica de la situaciГіn
macroeconГіmica actual exige mucha
Carlos Artur Alencar*
* Carlos Artur Alencar es el director del Enalter Eng.
Ind. Com. Ltda., ex presidente y actual asesor al
departamento nacional de calefacciГіn solar, DASOL,
de la asociaciГіn brasileГ±a de aire acondicionado,
ventilaciГіn, y calefacciГіn, ABRAVA.
Sun & Wind Energy 6/2014
The Magazine for Renewable energies
ISSN 1861-2741 74714
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