Heraeus Photovoltaics says its ‘selectively coated ribbons’ improve solar module power gains

SCR PV ribbon

Heraeus Photovoltaics, a technology solution provider for the renewable energy industry, formed a joint manufacturing and sales partnership with Ulbrich Solar Technologies t0 manufacture and market the new Heraeus line of patented advanced Selectively Coated Ribbons (SCR) for module manufacturing customers.

PV ribbons play an important role in the manufacture of solar cell modules, interconnecting the cells together to a string that is placed inside the module. While traditional PV ribbons typically have a solder coating on them, the Heraeus SCR is a tabbing ribbon designed with stripes of highly-reflective white coating running across its edges, with the solder coating in the middle. As a result, the new design delivers significant improvements in functionality and performance, namely:

  • A power gain of up to 2.2 watts on module level;
  • All relevant soldering technologies tested and compatibility with different stringers proven;
  • Reliability tests have been successfully completed: TCT 400 passed and 240 kWh/m² UV-DH passed;
  • Versatility to work on conventional module designs as well as modules made with half-cut cells and bifacial modules.

This first of its kind coated ribbons deliver increased power while providing solar module manufacturers a “plug and play” solution that easily integrates into their existing manufacturing process without requiring any additional equipment.

Peter Berghofer, the General Manager of Ulbrich of Austria GmbH, said, “New products for module manufacturing need to meet demanding requirements and must be cost competitive, innovative and reliable. The new SCR fulfils those expectations by increasing the power of every single module without any investment or additional effort for the module manufacturers. We expect this product to be a real game changer in module manufacturing.”

— Solar Builder magazine

How a sealant pump reduced solar panel waste by 50 percent


Diagram provided by Shanghai Shengpu.

Based in Shanghai, China, Shanghai Shengpu entered the solar market in 2008 and is a primary developer of systems solar manufacturers use to dispense sealant that bonds solar panels together. While Shanghai Shengpu’s dispensing systems are prevalent in the solar industry, its systems are also prominent in the gas and electronics industries. Shanghai Shengpu dispensing systems account for 80 percent of all solar panel bonding systems in China, helping to contribute to the $43 billion solar market, and several of its module manufacturing clients will be opening up facilities in the United States in the coming years.

Pump upgrade

Before Shanghai Shengpu took its dispensing systems to the solar panel market, it conducted an assessment of its existing equipment to confirm that it was still working with the best products to develop its dispensing systems. Every solar panel plant conducts a process called “framing,” where they attach an aluminum frame onto the solar panel. During framing, the dispensing system is used to lay down the sealant that adheres the aluminum frame to the glass panel.

Shanghai Shengpu evaluated the framing process and found that there was an opportunity to improve the existing system by incorporating a piston pump package from ARO, a brand of Ingersoll Rand.

Sealant dispensing systems all have a piston pump package that includes the transfer sealant, a metering unit to ensure dispensing accuracy, a dispensing valve for on/off control and a work table to hold the frame and control the movement of the dispensing valve. After the dispensing process is complete, the frames are transferred by machine or by manpower to the panel assembly machine. When developed correctly, a solar panel should last for about 25 to 30 years from installation to retirement.

For Shanghai Shengpu, an ARO piston pump package was a better fit for ensuring proper panel development compared to the previously used pump system for three key reasons:

  1. ARO piston pumps offer the right
    pressure for sealant dispensing
  2. ARO piston pumps offer service
    packages for pump repair or maintenance
  3. The ARO team proposed many pump
    suggestions that were applied to improve the dispensing process

“The implementation of the ARO piston pump package into our dispensing systems brought immediate benefits to our process,” said Fu Jianyi, general manager at Shanghai Shengpu. “The biggest improvement was the ARO team’s recommendation to implement a new follower plate. Previously, sealant was left behind in the drum resulting in a significant amount of waste. With the help of ARO, we improved the structure of the plate resulting in 50 percent less waste.”

With a wide selection of pressure ratios and displacement rates available, ARO offers a variety of application packages preconfigured with the right motor, piston pump, mount, controls and downstream accessories. Packages range and offer multiple configurations, including single-post, two-post and heavy-duty two-post, to ensure the best solution for the application. Preassembled and validated application packages eliminate the guesswork that comes with choosing the optimal pump. For Shanghai Shengpu, the ARO 55-gallon, two-post ram piston pump package was best suited for creating the dispensing system.

A Growing Market

When Shanghai Shengpu implemented the ARO piston pump package into its dispensing system development process, it was able to see significant improvements. In a market that is set to grow significantly over the next several years, ensuring that solar panels are developed the best way possible is only going to help the market get there faster.

Jim Artmann is Global Product Leader for ARO.

— Solar Builder magazine

Titan Solar Power partners with Silfab Solar for module deployment

silfab solar modules

Silfab Solar announced a new partnership with PM&M Electric, Inc. – doing business as Titan Solar Power, one of the nation’s 2018 top solar rooftop contractor. Titan Solar’s initial commitment includes the Silfab 300 W and 320 W modules, and are expected to represent a good portion of Titan’s more than 80-MW annual portfolio. Sales of Silfab panels were initiated by Titan’s team in August.

“Silfab’s ongoing commitment to premium quality modules built in North America ensured our sales teams had access to the most competitive solar solution in the U.S. market,” said David Williamson, President and CEO of Titan Solar Power, adding that Silfab is also providing strategic sales support to Titan.

RELATED: Report: When given the choice, homeowners are going with premium modules

Based in Arizona, PM&M Electric/Titan Solar Power has quickly grown over the past five years to become the leading residential solar company in the country. Due to industry demand increase, the company has opened offices in Yuma, AZ and Tucson, AZ. Additionally, the company has expanded its market to include affiliate branches in Albuquerque, NM; Las Vegas; Thonotosassa, FL; and soon to open Titan Solar Power California, Inc. and Titan Solar Power Texas, Inc.

Silfab continues to grow its distribution partnerships and sales networks with PV modules now present in 33 states and Puerto Rico. Silfab recently announced a partnership with DSM to mass produce high-power back-contact PV solar modules, has launched its first United States manufacturing operation and extended its warranty to 25 years.

— Solar Builder magazine

Largest landfill solar project in U.S. procures REC Solar panels

Annapolis Solar Park, Maryland, US_Sep 2018_2_lowrez

REC Group, the leading European brand for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, is powering the Annapolis Solar Park in Annapolis, Md. Designed and constructed by EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions, the 18.1 MW large system is expected to generate 24,000 MWh annually, enough to power 2,200 average US households.

The installation with REC TwinPeak 2S 72-cell solar panels at 345Wp was energized in June 2018. A subsidiary of Building Energy, a multinational IPP in the renewable energy industry is the owner of the project.

According to the EPA, the Annapolis Renewable Energy Park is the largest closed landfill solar project in North America. It covers 80 acres of previously unusable landfill with REC’s award-winning TwinPeak panels with half-cut PERC cells.

“The Annapolis solar installation is a remarkable example of how communities can convert a formerly unusable landfill property into a powerhouse supplier of clean energy that creates also hundreds of new jobs,” comments Cary Hayes, President of REC Americas LLC proudly.

“Likewise, old coal mine areas offer an opportunity to switch to clean solar energy. Considering the fact that the retirement of outdated coal power plants in the U.S. continues rapidly due to decreasing economics, connected coal mines have the chance for a ‘second life’ by being converted to solar parks,” Hayes adds. According to the Sierra Club, since 2010, 274 coal-fired power plants have been retired in the U.S. or are proposed to be retired by a specific date.

— Solar Builder magazine

Sunflare debuts new lightweight PV solutiont for parking structures

sunflare carport vegas

Sunflare is a light, thin, rugged solar system that is changing the residential solar roof concept and ready to do the same for parking structures. Sunflare modules are lighter than silicon, so they can go where other solar can’t. That means there’s no need for heavy steel replacement, which is required with traditional solar. This also means there’s no dusty structure demolition and removal. The net result is minimal disruption or displacement of tenants, customers, and employees.

The additional benefit of not having to construct a new parking structure is that there’s no potential hassle with new code compliance—which sometimes requires changes to parking lots—an additional project that can be disruptive, time consuming and costly in and of itself.

Look for the solar parking retrofit presentation at Solar Power International booth 2482.


Unlike traditional solar panels that are covered in glass, Sunflare modules are more rugged because the Sun2 cells are encapsulated between durable polymer sheets. So often you see mangled car port roofs where high profile trucks misjudge the height and crush the frame. If that happens with silicon panels on the carport, the accident is likely to damage the solar panel as well. With Sunflare, the panel will flex as the roof is bent. The damage is limited to the structure and not the energy system.

In addition, Sunflare modules have bypass diodes at every cell. When trees or other structures shade areas of a parking cover, only the cell that is shaded becomes inactive. The remainder of the panel continues to generate power.

Installation is fast and easy. With Sunflare’s mechanical attachments, modules can be added on any structure with no time wasted with racking or cumbersome staging. Installation is quick, and secure. Sunflare modules do not require chemical adhesion. That means Sunflare works on any profile of metal or any other material.

Sunflare modules have a 25-year linear production, 25-year workmanship warranty.

— Solar Builder magazine