Next Generation Solar Products Deliver Greater Value to Customers Through Silicon, Cell, Module and System Improvements
Hanwha Solar, a global provider of total solar energy solutions and a leading manufacturer of silicon ingots, wafers, and photovoltaic cells and modules, introduced a suite of innovative products at Solar Power International (SPI) in conjunction with strategic partners tenKsolar, Silent Power and Crystal Solar. The products will deliver greater value for customers including solar flexibility with energy storage, high energy output through advanced module and system design, and significant manufacturing cost reductions with Epi Thin-SiliconTM technology.
"The next generation of solar PV systems will be highly efficient, flexible and reliable. Hanwha Solar and its partners are on the vanguard of this evolution," said Mark Bronez, president of Hanwha SolarOne North America. "Faced with tremendous pricing pressures, solar companies must differentiate with innovative products that maximize value for customers. Hanwha Solar will continue to build strategic partnerships across the value chain to solidify this company as the most innovative, trusted partner in solar."
The three new products introduced at SPI are the:
OptiMaxTM Module — Highly efficient, reliable, and safe PV module.
OptiMaxTM Wave — Optimized commercial rooftop PV system with the highest energy density available.
SunBankTM — Complete solar power and energy storage system.
Hanwha Solar is also exhibiting a technology concept module featuring next generation silicon cell manufacturing technology:
Epi Thin-SiliconTM Module - Reduced manufacturing costs of up to 50 percent.
The Hanwha Solar OptiMax module, powered by tenKsolar®, is an advanced PV panel designed with optimized cell architecture that maximizes the performance of the module, delivering higher energy output and greater return on investment. The module will be available for residential customers in the first half of 2013.
Hanwha Solar and tenKsolar® formed a strategic partnership in 2012 when the Hanwha Group, Hanwha Solar's parent company, led a series B investment round of $15.5 million in tenKsolar.
Resilient to Shading
The OptiMax module is highly efficient, optimized with integrated cell-level Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT), reducing the impact of shading and soiling.
Easy Array Design
The OptiMax module features parallel wiring with no string or orientation matching and a low fixed-voltage output, which allows for simple and flexible array design.
The performance of the module can be monitored with an integrated diagnostic indicator and built-in RF chipset for remote communication.
The OptiMax module operates at low fixed-voltage and is automatically powered off upon detection of current imbalance, eliminating shock and arc hazards.
The OptiMax Wave, powered by tenKsolar®, is an optimized rooftop solution that delivers high energy density, high power output for commercial applications. The OptiMax Wave will be available later this year in the U.S.
The OptiMax Wave features a number of innovative technologies for high energy output in a completely integrated system.
Highest Energy Density System Available
The OptiMax Wave, utilizing OptiMax module technology, generates more energy per sq. ft. of rooftop than any other PV system available and minimizes annual performance degradation to less than 0.2 percent.
Increased Peak Power
Integrated Light-Smart Reflectors, combined with a Color Mirror Film made by 3M, concentrate energy within the system increasing total peak power by 45 percent.
Lower Balance of System Cost
The OptiMax Wave combines OptiMax PV modules, Light-Smart Reflectors, inverters and light weight racking into a single integrated system for easy and fast design and installation. The completely integrated system also features parallel wiring, minimal ballast and no roof penetration for reduce overall balance of system cost.
The SunBank, jointly developed by Hanwha Solar and Silent Power, integrates Hanwha SolarOne PV panels with the Silent Power distributed energy storage device to offer a complete solar power and energy storage system, available immediately for residential and light commercial use in North America.
Hanwha Solar and Silent Power formed a strategic partnership in 2012 with an $8 million investment led by the Hanwha Group.
The system is available in two sizes to meet the needs of different customers:
Residential: System output of 5 to 10 kW with energy storage capacity of 10 to 20 kWh.
Light commercial: System output of 10 to 30 kW with total storage of 20 to 60 kWh.
The SunBank can also be used to meet utility energy needs, by calling on the aggregate demand response of multiple SunBank systems installed across the grid to provide power during times of peak demand. The Silent Power energy storage system is already being deployed in this manner by a number of utilities, including Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), NV Energy, FirstEnergy, the National rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and Wright Hennepin Energy.
Unlike other grid-tied solar systems, the SunBank is designed to continue producing solar power during grid outages. Standard solar arrays shut down during power outages, eliminating the power generation capabilities of the PV panels.
Features of the SunBank
Grid-tied energy station, solar modules and energy storage system with the freedom to choose between solar and grid energy, day and night.
System continues producing solar power during grid outages.
Battery-agnostic for customer flexibility and choice in building a system that meets their energy needs while fitting their budget.
Advanced control and monitoring software which provides detailed energy information to the customer, including energy production, consumption, and net-metering.
Complete electric grid integration though existing utility cellular, Internet and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) demand response systems.
Epi Thin-SiliconTM Technology Concept Module
Hanwha Solar, in partnership with Crystal Solar Inc., demonstrated the first commercial-scale modules fabricated with patented Epi Thin-Silicon technology. The technology is a direct gas to module process, which reduces operational and capital costs by up to 50 percent compared to standard wafer processes.
"Epi Thin-Silicon technology will pave the way for cost-effective solar power on a global scale," said Chris Eberspacher, chief technology officer of Hanwha SolarOne. "We have just begun to activate our partnerships with innovative companies across the value chain, like Crystal Solar, tenKsolar and Silent Power. Hanwha Solar will continue to develop new technology that meets evolving customer needs."
The direct gas to module process grows high quality, epitaxial silicon directly from gas feedstock to form mono-crystalline silicon wafers just 40 microns thick on reusable 125 mm or 156 mm silicon substrates. Epi Thin-Silicon technology is enabled at commercial scale by Crystal Solar's patented epitaxial reactor, which is capable of high wafer throughput of high quality materials for either p- or n-type wafer growth. Hanwha Solar and Crystal Solar expect to begin initial shipment of Epi Thin-Silicon modules in 2013, reaching high volume production by 2014.
Hanwha Solar formed a partnership with Crystal Solar in 2011 when the Hanwha Group, invested $15 million stake in Crystal Solar.