Xinyi Glass Starts New Solar Glass Furnace
On August 23, Hong Kong-based Xinyi Glass ignited a new low-iron patterned
glass furnace at its Wuhu, China, plant. The new furnace has a daily capacity
of 393,000 square feet and will produce Sol-Clear™ patterned solar glass
This new furnace was built in 11 months and will be commissioned toward
the end of 2009. It makes Xinyi among the world’s largest patterned solar
glass substrate manufacturers. With the new lines, the company is able
to offer lites as large as 94 by 132 inches.
The new furnace joins a second furnace with a daily capacity of 236,000
square feet that has been in full operation since January 2008. The former
furnace has been supplying SPF U1 grade solar glass to customers in the
United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and China. In addition to producing
solar glass, Xinyi Glass currently is running four float glass furnaces
with combined daily capacity of 2,860 tons.
SolFocus Expands Glassworks Factory
SolFocus in Mountain View, Calif., has completed the expansion of
its solar glass reflector manufacturing factory in Mesa, Ariz. With a
more than 175-percent increase in manufacturing floor space and a new
line of manufacturing equipment, the SolFocus Glassworks facility will
have the capacity to produce 2 million concentrating reflectors annually
for 30 megawatts (MW) of solar power generation—more than 15 times the
plant’s capacity in 2008.
The proprietary, convex mirrors manufactured at the facility serve are
a component of the company’s concentrating photovltaics (CPV) system design.
As part of a full CPV system, the mirrors reflect the sun’s rays 500 times
onto a solar cell, which enables the system to produce solar power with
conversion efficiency levels of 25 percent.
More than 150 full-time employees are expected to come onboard by the
end of this year.
Saint-Gobain Steps Up Growth in Renewable Energy
As part of its development strategy for solar energy, Saint-Gobain in
France is acquiring Shell’s share of Avancis, which was a joint venture
between the two companies.
Avancis has developed highly competitive thin-film technology to manufacture
photovoltaic (PV) modules. With an annual capacity of 20 megawatts, the
company’s first plant already is operating in Torgau, Germany. This technology
necessitates expertise in glass coating and in glass thermal treatment,
two processes belonging to Saint-Gobain’s core portfolio.
The company provides a vast range of products and services in solar energy
via Saint-Gobain Solar, its new entity which groups all of its solar businesses.
Present across the whole value chain, Saint-Gobain Solar’s strategy hinges
on three activities:
• The making and selling of high-tech components for PV modules and high-performance
mirrors for solar thermal plant operators;
• The production by Avancis of thin-film PV modules using copper, indium,
selenide (CIS) technology, for distributors and
• The design and marketing of PV solutions for residential homes, offices,
industrial installations and farm buildings.
Captured in Glass
Bystronic Glass of Aurora, Colo., is offering a new system for the efficient
encapsulation and sealing of photovoltaic (PV) modules. The system includes
the TPS applicator for encapsulating filmless thin layer modules and a
glass plate washing machine, GW-D, which is used in the production of
thin-layer modules and the field of wafer-based modules.
Developed by Bystronic Lenhardt GmbH, TPS® is an insulating glass
production system that replaces the traditional metallic spacer frame
used between two lites with a thermo plastic spacer. The company reports
that, for encapsulating filmless thin-layer modules, the technology uses
less energy than vacuum lamination. Depending on module size, cycle time
is 30 to 45 seconds. The machine is available in both vertical and horizontal
options and can operate around the clock.
Available as part of a back-end line or as a standalone solution, the
GW-D glass plate washing machine features a unique energy-saving water
treatment process. It offers continuous washing of different glass thicknesses
up to 15 millimeters.
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