Precious Metals Forum

Go Back   Precious Metals Forum > Precious Metals and Economic News > Silver Bug

Like Tree6Likes
  • 1 Post By swissaustrian
  • 1 Post By PMBug
  • 2 Post By DCFusor
  • 2 Post By DCFusor

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-04-2012, 11:03 AM   #1
Yellow Jacket
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,053
Liked: 925 times
German solar manufacturer reduces silver usage by 50-70%

If this technology goes viral, it could have a huge impact on industrial demand:
Quote :
21.09.2012
Roth & Rau achieves industry-leading silver savings in solar cells

50 – 70% savings in silver
Process developed for front and rear side coating with nickel
Production tool available for immediate use in solar cell production

Meyer Burger Technology Ltd (SIX Swiss Exchange: MBTN) today announced that its Group member Roth & Rau AG [Frankfurt stock exchange: R8R] has developed a process which uses inexpensive nickel in busbar metallisation for the electrical contacting of solar cells. The coating process includes both the front and rear sides of the cell within a production tool. This process, which is immediately available, significantly differentiates Roth & Rau from its competitors.

Depending on the contact technology, a saving of between 50 and 70% in expensive silver and therefore a significant reduction in the production cost of solar cells can be achieved
. A further benefit from the process is the fact that nickel is a readily available material. This means that solar cell manufacturers are not tied to specific suppliers as is the case with other materials.

The HELiA system, which was developed primarily for the production of high efficiency heterojunction cells, coats the solar cells with nickel in a shortened system configuration to form the front and rear busbars. This is achieved by means of a sputtering process. In contrast to other systems, the HELiA system permits simultaneous processing not only of the rear surface but also of the front surface on which there is a significantly greater potential for savings.

A further decisive benefit of this new process is the outstanding adhesion of the cell connectors to the front and rear surfaces of the solar cell as a result of the nickel metallisation in standard soldering processes. The metallisation of the fingers can thus take place regardless of the electrical characteristics of the busbar and be optimised to match them. In this way, the metallisation of the fingers is de-coupled from the solderability of the busbar, thereby enabling the use of new pastes and metallisation processes that do not currently achieve reliable solderability. The performance of solar cells coated with this process is comparable with that of solar cells metallised in the conventional way by screen printing.

The concept and associated system will be presented at the Meyer Burger stand (Hall 3, E2) at the upcoming EUPVSEC trade fair in Frankfurt from 25-28 September.
http://www.roth-rau.de/konzern/roth/...tum=0&log=2012
PMBug likes this.
swissaustrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
Predaceous stink bug
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 110
Liked: 54 times
Perfect!

This means there will be just enough silver mined to be MINTED.

Money is back.
drAGonfly47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
Golden Cockroach
 
PMBug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: In Scrooge McDuck's vault
Posts: 7,014
Liked: 2443 times
This is good news for solar energy. If the cost of panels comes down significantly as a result, it may make solar more affordable for people currently on the fence/margin.
Jay likes this.
__________________
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. - Lao Tzu

Important stuff: PMBug 101 * Forum Guidelines * Support PMBug
PMBug is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 07:11 AM   #4
Fly on the wall
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Hudson Valley NY
Posts: 49
Liked: 11 times
Perhaps ill be able to afford solar panels now

Hopefully that doesnt decrease the energy it creates by 70%
silvercoinrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 12:55 PM   #5
Yellow Jacket
 
rblong2us's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: off world
Posts: 1,965
Liked: 870 times
The day pv can stand up as an investment without any subsidy will be a good one.

I, for one, will happily purchase panels when this happens, probably even before, as future energy costs seem pretty predictable ......

and i will not need any clipboard wielding 'expert' to explain how to achieve a payback nor gov approved installer (-;
__________________
if it cant be done with a digger .... it cant be done
rblong2us is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 04:03 PM   #6
Yellow Jacket
 
DCFusor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Floyd, Virginia
Posts: 1,682
Liked: 1233 times
My PV's seem to be pretty good. The crash and bubbles didn't affect them one bit, and they pay dividends every day. Payout times vary of course, but the silver really isn't the big cost driver of *quality* panels, and neither is the silicon. It's the glass and frame - look at similar sized quality windows at the hardware store. There's not much of a difference per sq foot.

I consider this almost as much a preservation of wealth issue as PM's except these do have a payout now.

My latest were Schott, who tried to save on the glass (their expertise) by making it too thin. They wound up shipping me twenty to get me the 12 good ones I ordered.
They didn't know how to pack them right, and they were just too thin.

You can't cheat that one. $1.40/watt, more or less (times at my location 4.5 noon equivalent hours a day averaged over one year). They went out of the business shortly thereafter - you just can't cheat on something that's exposed to the elements.

Remember, kWH aren't the only junk on your power bill, nor do you have any say in it going up whenever they feel like it (Or the EPA demands extra costs, since the state corp commissions guarantee them a profit no matter what). Most of the comparisons on payback time are therefore utterly spurious - as if electricity would not go up for decades, we know better than that one, it's doubled around here lately, when old dirty coal plants fell off the grandfather clause and had to be rebuilt - with a payback time to the company of essentially zero - on the backs of rate payers.

I'd rather have Cramer pick my stocks.

The thin film panels have shown a very short lifetime due to micro-cracking. This nickel might have the same issue - it work-hardens in the thermal cycles all panels go through every single day (sometimes more than once). Silver is chosen not only for electrical conductivity (aluminium would be cheaper) but that - and a big part of the science in making a good panel is to have a backing that has the same thermal tempco as the cells - else something cracks. The thick poly crystalline silicons hold up the best - I've got some 35 years old that still do 70% of the original ratings.

Those were made by BP solar, who in their fantastic timing, shut down US production just before they oiled up the gulf. And so I got the last 10 or so at fire sale prices as the distributors didn't want to deal with them anymore. Like half price. Nice - they were the highest quality out there, which is why they didn't make so much money on them.

I've bought some of the "new tech" ones, and have yet to have one last longer than 6 months due to microcracking, at which point the company declares chap 7 to avoid warranty payoffs. It's a rip, misses the point (it has to last long enough to be worth it, and it's not like (re)installing it is easy/cheap either).

Don't forget also that solar guys are obsessive conservers. I'm using about 5=6kwh in 24 hours, sans the electric car (13 kwh from empty to full, but that's not every day or always empty).

So don't think you'd wind up having to buy enough panels to support a wasteful lifestyle. A little looking at the numbers tempers that one quick - you'll stop wasting power - cheaper to conserve than to generate. Which of course, also saves money on a regular power bill, just not as much, those fees and taxes have a way of hanging around even if you don't buy any kWH at all.

Conservation need not be that painful. Things like all "vampire" loads on power strips, so their soft-on feature doesn't draw 15w per appliance. Led or CCFL lights that get turned off when a room is unoccupied. Hot showers by plan, rather than anytime, but enough - you do them on sunny days when there is extra.

Today, in winter, I drove my car more than half empty at noon, and charged it back up before sundown (house batteries full too), leaving the 250w computer on while I was gone. Not that bad....and no bill since 1979 from a power co. It adds up to freedom AND money.
bushi and benjamen like this.
DCFusor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012, 02:53 AM   #7
Ground Beetle
 
mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Texan in Sweden
Posts: 549
Liked: 306 times
Originally Posted by silvercoinrn View Post:
Perhaps ill be able to afford solar panels now

Hopefully that doesnt decrease the energy it creates by 70%
Don't worry serf, the government will increase import taxes on solar panels to make sure you stay on the grid. There is already a 31% tariff because the government cares about the environment wants you dependent and on the grid.
__________________
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

H. L. Mencken

comparegoldandsilverprices.com
mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
Yellow Jacket
 
DCFusor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Floyd, Virginia
Posts: 1,682
Liked: 1233 times
All my panels were made in USA, one place or another. Maybe they are protecting us from crap quality panels - there's no shortage of those around, and I've sampled some of those to my chagrin.

I know that the business practices of some Chinese outfits are pretty shabby, rivalling dryships for corruption. "Canadian Solar" is really Chinese solar, FWIW, just made in Canada. But run by thieves.

Prices are falling to the point they can't go much lower anyway, I don't see that as a big problem other than it devolves into some kind of trade war. You already spend similar for racks and labor (even if you mainly pay in beer) to install as you do for the panels themselves. Quality electronics aren't cheap, but seem to last forever; I have some from ~'75 that still work perfectly - and have 24/7/365 the entire time.

Batteries are the real issue for full off-grid uses. Many of us are croaking to get our hands on batteries as good as those in the Chevy Volt system - longer life, less round trip losses, higher peak capability...lead acid *sucks* by comparison to the new stuff.
The new stuff is more complex and will cost more for awhile, but that's initial, not total cost of ownership.

Edit, I note this new thing is for hetero junction cells. It's a neat idea, but ask NASA what those cost compared to anything else (unless you're paying to put them in orbit, they're simply not worthwhile). A heterojunction cell is two (or more) layers to get the most power per sq foot.
This is done by having a very thin top layer that eats UV/blue/green photons at a higher voltage output, but less current, and which is transparent to the redder photons, which are captured by the back half of the cell, giving lower volts but higher current (there are more low energy than high energy photons). You in essence wind up with two sets of panels, that need separate controls - one for the high voltage, low current part, and one for the high current low voltage part. Again, this works when it costs k$/lb to put something in space, but...we mortals are unlikely to see them for a decade or few - which they've been saying for a decade or few.
rblong2us and bushi like this.

Last edited by DCFusor; 11-06-2012 at 10:19 AM.
DCFusor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012, 10:50 AM   #9
Yellow Jacket
 
ancona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Waaay south
Posts: 3,370
Liked: 2046 times
DCFusor,
The batteries you should be clammoring for are nickel iron batteries. They are the absolute bomb for home solar. They are pretty spendy, but last forever and a week.
__________________
All things being equal, the simplest answer is quite often the correct answer - Occam
ancona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012, 12:16 PM   #10
Yellow Jacket
 
DCFusor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Floyd, Virginia
Posts: 1,682
Liked: 1233 times
Bought some used at a high price, and they failed pretty fast, actually. From locomotives. There are several issues. IF you don't keep the right oil over the Li/Na hydroxide, it becomes carbonate from absorbed CO2 from the air, and then carbonates the electrodes - permanently dead. The other big issue is cell voltage swing over 50% between full and discharge, which really messes with the electronics.

Been there, done that, several $k poorer and now wiser. Want half a ton of them, free? They'd have to ship wet and hazmat.
DCFusor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012, 06:46 PM   #11
Fly on the wall
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 34
Liked: 17 times
Originally Posted by swissaustrian View Post:
If this technology goes viral, it could have a huge impact on industrial demand:

http://www.roth-rau.de/konzern/roth/...tum=0&log=2012
LOL no way dude. The germans making that wouldn't put a dent in the price. Just like the miners strikes didn't put a surge in the price.

Even if they do find 50-70% less, they'll need more of it anyways and even MORE of it for MANY other uses.

No worries on this one!
ILOVETRADING is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012, 08:42 PM   #12
Golden Cockroach
 
PMBug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: In Scrooge McDuck's vault
Posts: 7,014
Liked: 2443 times
Cheaper solar may lead to increased sales. Lower silver per panel, but more panels overall...
__________________
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. - Lao Tzu

Important stuff: PMBug 101 * Forum Guidelines * Support PMBug
PMBug is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 05:48 AM   #13
Ground Beetle
 
bushi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 971
Liked: 554 times
...guys, read DCFusor's explanations... it is used in very high-end solar panels, ones NOT targeted for civilian use, (cost prohibitive), so it doesn't really make a bit of difference ATM - they are not mass-produced, they will not be mass-produced for decade(s) to come, if ever.

You must be very careful reading today's "reports" of "new brave discoveries". Most, 90% of it, is a fudge, sensationalism, and lack of understanding.
__________________
“...the issue which has swept down the centuries and will have to be fought sooner or later is the People versus the Banks.
Lord Acton
bushi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 09:20 AM   #14
Yellow Jacket
 
rblong2us's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: off world
Posts: 1,965
Liked: 870 times
Regarding batteries, as far as i could ascertain, the batteries used in the Toyota RAV EV and the GM EV1 were not cutting edge tech, it being 1996 when they were launched / licenced.
However the few RAV EV's that did get sold are still giving a driving range of approx 70% of their initial claimed performance, using the original batteries and charge systems.
RAV EV's make huge money when they come up for sale.

I am led to understand that the biggest problem with batteries is that we fail to 'complete the chemistry' when we charge batteries and that this is deliberate, as battery makers want them to fail over time.
Amusingly, the difference between a car battery warranted for 2 years, rather than one with a 1 year warranty, is that it has LESS plate in it. This being the bit at the bottom.
So when the crud builds up in the bottom of the cells ( which happens due to the incomplete charging that they insist on ) it touches the longer plates sooner and shorts out the cell.

According to a lecture i once attended, the voltage needs to be driven much higher than we are told, ie around 20 volts to top out a 12v battery rather than the 15v we look for on the meter.
There are apparently chargers available that achieve this and 'complete the chemistry'
Probably only relevant for leads acid, cant remember ..... )-:


Be interesting to get the Fusors take on this (-:
__________________
if it cant be done with a digger .... it cant be done
rblong2us is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #15
Fly on the wall
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 34
Liked: 17 times
Originally Posted by rblong2us View Post:
Regarding batteries, as far as i could ascertain, the batteries used in the Toyota RAV EV and the GM EV1 were not cutting edge tech, it being 1996 when they were launched / licenced.
However the few RAV EV's that did get sold are still giving a driving range of approx 70% of their initial claimed performance, using the original batteries and charge systems.
RAV EV's make huge money when they come up for sale.

I am led to understand that the biggest problem with batteries is that we fail to 'complete the chemistry' when we charge batteries and that this is deliberate, as battery makers want them to fail over time.
Amusingly, the difference between a car battery warranted for 2 years, rather than one with a 1 year warranty, is that it has LESS plate in it. This being the bit at the bottom.
So when the crud builds up in the bottom of the cells ( which happens due to the incomplete charging that they insist on ) it touches the longer plates sooner and shorts out the cell.

According to a lecture i once attended, the voltage needs to be driven much higher than we are told, ie around 20 volts to top out a 12v battery rather than the 15v we look for on the meter.
There are apparently chargers available that achieve this and 'complete the chemistry'
Probably only relevant for leads acid, cant remember ..... )-:


Be interesting to get the Fusors take on this (-:
Lithium my friend. Could be the next big thing.

That or should I say - MAGNETS. Think about it!
ILOVETRADING is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Solar Ovens PMBug BSTS 7 09-17-2013 05:12 PM
EU VAT-rate "harmonization" is going to raise silver costs for German investors swissaustrian Silver Bug 14 10-18-2012 03:09 PM
Solar system upgrades DCFusor BSTS 74 05-02-2012 05:31 PM
Another Solar SHAM KMS Fiat Ponzi 7 04-03-2012 07:55 PM
China reduces 2012 silver exports by 5%, could boost prices PMBug Silver Bug 0 11-15-2011 02:07 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® from Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Content of PMBug.com copyright © 2011 - 2019 Measuring Up. All Rights Reserved.