PennWell’s Photovoltaics World Conference Program Finalized

The conference program for the Photovoltaics World Conference & Expo, to be held February 23-25 in Austin, Texas, has been finalized. Recent advances in photovoltaics technology and manufacturing processes will be addressed, as well as emerging applications for photovoltaic-based solar power generation systems. Information will be presented in two different tracks and seven sessions over a three day program. The conference will be held in conjunction with PennWell’s Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America, which covers all forms of renewable energy, including the wind, solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal, ocean/tidal/wave, bio-power, bio-fuels hydrogen and energy sectors.

The conference program for the Photovoltaics World Conference & Expo, to be held February 23-25, 2010 in Austin, Texas, has been finalized. Recent advances in photovoltaics technology and manufacturing processes will be addressed, as well as emerging applications for photovoltaic-based solar power generation systems. Information will be presented in two different tracks and seven sessions over a three day program. The conference will be held in conjunction with PennWell’s Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America, which covers all forms of renewable energy, including the wind, solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal, ocean/tidal/wave, bio-power, bio-fuels hydrogen and energy sectors. Nearly 4,000 renewable energy power professionals attended the 2009 conference, and strong growth in 2010 is expected.

Opportunities in the photovoltaics (PV) market in 2010 remain strong according to analysts. “Utilities and home-owners are increasingly interested in PV systems and large utility ecosystem partners, such as construction and merchant power generation firms, are looking into photovoltaics,” said Alfonso Velosa, Research Director, Semiconductors, Gartner, Tucson, AZ. Dave Cavanaugh, Senior Analyst, Pike Research, Boulder, CO, is also positive: “Led by a strong recovery of demand in Germany and burgeoning growth in Italy, Japan and the United States, we are forecasting that demand for solar modules in 2010 will grow by 43% to reach almost 6.8GW. This offers great news to a solar industry whose market demand as little as two quarters ago was looking dismal.”

Still, there is some degree of uncertainty about how the PV market will be impacted by the stability of the global economy, the fate of government incentives, feed-in-tariff (FIT) restructuring, and overall sliding module prices. Another uncertainty is which of the many different types of competing photovoltaic technologies will emerge as the winner. Conventional crystalline silicon PV technology remains the market leader, but thin film technologies are rapidly improving and are poised to gain in market share, particularly in the U.S. Organic photovoltaics (PV on plastic substrates) have also shown dramatic improvements of late, and are an ideal choice for some applications.

These and other critical issues will be addressed at the Photovoltaics World Conference. Conference sessions include:

New Frontiers in Photovoltaics Manufacturing: A variety of competing technologies are now being investigated or deployed for photovoltaics/solar cell manufacturing. This session looks at some of the recent advances in these technologies, ranging from simple silicon, to III-V and IV materials. Challenges of photovoltaic cell reliability will be addressed, including that of thin films, crystalline silicon and concentrator PV technologies. New developments in holographic solar concentrators will also be presented, as will new developments in integrated photovoltaic combined thermal systems.

Advances in Photovoltaic Materials: The range of candidate biomass feedstocks (e.g. algae) which have the attributes for success is expanding and many of these will be compared and contrasted. Recent, high impact innovations that enable the use of these feedstocks will be presented.

PV Manufacturing Process Technologies: Photovoltaics manufacturing technology has moved into high volume, with throughput reaching 3000 substrates per hour or more. Development of new processes continues, however, in order to obtain higher cell efficiency, higher tool throughput and reduced cost-of-ownership. This session will examine a variety of new process techniques, including surface texturing, atmospheric surface modification, bulk analysis of trace impurities and dopants, and fluorinated elastomer seals.

Photovoltaics: The Quest For Grid Parity Track: One of the main drivers in photovoltaic solar cell technology is the goal of reducing the cost of the power generated to be equivalent to or less than that provided by conventional technologies. This so-called grid parity is usually considered to be about $1/Watt at peak times. This session will take a broad look at what can impact the cost of PV.

Photovoltaics in Practice: Photovoltaic systems have been in use for more than 20 years, but are now being implemented in a wide variety of configurations, from building-integrated PV, to solar farms to rooftop installations on homes and businesses. This session will look at PV’s role in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) efforts, provide an engineering and financial analysis of installing a solar power system on a residential house, a sizing method for security PV systems, a report on the new Net Zero neighborhoods plans, and recent progress in PV sun tracking systems.

Panel Discussion on DC-DC Optimization: This panel session will consist of representatives of two manufacturers of optimizer products, a non-panel manufacturing integrator/operator, and a major panel manufacturer. Likely discussion topics include: the technology itself; the factors behind the proposed economic feasibility of the technology; likely context of use and scale, and factors concerning the eventual marriage of the technology with other components, most notably the panels.

Solar-oriented solar sessions are also scheduled as part of the general Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America, including PV case studies and applications, solar energy market trends and CSP near term solutions.

More details on the conference, including speakers, registration information, keynote talks, technical tours, networking breakfasts, and conference hours can be found at www.pvworldevent.com.

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