Intersolar Day 3: Energetic, practical, and mature

Oliver Janssen, CEO of eIQ Energy, blogs from this week’s Intersolar North America. Final Day: Crowds and energy are still high, people want practical details above tech advocacy, and support for standards is growing in three areas.

by Oliver Janssen, CEO, eIQ Energy

July 16, 2010 – On the final day of Intersolar North America 2010, the energy levels have remained high. The aisles have been just as busy as they were on day one, and the exhibitors we’ve spoken with are pretty much unanimous that it’s been a very productive show.

The booths have been very lively, with lots of creative methods of getting attention and driving traffic, unlike some of the more conservative old-line shows. One interesting trend is the use of installation-oriented videos — there must be at least 20-30 companies using ease of installation as a talking (and viewing) point.

This suggests a growing maturity in the industry; a move beyond straight technology as a sales message, and a sense that practical details are becoming more and more important. And this message likely found a receptive audience among the many installers we saw walking the floor (and even, in a couple of cases, exhibiting).

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Day 1: Off and running at Intersolar North America

Also on the practical and maturing side of things, we had representatives at a workshop on industry collaboration sponsored by PV Group, where there seemed to be a good consensus that everyone would benefit from more-extensive cooperation. Attendees drew parallels with the semiconductor industry, including things like the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), and relatively strong standards-setting bodies.

Safety and bankability seem like prime areas of opportunity, along with things like end-of-life provisions for modules. A dark horse might be electrical balance-of-systems technology — standardization there could help drive down costs and ease installation and maintenance compared to today’s situation where every installation is unique.

This will wrap up our comments on Intersolar 2010. It was a great, upbeat show and conference, and should provide a lot of leads and opportunities for everyone who was there.

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