Grupo Clavijo And MFV Solar Announce PV Tracker Merger
The Spanish companies Grupo Clavijo and MFV Solar, with the support of the Q-Growth Fund, have reached a merger agreement to form NCLAVE. The combined entity will aim to become a world leader in the design, manufacture and installation of structures and trackers for the solar photovoltaic market.
NCLAVE now has more than 10 years of experience, during which it has installed over 2 GW in 40 countries; and it is scheduled to install 600 MW in the coming months. It currently has offices and production centers on five continents, making it a global company.
Grupo Clavijo, with its headquarters in Viana, Spain, has been active in Latin America, the U.S., and the MENA region and has production plants and offices in Chile, the U.S., Brazil and Australia. In turn, MFV Solar, with its headquarters in Valencia, Spain, has a long track record, with installations in various countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
“The merger with MFV Solar is a strategic step that strengthens our companies’ international standing in the structures and solar trackers sector. Furthermore, with the support of Q-Growth, we are taking a major step toward making the most advanced solar tracking technology available to developers, EPC contractors and installers worldwide,” says Miguel Clavijo, CEO of Grupo Clavijo.
Ron Corio, CEO of New Mexico-based solar tracker manufacturer Array Technologies Inc., has also chimed in on what this new merger signifies.
“Solar tracking technologies have quickly moved from a ‘nice to have’ feature to a core technology that drives the overall success of a utility-scale PV installation,” says Corio. “The merger between Grupo Clavijo and MFV Solar is a classic effect of market maturation – consolidation within the industry. With 28 years of strong growth in the industry under our belt, Array Technologies is pleased to see more and more signs of the increasing global demand for solar trackers.”
Meyer Burger To Discontinue Diamond Wire Production In Colo.
Meyer Burger Technology Ltd., a Switzerland-based PV manufacturing equipment provider, has announced it is discontinuing its diamond wire production at Diamond Materials Tech Inc. (DMT) in Colorado Springs, Colo. – a decision that will lead to a workforce reduction of 72 employees.
Preliminary 2016 financial results show Meyer Burger’s net sales increased by 40% compared with the previous year, and EBITDA was positive at about $10 million, compared with a negative EBITDA of about -$55 million in 2015. Nonetheless, Meyer Burger says DMT, a member company, has been facing continuing global pressure on prices and margins for diamond wire volume production for quite some time. The company has executed several cost optimizations, capacity adjustments and restructuring measures since 2012. Meyer Burger says despite this and due to the fact that diamond wire production in the solar industry has become a commodity business over the cycle, DMT has not been able to develop the diamond wire production into a profitable business unit.
“The decision to discontinue this business activity of DMT has not been an easy one. But it is an important and necessary step on our path to quickly and sustainably improve profitability of the entire Meyer Burger Group and thereby secure the successful and long-term future of the company,” says Hans Brändle, CEO of Meyer Burger.
Meyer Burger says this decision does not influence its product line of diamond-wire-based cutting equipment, such as the DW 288, which is used for the production of silicon and sapphire wafers. Customers will be able to obtain suitable diamond wire for the DW 288 Series 3 and future developments of the diamond wire cutting technologies from third parties, the company adds. As a result of the strategic decision concerning DMT, Meyer Burger says it can reduce its annualized operating cost base by about $10 million as of the second half of 2017 and will lead to one-time, non-cash-related depreciation and impairment of inventory, technology and manufacturing equipment in an amount of about $12 million.
Tigo Introduces PV Optimizers With UHD-Core Tech
Tigo has announced the worldwide release of its next generation of solar optimizers, now featuring UHD-Core (Ultra-High Definition) technology. The UHD-Core technology is available within Tigo’s TS4 products: TS4-O (Optimization) and TS4-L (Long Strings) optimizers. With a new design architecture and component rating, Tigo’s TS4-O and TS4-L support up to 90 V maximum input voltage and 12 A maximum input current. The company says the UHD-Core results in higher energy harvest, with optimization efficiency up to 99.6% for any module up to 475 W.
“This first-in-class UHD-Core technology is now the solar industry’s highest-powered single module optimizer solution,” claims Zvi Alon, CEO of Tigo. “This innovation can lower the cost of the optimizers by 30 percent while improving the power range, increasing the efficiency and extending the vendor’s inventory of the modules it supports.”
The new optimizers with UHD-Core technology join Tigo’s existing TS4 platform members. They are fully monitored through Tigo’s Cloud Connect Advanced data loggers, with remotely upgradeable firmware. The new TS4-O and TS4-L further employ monitoring capability to also provide remote access to individual module information – such as panel type, barcode, manufacturing origin, location and production date. Furthermore, these products now comply with NEC 2014 & 2017 Rapid Shutdown requirements, with a recently awarded UL certification.
Tigo says all of its TS4 platform products are autonomous and feature selective deployment. They can be fitted to new or existing installations on any string or sub-string size, driving the optimization cost as low as $0.02/W, according to the company. Selective deployment is compatible with most of Tigo’s inverter partners and any module type, including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film and bifacial.
Tigo’s TS4-O and TS4-L with UHD-Core technology for modules up to 475 W are shipping immediately. TS4-O and TS4-L are available as integrated and retrofit/add-on solutions.
DuPont Unveils Metallization Pastes For Screen Printing
DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions has introduced new innovations for its DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallization paste to enable advanced screen printing.
Specially designed for double printing, Solamet PVD1x and PVD2x comprise an integrated two-layer solution with compatibility that helps maximize cell performance. The first layer demonstrates super low contact resistance and excellent fine line printing, while the second layer delivers better electrical conductance and good solderability for high adhesion, according to the company, which says the solution for double printing enables more than 0.1% efficiency gain.
DuPont has also introduced Solamet PVM1x to support the new development of the Mesh-Cross-Free (MCF) screen. The company says Solamet PVM1x has excellent matchability with various MCF parameters, outstanding printability, and yield to both multi and mono wafers, with 0.1% efficiency gain.
DuPont unveiled the new products at a recent expo in Japan, where the company collaborated with Taiwan Solar Energy Co. (TSEC) to demonstrate the increased efficiency and power output that DuPont Solamet technology can provide. DuPont says TSEC, which specializes in manufacturing mono- and polycrystalline silicon solar cells and modules, has observed 21.15% cell efficiency and module power output as high as 305 W (60 pcs) in its mono PERC modules.
Storage Company sonnen Establishes U.S. Hub In Atlanta
sonnen, a Germany-based residential energy storage company, says it is increasing its investment in the growing U.S. market by establishing a new InnovationHub to combine the firm’s U.S. manufacturing operations and product research and development (R&D) under one roof. Located in Atlanta, the new facility is expected to begin production of sonnenBatterie products in the second quarter of this year.
“sonnen U.S. has experienced exponential sales growth over the past year, making the sonnen InnovationHub a smart investment to capitalize upon the immense potential of the North American energy storage market,” says Christoph Ostermann, sonnen Group CEO.
sonnen says it has already begun renovations to the existing facility in Atlanta, and the new InnovationHub will bring additional cleantech jobs to the Southeast and a sonnen presence to the East Coast, complementing the company’s office in Los Angeles.
“It’s gratifying and exciting for us when an innovative technology company like sonnen expands their footprint in Georgia,” comments Costas Simoglou, director of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Energy Technology. “The sonnen InnovationHub is another success story that puts solar energy storage, a very critical part of the solar energy ecosystem, in the spotlight.”
sonnen says it has deployed over 16,000 battery storage systems globally. “The U.S. market represents significant opportunity for sonnen as we look to expand and encourage energy independence globally,” states Blake Richetta, vice president of sales for sonnen North America. “We’re seeing a rapidly growing number of homeowners interested in achieving energy independence, and a large portion of those are seeking smart storage and software capabilities for better efficiency and management of their renewable energy output.”