Introduction to Solar Energy Technologies and Companies For Strategy Managers, Investors & Entrepreneurs
Two main ways to harness Solar Power
Concentrated Solar Power Technology
Solar energy is concentrated and used to produce thermal energy.
Thermal energy is then converted to electricity.
Photovoltaic (PV) Technology
Electricity is produced directly from solar radiation.
Two ways to harness solar power Solar Power is concentrated and converted to thermal energy which is converted to electric energy Solar Power is converted to electricity using PV (Photovoltaic) effect P N P N
How do PhotoVoltaics work? How is electricity generated? When light shines on a PV cell, the energy of the absorbed light is transferred to electrons in the atoms of the PV cell. These electrons escape from their normal positions in the atoms of the semiconductor PV material and become part of the electrical flow, or current, in an electrical circuit. This is called the photoelectric effect. What is a PV cell? A PV cell consists of two thin layers of semi-conducting material. Each layer is "doped" or infused with a small amount of another material. One layer is doped (usually with phosphorus) so that it has slightly too many electrons. This is the “n-layer”. The other layer is doped (usually with boron) so that it has slightly too few electrons. This is the “p-type” layer. This difference produces a small electric field between the two layers, which gives the “escaped” electrons (from the photoelectric effect) a direction to flow when they get knocked out of place. Source: Abengoa Website Silicon has been the traditional semiconductor used in PV applications
Amount of energy required to dislodge an electron.
The PV material bandgap energy is tuned to convert as much sunlight as possible into electricity.
Crystalline silicon has a bandgap energy of 1.1 electron-volts (eV).
Bandgap energies of other PV semiconductors range from 1.0 to 1.6 eV.
Other ways to increase PV efficiences:
Using multiple p/n junctions (multi-junction cells)
Use antireflective coating to capture as much light as possible.
Maximize the photons that are absorbed in the p-layer.
Minimize the electrons from meeting up with holes and recombining with them before they can escape from the PV cell.
Semi Conductors used in PV Cells
Crystalline Silicon - most common (1 st generation)
Involves sawing wafers ( ~200 µm) from ingots
Single-Crystalline Si: highly purified silicon
Poly-Crystalline Si: silicon is of less purity
Ribbon Si: grown from molten silicon instead of an ingot.
Thin film material ( < 5 µm) – 2 nd generation
The advantages are light weight and low cost and that they can be deposited over large areas by chemical vapor deposition.
Third Generation. Current research ongoing:
dye-sensitized titania solar cells
Solar tandem cells
Silicon PV: Value Chain Solar Modules Solar Cells Silicon Ingot Silicon Wafers This part of the chain is Oligopolistic. Increase in the poly-silicon prices (200% in 2 years) has been a key issue in the industry.
Thin film PV material (2 nd Generation PV) A-Si CIGS (TeCd) Micro Si Titanium dioxide (TiO2) Amorphous Silicon Non –crystalline allotropic from of silicon Copper Indium gallium (di) selenide Cadmium Telluride Absorbs light more effectively than crystalline silicon. The band gap energy can be tuned between 1.1 eV and 1.75 eV. a-Si can also be deposited on plastic and stainless substrates (not only glass) Lowering costs and increasing flexibility and durability. Absorbs light very effectively. The band gap can be tuned between 1.02 eV and 1.68 eV. High efficiency and low material cost are the key advantages. The drawbacks are complicated and capital intensive manufacturing methods. Diverse manufacturing techniques are available for large scale production. Drawbacks are cost and potential health concerns. Reported high efficiencies and negligible degradation. Use a dye-impregnated layer of titanium dioxide to generate voltage. Cost is the key advantage.
Focussing sunlight into a beam
Uses lenses or mirrors and tracking systems.
Key technology issues:
Two key ways to use:
Generate Electricity allowing sun beam to fall on a photovoltaic cell (CPV)
Generate Electricity/Heat thru the use of steam (CSP/Solar Heat)
Concentrating Technology: Parabolic Trough The main components of parabolic trough technology are: The parabolic trough reflector : Reflects sunlight onto the receiver at the focal point. Typically, the reflector is made of thick glass silver mirrors formed into the shape of a parabola. The receiver tube or heat collection element : Collects/Absorbs the solar energy. Consists of a metal absorber surrounded by a glass envelope. The suntracking system : Tracks & focusses the reflector onto the sun. The support structure : Holds the mirrors in accurate alignment and resistis the effects of the wind. Source: Abengoa Site
Concentrating Technology: Tower The main components of parabolic trough technology are: Heliostats Capture solar radiation and direct it to the receiver. They are composed of a reflective surfaces (glass mirrors), a supporting structure and mechanisms used to orientate them, following the sun’s movement The receiver Transfers received heat to an operating fluid (which could be water, molten salts, etc.). This fluid transmits heat to another part of the plant where steam is produced. The tower Acts as support for the receiver which should be located at a certain height above the heliostats level to avoid, or at least reduce, shades and blockings. Source: Abengoa Site
Concentrated Technology: Fresnel lens
The lens is broken into a set of concentric annular sections.
This allows reduction in thickness (and thus weight and volume of material) of the lens.
… .at the expense of reducing the imaging quality.
Solar Technology Applications
Building Integrated Modules
May be either Off –grid/connected to grid
The Solar Map – Companies and Technologies Not featured subsequently in this analysis Concentrated Solar CSP CPV Building utility scale plants US: Ausra, Solar Reserve US/Israel: BrightSource:LuzII Building Utility scale plants US: Energy Innovations, SolFocus, Green Volts PV Traditional Silicon based Innovations on Silicon Thin Film & 3 rd Gen. Solar Cell Manufacturing Japan: Sharp, Sanyo, US: First Solar, SunPower Europe: Qcells, REC Solar China: SunTech,Solarfun Reducing amount of silicon US: OptiSolar, Evergreen Solar Non silicon based PV US: Opti Solar, Stion, Nano Solar, AvaSolar, SoloPower Residential & Comercial Utility Rural BIPV and Heating applications Typically smaller cos in respective markets US: Meridian Solar, Open Energy Larger plants US: Solar Power, SunPower Europe: Conergy,AbenGoa Street lighting, lanterns, refrigerator India: SELCO US/India: Promethean Smaller financiers like Mondial Energy Larger partners like GE Energy Aryabhatt Gramin Bank,
PV: Cos in the Value Chain Solar Module Maunufacture Solar Cell Maunfacture PolySilicon Manufacturers Silicon Wafer Manufacturers Dominated by large semi conductor cos. Fragmented Q Cells Sharp Solar Kyocera BP Solar SunTech Motech … . Oligpolistic Top 5 control 85% of market Fragmented Fragmented Concentrated Top 10 control 70% of market Hemlock Tokyuama Wacker Chemie REC MEMC Shinetsu SUMCO Wacker MEMC Komatsu Solar System Developer Localized
Top Solar PV cos. Source: CIOL Cos Location Capacity (MW) - 2007 Sharp Electronics Japan 725 Q Cells Germany 547 SunTech Power China 320 First Solar USA 317 SolarWorld Germany 280 Sanyo Japan 270 BP Solar UK 257 Kyocera Japan 250 Motech Taiwan 240 Solarfun China 240 SunPower USA 214
Chinese PV Manufacturers: Just a sample! Caveat: I have tried to collect this data from the site and annual reports. But I am not sure I have read all of the data off accurately! Yingli Canadian Solar LDK Solar JA Solar SunTech Power Solarfun Business PV modules PV modules Silicon reclaiming Wafer PV Cells PV Modules Cells and modules Capacity 200 MW 250 MW(2008) 580 MW (2008) 25 – plant under construction 540 MW 240 MW Revenues (USD million) – FY 07 556 608 1.03 B NA 1.7 B 81 Location Near Beijing Ontario, Canada/ Jiangsu Jiangxi, China Sunnyvale, CA Shanghai, China Milipitas, CA Jiangsu, China/SFO, USA Jiangsu, China Listed on NYSE NASDAQ NYSE NASDAQ NYSE NASDAQ Integration (forward/backward) 16 000 MT Polysilicon manufacturie Global expanstion in sales & service
Indian PV Manufacturers Comany Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Limited Tata BP Solar Business Cells and Modules Solar Products with a focus on developing cos applications (street lighting, heating systems, lanterns…) Capacity 120 MW 180 MW Revenues (USD million) – FY 07 Not Available Not available Location New Delhi, India Bangalore Investors Subsidiary of Moser Baer India Ltd JV between BP and Tatas Management Ravi Khanna, CEO Syamal Gupta, Chairman , K.Subramanya, CEO Investments Solaria & Stion (Thin film technology), SolFocus (CPV) -
Traditional PV- Innovative Manufacturing Business Solaria Evergreen Solar Technology Proprietary manufacturing process to reduce the amount of silicon required in cells. Proprietary String Ribbon TM manufacturing technology to reduce the amount of polysilicon Investors Sigma Partners, NGen Partners, Q Cells, Moser Baer, Total Investment Amount USD 77 million over three rounds NASDAQ (ESLR) – 2007 revenues (including EverQ) was USD 252 million Management Suvi Sharma (CEO), Leslie Danziger (Founder), Alelie Funcell (COO) Richard M. Feldt (President & CEO), Rodolfo Archbold (VP – Operations) Location Fremont, CA /manufacturing in Phillipines Marlbaro, MA/production in Germany thru EverQ a JV between Q Cells AG, Renewable Energy Corp ASA and Evergreen Commercial Systems Range Minimum power output 50kW/ 1 MW plant under construction 3-100kW
Thinfilm & 3 rd Generation PV OptiSolar Stion Corporation NanoSolar Business/Products Panel Manufacturer/Solar Plant Operator Module manufacturer Panel Manufacturer Technology Thin film amorphous silicon panels High efficiency thin film modules based on the work of Howard Lee Manufacturing innovations: 1) semiconductor ink 2)roll printing 3) conductive substrate. Uses CIGS. Investors Not Disclosed Khosla Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Moser Baer Photovoltaic , Lightspeed Venture Partners, General Catalyst Partners VCs (Benchmark Capital, MDV), Corporations (AES, EDF, Energy Capital Partners, Swiss Re, Riverstone Capital, Mitsui), Founders of Google, eBay, SAP Total Investment Amount Not Discolosed USD 15 million in Series B USD 300 million Management Randy Goldstein (CEO), Marv Keshner (Chief Scientist) Chet Farris (President & CEO), Vineet Dharmadhikari (SVP – Eng, COO) Martin Roscheisen (CEO), Brian Sager (VP – Corporate Development) Location Hayward, CA/manufacturing in Phillipines San Jose, CA San Jose, CA
Thinfilm PV & 3 rd Generation PV….contd Ava Solar SoloPower Konarka Technologies Business/Products Modules Cells and Modules Modules Technology Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film technology Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide (CIGS) thin film technology. Polymer-based, organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology Investors Invus LP, DCM, Technology Partners, GLG Partners, Bohemian Companies, LLC Crosslink Capital , Firsthand Capital Management, Convexa Capital and Alf Bjørseth, co-founder of REC Group. 3i, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, New Enterprise Associates, Good Energies, Vanguard Ventures, Partech International , Chevron Technology Ventures, Asenqua Ventures, Massachusetts Green Energy Fund, NGEN Partners and Angeleno Group Total Investment Amount USD 104+ million USD 30 million in second round USD 125 million in multiple rounds (since 2001) Management Dr. Pascal Noronha, CEO of AVA Solar, Dr. Neil Morris (Sr. VP Engineering) Homayoun Talieh, CEO, President , Dr. Bulent Basol, CTO, Dr. Jay Ashjaee, Vice President of Engineering Howard Berke (Founder), Rick Hess (CEO), Dr. Christoph Brabec (CTO) Location Fort Collins, CO San Jose, CA Nuremberg, Germany
Thinfilm PV & 3 rd Generation PV….contd Solyndra United Solar Ovonics Oerlikon Solar Business/Products Roof Top Modules (BIPV) Roof Top Modules (BIPV) Technology CIGS thin film PV cells in glass sealed cylindrical modules Triple junction thin film a– si technology A-Si and micromorph solar cells with ability to absorb infra red as well as visible light Investors Artis, Argonaut Private Equity, CMEA Ventures, Rockport Capital, US Venture partners, Masdar , Madrone Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures Subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices (NADAQ:ENER) Business Unit of the Oerlikon Group Total Investment Amount USD 600 million (!!!!) _ _ Management Dr. Chris Gronet (CEO), Mark Morelli, CEO, Subhendu Guha (Chairman and SVP, ECD) Location Fremont, CA Michigan, USA Switzerland
Thin Film based Utility Scale Plants Project Name (all OptiSolar) Operator Plant Location Utility Capacity Status/Expected Topaz Opti Solar San Luis Obispo County, CA PG&E 550 MW In the 2011-2013 time Sarnia Opti Solar Ontario, Canada Ontario Power Authority 6*10 MW 2010 Tilbury Opti Solar Ontario, Canada Ontario Power Authority 2*10MW 2010 Petrolia Opti Solar Ontario, Canada Ontario Power Authority 1*10MW 2010
CSP Solar Reserve Ausra BrightSource/Luz II Technology CSP with Power Towers and molten salt storage Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector CSP Investors Citi Alternate Investments, Sustainable Development Initiatives, Good Energies, US Renewables Group, PCG CETF, Argonaut Private Equity, Nimes Capital Credit Suisse Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Starfish Ventures (Australia), Generation Investment Management (London) and KERN Partners, Canada VantagePoint Venture Partners, BP Alternate Energy, Google.org, MorganStanley, DFJ, Chevron Technology Ventures, StatOil Hydro Venture, Black River Investment Amount USD 280 million in two rounds USD 100 million over two rounds USD 160 million over 3 rounds Management Terry Murphy (CEO), Kevin Smith (COO), William R. Gould (CTO) Robert E Fishman (President, CEO & Chairman) , Dr David Mills (Chief Scientific Officer and Founder) John Woolard (CEO – Brightsource) Arnold Goldman (Chairman – Brightsource) Israel Kroizer – President LuzII Location Santa Monica, CA Palo Alto, CA BrightSource – Oakland, CA LuzII – Isreal Plant Details Not Available Bakersfield, CA 5 MW –under construction Carrizo Plains : 177 MW with PG&E – under plan Negev Desert, Israel – 20 MW (completed) Ivanpah, California - 500 MW (first phase 100 MW to come up in 2011)
CSP…contd eSolar Technology CSP plants with dual axis heliostat mirrors, pre-fab technology and modular construction. Investors Google.org, Oak Investment Partners, IdeaLab Investment Amount USD 110 million in one round Management Asif Ansari (CEO), Location Pasadena, CA Plant Details 245 MW plant in Antelope Valley, California
Concentrated PV Energy Innovations SolFocus Green Volts Technology Tight integration of High efficiency triple-junction cells, proprietary Fresnel lens and tracking system. Multi –junction solar cells and the optical design of the concentrator 2 Axis solar tracker. Allows plants to be built near communities, saving n transmission lines. Investors IdeaLab, MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Moser Baer, Metasystem Group, NGEN Partners, Yellowstone Capital, David Gelbaum Avista Corporation, Greenlight Energy Resources, Oak Investment Partners Total Investment Amount USD 15 million in Series B USD 92 million since 2005 USD 40 million in 2 rounds Management Bill Gross (Founder & CEO), Mark Henderson, Gregg Bone Gary D. Conley (CEO & Chairman), Mark Crowley (President) Bob Cart (Chairman & CE0), Birute Adams (COO) Location Pasadena, CA Mt. View, CA/Europe – Spain/Moser-Baer manufacturing partner SFO, CA Plants Minimum power output 50kW/ 1 MW plant under construction – commercial systems shipping in 2009 200 KW installed in Spain/Plants of 3 MW & 10 MW in progress (Spain) 2 MW plant under construction.
Solar Plant Operator – US (a sample) Solar Power Partners SunPower Corp Solel Technology Works across all solar energies Manufactures and installs: Technology USPs: 1. High efficiency panels 2. Single axis solar tracker CSP & Concentrated PV Investors United Commercial Bank, Globespan Capital Partners, the Enlightened World Foundation, Carrelton Asset Management, Dry Creek Ventures, Silicon Valley Technology Group, Energy Investors Fund Listed on NASDAQ ( SPWRA and SPWRB) Not Available Total Investment Amount USD 160 million of equity, debt and project finance NA Not Available Management Alexander v. Welczeck (President & CEO), Hugh Kuhn (VP – Operations & Technology) Thomas Werner (CEO), Marty T Neese (COO), Surinder S Bedi (VP-Quality), Thomas Dinwoodie , Founder Not Available Location Mill Valley, CAs San Jose , CA/manufacturing in Phillipines Israel and US Commercial Systems Range 37 kW – 2 MW (about 15 projects completed till date) 200KW to 3 MW Solar cooling/heating – 2-3MW
Solar Plant Operator - Europe Company AbenGoa Conergy AG Focus on Solar PV Also finances and operates projects in other renewable energies Technology R&D in both CSP, Photovoltaic systems & Storage Management Santiago Seage (Chairman & CEO), Pedro Robles Sánchez (MD-Spain), Scott Frier (COO – USA) Dieter Ammer (CEO), Nikolaus Krane (project business ) HeadQuarters Spain/operations across the world Germany/operations across world Commercial Systems Range Solar Heat – 2-3MW CSP – 20MW
Utility Level Plants…sample Plant Location Operator Capacity SolarPark area Financing partner Status/Expected Bavaria, Germany SunPower 10 MW 100 acres Deutshe Structured Finance 110% util in last 2 yrs Serpa, Portugal SunPower 11MW 130 acres GE Energy Financial Services 102% in last two areas Air Force Base, Las Vegas SunPower 14MW 140 acres NA Plant Location Operator Capacity Technology Status/Expected Mojave Desert, California Solel 553 MW CSP Construction On Lebrija, Andalusia, Spain Solel 3*50 MW CSP & PV Construction On
Utility Level Plants …sample Plant Location Operator Capacity Land Technology Status/Expected Phoenix, Arizona Abengoa 280 MW 100 acres CSP Construction On Sanlucar la Mayor, Spain Abengoa 300 MW 1600 acres CSP & PV 16 MW commissioned/rest 2013 Pennsylvania Conergy 3 MW 16 acres PV Commissioned South Korea Conergy 25 MW 144 acres PV 20 MW commissioned Bavaria, Germany Conergy 6 MW Thin film Commissioned
Rural Applications Promethean Power Systems SELCO Business/Products Solar Power Refrigerator Solar Lighting and Solar Heating. Finances the products too. Innovation Innovations that allow solar power to be used for thermoelectric cooling (when a current is passed through a circuit of two dissimilar conductors, there will be a rise or fall in temperature at the junction depending on the direction of the current flow).
In the application space:
Investors Quercus Trust Investment Amount Undisclosed Management Sorin Grama, Sam White Dr H Harish Hande Location Cambridge, CA with field trials in India Bangalore System Power Range
Summary: The Solar Map – Trends & Opportunities Concentrated Solar CSP CPV Plants are still under construction New Plants may not come up till 2010 Costs will come down depending on which technology works PV Traditional Silicon based Innovations on Silicon Thin Film & 3 rd Gen. Solar Cell Manufacturers are all sold out for the next two years Developments in PV technology is expected to bring down costs to grid parity levels Residential & Comercial Utility Rural This market will grow with consumer awareness and government subsidies Plants are still under construction. Scalability yet to be proved. This market is likely to grow quickly as often there is no alternate power if infrastructure (incl. financing) is made available.
Author: Sanjoy Sanyal ( [email_address] )
Specific diagrams and tables have been attributed to their source
For all cos. specific information I have largely depended on website material
For all industry data :Wikipedia and the US DOE site on Renewable energy
Copyright (c) 2008 Sanjoy Sanyal. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".