Conference on “Solar Photovoltaic Energy (PV) – From Technology to Business Opportunities”

The conference “Solar Photovoltaic Energy (PV) – From Technology to Business Opportunities” was held on 14 April 2009. The Hong Kong Electronics Industry Association (HKEIA), in collaboration with the HKSTP, sponsored by the Innovative Technology Commission, has organized the conference to be held concurrently with the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. I would like to summarize some key points of each topic as follows:

In the beginning, Prof. K.B. Chan (Chairman – Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association) gave a Welcome Remarks to introduce this hot topic “Renewal Energy”.

Mr. Eddy Chan (Commissioner for Innovation and Technology) presented an Opening Remarks about ITC funding support. And he ran through the early application of solar cell on calculator in 1970s.

Then Mr. Anthony Tan (CEO – HKSTP) presented another Opening Remarks to make aware of Green Energy focus in Science Park, especially the opening of Solar Energy Technology Support Centre (SETSC) on 20 March 2009. It would complete the value chain from R&D in HKSTP and manufacturing in Industrial Estate or Pearl River Delta . Now, HKSTP is focusing on the phase III development.

Before others presentation, it was time for Souvenir Presentation and Group Photo.

Appreciation to Ir. Allen Yeung

Appreciation to Prof. YC Chan

Group Photo

The first speaker was Prof. Ng Ka Ming (CEO – NAMI R&D Centre, HKUST) and his topic was “Materials Development in PV Applications”.

He introduced different types of Solar Cells including:
i) Wafer (Efficiency%): Monocrystalline Si (~25%), Polycrystalline Si (~20.4%), Crystalline GaAs (~26.1%) and Polycrystalline GaAs (~18.4%).
ii) Thin film (Efficiency%): a-Si (~9.5%), μc-Si (~10.1%), GaAs (~26.1%), CIGS (~19.4%)and CdTe (~16.7%).
iii) Multijunction (Efficiency%): a-Si /μc-Si (~11.7%) and GainP / GaAs / Ge (~32%).
iv) Organic solar cell (Efficiency%): Dye sensitized (~10.4%) and Polymer (~5.15%).

Then he pointed out the advantages of thin film silicon solar cells as follows:
· Consume less silicon (Thin Film used below 2μm (μc-Si), 200nm (a-Si); and wafer used about 180μm)
· Good energy payback time
· Suitable for flexible substrates
· See-through capacity for BIPV

However, the efficiency depended on materials and processing. Some methods have been investigated such as metal induced crystallization (MIC), laser crystallization and solid phase crystallization.
Finally, speaker showed the future development of solar cell which efficiency could over 40%!

The second speaker: Prof. Zao Ying (Vice-Chairman, Chinese Renewable Energy Society and Deputy Director of PV Committee) come from Nankai University.
Topic: “China Market on PV”.

Firstly, he mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of solar cells. The major disadvantages were identified as:
i) Energy was discontinuity
ii) Large scale energy storage technology was not mature
iii) Small scale energy storage was expensive and short life time
iv) Cost was too high

The most important China PV policy was announced on 26 March 2009.
"財政部頒布 <關于加快推進太陽能光電建築應用的實施意見>,及<太陽能光電建築應用財政補助資金管理辦法>,以推進太陽能光電技術在城鄉領域的應用. "
The third speaker: Ms. Daniela Schreiber (Head of Strategic Operations, EuPD Research EuPD).Topic: “Global Market (EU &US) on PV”

She revealed that EuPD Research is an international market research and consulting firm and more than 270 PV research & consulting projects successfully accomplished since 2001. The she indicated the trends in markets segments in Europe and predicted the top 4 markets (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) in 2009 to 2012.

She concluded that USA, Japan or China would most probably gain momentum, but not before 2010. And the US market differed significantly from its European in “Complex promotion condition”; “Size & sales channel architecture” and Special product preferences”.

The forth speaker: Mr. George So (General Manager and Global Director of Sales, DuPont Apollo Limited). He presented the topic entitled “Reaching For A Green Future”.

He demonstrated the relationship between energy and the rise of the Great Nations (A correlation between energy policy vs. human civilization, national security and economic development)

Then he introduced DuPont Apollo which was founded in April 2008. Its Headquarter and R&D Center are in Hong Kong Science Park (with area 14,600 sq. ft.) and Manufacturing Site is in Guangming District, Shenzhen (with area 50,000m2) for Thin Film PV Module.

He explained that the conversion efficiency was measured at STC (AM1.5, 1000W/m2, 25oC) that higher efficiency in c-Si than a-Si TF. But a-Si TH has better temperature coefficient and irradiation coefficient. Therefore, a-Si TF is found to be higher conversion efficiency for the whole day consideration.

The fifth speaker: Dr. Yuan Lee (Chairman – Terra Solar Global).
Topic: “PV 2.0: Trends and The Framwork to Advance”.

He said that “The Photovoltaic Technology of Choice for the Future, thin films are on a steep adoption curve”. He gave an example that the forecasted PV market size in 2005 was 300MW but the actual PV market growth in 2005 was close to 1GW! So long-term growth far exceeds all expectations. He also introduced the PV framework which included module manufacturing, PV system integration and PV applications.

Finally, he presented the following sentences as conclusion:
A lesson taken from evolutionary theory: the survivors are not the most adapted, but the most adaptable. “We need to embrace the complexity of the solar business.”

The sixth speaker: Ir. Allen Yeung (Vice-President, Business Development and Technology Support) from HKSTP.
Topic: “PV Pilot Line & Test Lab”.

He introduced different technology support services provided by HKSTP in five clusters including Electronics, ITC, Precision Engineering, Biotech and Green-Tech. Then Hong Kong solar energy applications on PV were also presented.

The major steps of Pilot Line production were shown as “Glass Gleaning & PECVD Procedure”, “Soldering & Wire Bonding Procedure” and “Lamination Procedure”.

After that he mentioned the PV Test Laboratory, especially in Safety and Performance Testing (e.g. IEC 61646) which is separated into 4 major parts. They are:
· Inspection and Wet Operating Condition
· UV Pre-condition Test
· Temperature and Humidity Test
· Mechanical Test

Finally, he quoted Mr. Donald Tsang’s (CE, HKSAR) speech for the opening of SETSC on 20 Mar 2009 as conclusion. That is “There is much work to be done in harnessing the power of the sun in an efficient and cost effective way. I assure you the Hong Kong government will continue to promote the development and use of clean energy sources at every opportunity. This is a very exciting beginning.”
The last speaker was Prof. YC Chan (Director – EPA Centre, CityU) and his topic was “Advanced EPA Techniques for Photovoltaic Applications”.

He identified 3 major problems in PV solar modules. They were:
· How to chose the best technology
· How to overcome the reliability problem
· How to fit the solar cell system into grid

He also discussed the improvement of cost-efficiency of PV module:
i) To develop advanced materials and devices for low cost and high conversion efficiency PV cells
ii) To produce highly reliable PV devices

For overcoming the reliability problem, 5 types of tests are needed:
i) Indoor Environmental Tests
ii) Indoor Accelerated Tests
iii) Outdoor Tests
iv) Failure Analysis
v) Module Characterization

Lastly, Prof. Chan concluded two points with:
i) Need for dedicated support in PV such as provide dedicate total solutions on site for PV applications and customize the PV products for local environment and uses.
ii) Advantages of having a dedicated PV support such as fast turn around time and round the clock support.

One stop shop full services in FA and Reliability for PV applications in HKSTP has been provided for PV industry.

At the end, speakers answered the participants’questions in discussion panel section.



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