Odersun AG is a German company which develops and manufactures thin-film solar cells and modules on copper tape specifically for building-integrated photovoltaics . Odersun filed for bankruptcy in 2012.Odersun employs more than 320 people in production, research and management in Frankfurt , Fürstenwalde and Berlin, Germany. In cooperation with partner and investor AT&M, Odersun is setting up a joint venture in Beijing. On 1 June 2012, Odersun went into administration. Wikipedia.

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News Article | August 22, 2016
Site: cleantechnica.com

Elon Musk is proposing adding building-integrated solar roofs to his arsenal of sustainable home energy appliances. Instead of an “aftermarket” attachment to an existing roof, like a solar array is today, he suggests actually making the roofing material itself generate solar power. “It’s not something on the roof — it is the roof,” Musk said, during a conference call with Wall Street analysts. The general concept is not new. BIPV (building-integrated photovoltaics) integrates solar technology as a roofing, window, or wall replacement product (or partial replacement product), rather than adding separate solar panels on top of the roof. Leadership from Musk’s company Tesla this month agreed to buy SolarCity, which was founded by his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive. SolarCity, like the solar finance pioneer Sunrun, popularized the third-party owner (TPO) model, which enabled $0-down solar for homeowners and accounted for 75% of all home solar financed in its early years. If shareholders agree to the purchase — which they might not do, because SolarCity lost $123 million in the first quarter after losing a battle in the ongoing net metering war in Nevada — Musk then envisions Tesla as a company that is a fully integrated home energy company. Under Musk’s proposal, Tesla would not only supply the solar roof to capture the solar energy to fuel the Tesla in the garage, but would also store surplus solar energy in a Tesla Powerwall battery for when the customer comes home from work at night and charges her/his Tesla. Solar roofing + solar storage in the garage + a solar-powered Tesla EV would be a real workaround for the risk of lower net metering rates. Even though SolarCity lost money as a result of the recent Nevada ruling, shareholders would be smart to look at the big picture and see that Musk’s home energy self-sufficiency is the solution. (Of course, the economics of self sufficiency would be subject at least in part to what cost utilities and state PUCs would impose on those who flee the grid almost entirely). Could Tesla do for BIPV what it did for the battery? BIPV shingles and other solar roofing have failed to gain traction in the market since their introduction, partly because of the ugliness of most of the BIPV offerings on the market. But it is a great and simple concept, and if anyone can make a great and simple concept hip and gorgeous, it is Elon Musk. Look at what he did for the battery, that most humble and ugly of energy necessities. He sees the same transformational potential for solar roofs. “This is a really fundamental part of having a differentiated product, where you’ll have a stunning, beautiful roof that’s a solar roof,” Musk said on the conference call. Musk plans to produce the new solar roof at the Buffalo (New York) plant, using technology from Silevo, which SolarCity bought in 2014. He sees the market as including people whose roofs need replaced soon. (As well as the sizable number of homeowners who won’t go solar only because they think the aesthetics are ugly. Just attaching objects to a roof in itself is unacceptable to them.) With solar roofing that epitomized the elegant, sleek, and shiny Tesla brand, Soltecture (as in solar + architecture) has left its website up, but it is no longer in business. It was among the large and apparently solid German thin-film companies that collapsed under the pressure of competition from cheap silicon solar panels from China in the industry bloodbath of 2011–2013. With architecturally appealing CIGS-based BIPV modules, and with 50 high-wage German engineers laboring away on high-tech improvements, Soltecture seemed like the sort of serious and durable big German company that remains viable for half a century or more. When I first spoke to CEO Nikolaus Meyer in 2013, Soltecture’s engineering team was still breaking efficiency records for CIGS-based solar panels — let alone the then much less efficient solar roofing. This was even as it was entering bankruptcy proceedings. When we talked, it appeared that thin film was utterly doomed by the cheaper Chinese silicon panels that had flooded the market, but Meyer was prescient about where thin film would hold its own. Meyer was convinced that, when the industry settles out, it will be precisely the high-tech centers like Germany that would be central to the thin-film solar technology market, even with its high wage workforce. (Silicon Valley would fit that description particularly well.) “CIGS thin film production is still rather challenging, technically. You need very well educated engineers to run such production,” said Meyer. “So I actually think that a country like Germany or other highly industrialized countries have an advantage in thin film production, and should see thin film manufacturing as a chance to differentiate from the market.” “Sooner or later, the market will be fairer again, making it possible to run a competitive business, not only in China,” he told me. “Crystalline PV technology is very mature, the knowledge is available almost everywhere, and the machinery is very available so you don’t need so much knowledge and experience to run it successfully.” Meyer’s prediction in 2013 has turned out to be accurate. Pretty much the only company left standing from all the once-so-promising thin-film-based technologies is a US-based company. First Solar makes and develops its projects with cadmium-telluride (CdTe) panels that consistently break efficiency records through improvements made in the lab in Arizona. Not that US firms weren’t also among the many left on the global thin film battlefield between 2010 and 2014. Plenty of US thin film pioneers died there. Solyndra was one of the most innovative of the CIGS-based thin film casualties. Mia Sole was bought by Hanergy and then Hanergy folded. CIGS-based Nanosolar was bankrupt by 2013. BIPV failed because it was ugly BIPV firms were included in the carnage of those years. Applied Solar, Flexcell, Konarka, Odersun, Scheuten Solar, Pythagoras Solar, and even BP also tried and failed with solar roofing, along with Soltecture. When they were around, most companies making BIPV were not able to capture the potential market of homeowners who object to adding solar panels to a roof. Most BIPV tried to disguise the solar as roofing shingles, as if trying to not offend the Neighborhood Housing Association. But nobody would call the bland results a Tesla look. Giant corporations that have discontinued their rather humdrum solar shingles divisions include most recently Dow Chemical. So, yes, Musk is taking on a tall order. But remember how dull batteries were before Musk revealed why they are desirable with the astonishing Powerwall. I predict that he can do something similar with solar roofing. There definitely is a segment of the market that is turned off by the visual aspect of standard, busy-looking, aluminum-framed solar panels perched atop a roof. Silevo, the solar panel maker that SolarCity bought, has pretty standard panel aesthetics, so it is hard to see how Musk can give them that Tesla look. But Soltecture’s solar cladding is already Tesla-like in its elegance. And with thin-film solar technology, it is ideally suited to US manufacturing. Meyer didn’t respond to my email, and I see that he is now running a geothermal heating firm, Geo-en, after 10 years of trying to get this gorgeous solar cladding to market. Whether anyone will revive Soltecture in the future is anyone’s guess. But Tesla would seem to be the ideal firm to do it, if it doesn’t have everything it needs already.   Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  

Trushin M.,TU Brandenburg | Arguirov T.,TU Brandenburg | Arguirov T.,Ihp Microelectronics | Kittler M.,TU Brandenburg | And 9 more authors.
Physica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science | Year: 2013

Thin absorber films grown by the CuInS2-on-Cu-tape (CISCuT) method were studied by Raman spectroscopy and deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS). Raman measurements revealed a degradation of crystalline quality and a growth of the CuAu fraction with the increase of Cu-tape velocity through the sulfur chamber, whereas DLTS method - corresponding variations in the magnitude of the dominating peak E1. The origin of the E1 peak was established from the correlation of Raman and DLTS results and ascribed to defect states at the interface between chalcopyrite and CuAu phase. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Odersun | Date: 2010-03-03

The present invention relates to a thin film solar cell, in particular in strip-like form, a photovoltaic string assembly comprising at least two solar cells according to the invention, a method of manufacturing a solar cell according to the invention, a method of electrically connecting at least two solar cells according to the invention and a method of producing a photovoltaic string assembly comprising the solar cells of the invention.

The present invention relates to a system and method for localizing defects causing leakage currents in a photovoltaic element (100), a system and method for passivating defects causing leakage currents in a photovoltaic element and a system and method for passivating a shunt in a roll-to-roll photovoltaic element comprising the steps of illuminating an area (130), having at least a minimum size, of the photovoltaic element; measuring at least one electrical value of an electrical potential between electrodes of the photovoltaic element at at least one specific measurement position within the illuminated area on one of the electrodes of the photovoltaic element; and determining a position of a defect based on the measured at least one photoinduced electrical value and the at least one specific measurement position.

Odersun | Date: 2010-12-21

Apparatus and instruments for conveying, distributing, transforming, storing, regulating or controlling electric current; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound and images; calculators; data processing equipment and computers; computer laptop bags; solar cells for generation of electricity; solar modules for generation of electricity; photovoltaic apparatus for converting electronic radiation to electrical energy, namely, photovoltaic solar hybrid modules and systems comprised of photovoltaic solar cells, photovoltaic solar modules, mounting structures and inverters for photovoltaic cells and modules. Solar cells for thermal heating; solar modules for thermal heating; solar apparatus, namely, solar energy based cooling apparatus and systems comprised of solar cells, modules, collectors and solar hybrids; solar-thermal equipment for heating, namely, solar cells and modules and systems comprised of solar cells and modules, solar collectors, solar hybrids and mounting structures. Advertising; business management services; business administration; office functions; business consultancy; economic information and consulting regarding the utilization of solar apparatus and systems, solar-thermal equipment and systems as well as photovoltaic apparatus and systems. Construction and maintenance of production facilities for the generation of energy, particularly facilities for the generation of solar electricity. Scientific and technological services and research and design in the field of solar technology, production, products and applications; industrial analysis and research services in the field of solar technology, production, products and applications; scientific and industrial research in the field of photovoltaic solar collectors; technical development of components, apparatus and systems for photovoltaic cells and modules ; technical development of components, apparatus and systems for solar collectors; computer programming for data processing for controlling, regulating and monitoring of solar-thermal and photovoltaic equipment; services of an certification authority, namely, testing, analysis and evaluation of the goods and services of others for the purpose of certification; services of a technical test laboratory and measuring laboratory in the field of solar technology; services of a chemical laboratory; processing of technical tests and checks in the field of solar technology, production and applications; processing of technical measurements in the field of solar technology, production and applications; technical consultancy in relation to the development of technologies and technical components for facility management; analysis in the field of solar energy generation; rendering technical expert opinions in the field of solar technology, production and applications; rendering scientific expert opinions in the field of solar technology, production and applications; material testing; quality testing of solar cells, modules and systems comprised of solar cells and modules; technical consultancy in the field of solar technology, production and applications; technical project design in the field of solar technology, production and applications.

Odersun | Date: 2012-01-10

Metal building materials with integrated or attached solar cells, namely, metal structures for mounting solar panels for facades and roofs; exterior blinds of metal. Apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, feeding, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; calculating machines, data-processing equipment and computers; laptop bags; solar cells for electricity generation; solar modules for electricity generation; photovoltaic installations and parts therefor, in particular photovoltaic solar cells, photovoltaic solar modules, photovoltaic inverters. Solar collectors for heating; solar energy based heating apparatus; solar installations, namely, solar thermal installations and parts therefore. Non-metallic building materials with integrated or attached solar cells, namely, non-metal structures for mounting solar panels for facades and roofs; jalousies, not of metal. Advertising; business management services; business administration; office functions; business consultancy; professional business planning and consultancy with regard to the use of solar installations, solar thermal installations and photovoltaic installations; business management of construction projects. Building construction; building construction supervision services for building projects; construction and maintenance of production installations for generating energy, in particular solar power production installations. Architectural consultancy; architecture, namely, architectural design and architectural research; technical planning of construction projects; scientific and technological services, namely, research and design in the field of solar technology; industrial analysis and research in the field of solar technology; scientific and industrial research in the field of photovoltaic and solar collectors; development of new technology for others in the field of components, equipment and systems for photovoltaics; development of new technology for others in the field of components, equipment and systems for solar collectors; computer programming for the control, regulating and/or monitoring of thermal and photovoltaic solar installations; testing services for the certification of quality and standards; technical measuring and testing, namely, measurement evaluations in the field of solar technology; consultancy relating to energy measurement for the conservation of energy; chemist services; technical tests and checks of solar technology; technical measuring of solar technology; development of new technology for others in the field of solar energy; technical analysis for the generation of solar energy; surveying; preparing scientific reports, namely, scientific research; materials testing; quality control; technical consultancy relating to research of photovoltaic and solar collectors; technical project studies, namely, conducting of feasibility studies.

News Article | April 5, 2012
Site: arstechnica.com

An article in German photovoltaics magazine Photon last month has shed light on the dramatic effect that photovoltaics technology had on reducing the price of electricity over the last four years. But as the German solar juggernaut rolls on, domestic manufacturers are struggling. Some have blamed relentless cuts to feed-in tariffs—branding it as a backlash against the solar industry. What on earth is going? Photon compared two graphs obtained from the European Power Exchange (EPEX) website, which publishes hourly electrical energy spot prices from the French, German/Austrian, and Swiss markets dating back to 2005. The two graphs compared show German prices for Wednesday, March 7, 2012 and Wednesday, March 12, 2008. Though both graphs demonstrate a sharp rise in the price of electricity at about 7am and a drop-off after about 11pm, there is a stark difference in the price profiles during daylight hours. On March 12, 2008, prices maintained a high plateau throughout the day, peaking at just over 60 €/MWh at noon, but never falling below 50 €/MWh between 8am and 11pm. In contrast, the data from March 7, 2012 shows two distinct peaks, at 9am and 7pm, but between these times there is a significant drop in the price of electricity, floating between 35 and 40 €/MWh between noon and 5pm. The twin-peaked feature of the graph is evident for all working week days during March 2012, though in some cases the morning peak appears to be much less pronounced than that of the evening. The interpretation seized on by Photon (and subsequently restated in English by Renewables International Magazine) is that this dip in daytime electricity price is entirely thanks to Germany's photovoltaics infrastructure. That has rocketed from an installed capacity of 6GW in 2008 to 25GW in 2011—amounting to half the world's installed solar power, with 7.5GW installed in that year alone. Renewables International estimates that a further 2GW may have been installed already this year. It makes intuitive sense that solar power would make electricity prices more competitive during daylight hours, but what's striking is the scale of the effect. As veteran business and environment journalist Giles Parkinson put it at Renew Economy, "solar PV is not just licking the cream off the profits of the fossil fuel generators—it is in fact eating their entire cake." Parkinson explains the impact of solar upon German energy markets with respect to the merit order, which prioritizes—based on marginal cost—which sources of energy are utilized in the face of increasing live demand. By this metric, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power are extremely competitive because there is no fuel cost to factor in. Their marginal cost is zero. A recent study by the Institute for Future Energy Systems (IZES) in Germany (conducted, it should be noted, on behalf of the German Solar Industry Association BSW-Solar) found that the effect of photovoltaics is a 40 percent reduction in midday electricity prices, with a mean 10 percent reduction overall. Interestingly, energy prices in the middle of the night have nearly doubled since 2008, which Renewables International attributes to power companies seeking to recoup the profits which they can no longer amass during daytime peak consumption. A slashing of feed-in tariffs in Germany threatens to become a pan-European trend which some have interpreted as a backlash from utility companies against the threat posed by renewable energy sources. Feed-in tariffs are the rates paid to producers of renewable energy (who historically have often been home- and small business-owners) for the surplus renewable energy they can feed back into a national energy grid. With the added security of long-term contracts, feed-in tariffs were effectively a means to encourage the uptake of renewable energy technology. Photovoltaics have been a particularly popular choice among homes and small businesses with rooftops doing nothing but keeping the rain out. Were being the operative word. As of 2011, 20 percent of Germany's electricity came from renewable sources, and 70 percent of that was supported by feed-in tariffs. But the prices paid for a kilowatt-hour of photovoltaic-derived energy under such schemes has fallen year-on-year. In Germany, for rooftop photovoltaic installations under 30kW, 57.4€-ct/kWh was the going rate in 2004, falling to 24.43€-ct/kWh by the first quarter of 2012. Rates for larger installations and ground-mounted installations chart similar declines over the same period—the rates being ostensibly lowered as an incentive to promote the efficiency of PV technology. That was the case until April 1 anyway, when a new rate of 19.5€-ct/kWh was imposed upon rooftop installations up to 10kW in size. Less generous tariffs force owners and installers of photovoltaic equipment to be much more selective about their purchasing decisions. The result has been something of a shakeout of the solar industry, with disastrous consequences for Germany's manufacturers. Many are struggling to stay afloat, or are sinking altogether. Green Tech Media has been keeping a close eye on what it has described as the "death rattle" of the German solar manufacturing industry, reporting on the "failures" of Solar Millennium and Solon last December, and Odersun's bankruptcy last week. Earlier this week Q-Cells filed for insolvency and Phoenix Solar announced a restructuring since the latest tariff cut this week. Q-Cells was once the globe's largest solar manufacturer. And yet Germany's solar expansion continues apace. To achieve its aim of 52GW of installed PV capacity by 2020 it only needs to install 3GW per year—about half the rate at which it's currently trundling along. Clearly German solar expansion is looking beyond domestic suppliers to provide cheap, efficient equipment—in many cases to China and the US, where manufacturers have more nimbly adapted to efficiency-boosting and price-cutting advances. It's likely that feed-in tariffs will be abolished outright long before 2020, and the consensus in the German solar industry appears to be that this will make very little difference to progress. As photovoltaic power fast approaches grid parity—i.e. a cost level with that of purchasing from the grid—the idea of financial incentives for solar installations appears increasingly redundant. If the cutting of feed-in tariffs is a strategy to undermine the march of photovoltaic solar power (as has been theorized), it doesn't seem to be working. Rather, the effect seems to be that, by making installers more cost-conscious, the least competitive manufacturers are weeded out. If the upshot of reducing feed-in tariffs is to keep the solar industry honest, how bad is that, really?

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