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Industry News, Trends, and Technology, and Standards Updates

Solar Energy, A Win-Win

Posted by Cimetrix on Jun 22, 2010 7:49:00 AM

by Peggy Faulkner,
Assistant Controller

"Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists. So what am I? I guess I would call myself a sober optimist...If you are not sober about the scale of the challenge, then you are not paying attention. But if you are not an optimist, you have no chance of generating the kind of mass movement needed to achieve the needed scale."
— Thomas L. Friedman, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—And How It Can Renew America”

Thomas Friedman, renowned New York Times columnist, author,Solar Energy and public speaker has been speaking and writing about the imperative need for American transition toward green energy for some time. His profound belief in superior American ingenuity and innovation, coupled with the rapidly growing world appetite for energy, is the potent recipe which should be directing our creative and practical energies toward a shift in US mentality that is not only good for our collective health, but also spells opportunity.

Photovoltaic production has been doubling every two years, increasing by an average of 48 percent each year since 2002, making it the world’s fastest-growing energy technology. The market research firm Gartner forecasts a 27% increase in semiconductor manufacturing in 2010, and a 35% increase in PV installations, even with the reduction of feed-in tariffs by the government in Germany, the world’s largest manufacturer of PV equipment.

Yet, as a developing industry, the PV arena has been evolving, and will continue to do so. Cimetrix has been involved in global efforts to define PV Standards through the PV-EIS Task Force since its inception in 2007. Standards were approved and published in June 2009, and Cimetrix engineers are uniquely qualified to understand and implement these standards as our PV customers adopt them.

All this bodes well for business, certainly in the short term. But another picture also emerges—one with cleaner air to breathe, fewer creatures futilely struggling to shed the oily coat imprisoning them, fewer distraught families hoping against dimming hope to see a loved one emerging from the mines, or watching fewer news images of the defeat and panic in the eyes of those who have lost their livelihood. Renewable energy sources can and will be a win-win for society and business alike. I, too, am an optimist. I know I’m on a winning team.

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Topics: PV Standards, PV2 Standard, Photovoltaic (PV)

The Time for Solar is Now

Posted by Cimetrix on Oct 15, 2009 9:30:00 AM

by Stu Benger,
Director of Sales, North America

Solar PowerI’d like to draw your attention to two recent articles by Tom Friedman, a renowned columnist for the NY Times and one of my favorite authors. Tom is far greener than I; however, as an old economics major, I agree with him that it is the economics of the conservation energy that is most critical to our nation generally and the fledging Solar industry specifically. In the first article Tom discusses the growth in Applied’s Solar business and laments that the factories are being built in China. (Have a Nice Day)

In the second article Tom goes on to say that the efforts by the Chinese in PV and their focus on Green Energy should be seen as an event similar to the Russian launch of Sputnik back in the 60’s (The New Sputnik) an event that should be a clear call for action to spur the American people. Sputnik led to the “Space Race” and innovation in every phase of American life from Tang to the internet, but mostly it led to a huge interest in technology. And by the end of the Space Race, America was the technology leader in about every facet of industry one could imagine. However, over the past thirty years, we have turned our interest from making things to making money. We have allowed our best engineers to turn from tweaking hardware for best performance to tweaking trading algorithms that produce a bit more for the hedge funds. I think we need to take a hard look at what Mr. Friedman is saying and call on our Politicians to do the same.

Solar Power is an industry poised for huge growth. The economics of the industry, the high degree of automation that can be used makes this an ideal industry that might just allow the American Manufacturing Sector a chance to crawl back from the dead. If we don’t, I’m afraid it will be a long time before the next opportunity presents itself and when it does it will only be because our children are the new low cost manufacturing site for a dominant Chinese economy.

Cimetrix is dedicated to improving the efficiency of solar cell production and actively seeking avenues for assisting the US solar industry to achieve this goal. We have been involved in the PV-EIS Task Force since its inception. A world-wide factory automation software supplier to the semiconductor industry, Cimetrix is an expert in the SEMI connectivity standards and has already been working with members of the solar industry to implement the new PV2 standard. We offer a complete set of proven and efficient equipment communication software solutions for PV manufacturing.

Topics: Photovoltaic (PV)

Presenting at the "most inspired platform for the PV Solar Sector"

Posted by Cimetrix on Sep 17, 2009 9:47:00 AM

PV 2 Standard InformationIn June of this year, the SEMI PV 2 Standard - Guide for PV Equipment Communication Interfaces (PVECI) was approved for publication by the global Audits and Reviews Subcommittee and became available for download on  

Curious about the new PV standards? Planning on being in Hamburg, Germany this week? 

Cimetrix will be participating in the Visual Presentations at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (PV SEC) in Hamburg, Germany next week.  Bruce Febvret will be representing Cimetrix at the conference and available to answer questions regarding our paper "Maintaining Quality and Performance in your Implementation of PVECI and GEM Standards." He will be near our poster (#2CV.1.77) on Wednesday, September 23 from 8:30 am - 10:10 am. The poster presentations will be on display in the Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) in the POSTER AREA in Halls D, E, F, G and Foyer D-G (2nd Floor). Click here to view a map of the venue.

Won't be in Germany? No problem.  We will be hosting a webinar on the same topic on Thursday, October 1. For your convenience, we will be presenting at 2 different times: 8:00 am MT/ 2:00 pm UTC as well as 5:00 pm MT/ 11:00 pm UTC. Brian Rubow, principal engineer,will discuss common quality issues and performance challenges for PV 2 Standard implementation. The paper being presented at PV SEC will be made available to all webinar registrants. 

Other PV2 Standard Resources:

Topics: PV Standards, SEMI Standards, PV2 Standard, PVECI, Events, Photovoltaic (PV)

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