France-Soitec, a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials for the electronics and energy industries, has introduced the Plug&Sun+, a new higher capacity version of its off-grid concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) product. The new Plug&Sun+ can be coupled with batteries and/or a diesel generator to provide electricity 24/7 and is designed to address the needs of medium-scale solar-energy installations at remote sites with limited or no access to grid power. The new system is available now and already generating orders.
The original Plug&Sun, launched in 2011, is a robust, reliable, easy-to-deploy CPV tracking system designed to meet the energy needs of small-scale isolated sites. The new, configurable Plug&Sun+ provides an enhanced mix of technical and economic performance. It uses three of the latest generation of CPV modules from Soitec ─ with a total surface area of 26.3 m2 ─ and is linked to an energy management system. This allows the system to achieve a peak-power output of 7.3 kWp while providing hundreds of watts of power throughout the day and night. The system also can be configured with more than one dual-axis tracker. Additionally, when Plug&Sun+ is used in hybrid installations, it provides a renewable energy source that complements existing power generators. This can yield substantial technical and economic benefits such as reducing diesel consumption and maintenance costs.
The Plug&Sun+ system is configurable to meet the installation requirements for different applications including housing (lodges, houses, camps, etc.), industrial sites, outdoor lighting, water treatment (pumping, desalinization, etc.) and telecommunications base stations. Soitec has already received an order for its new Plug&Sun+ system configured with two trackers from a European leader in energy and information technology services for a pilot installation that will supply electricity to a French city.
Additionally, Soitec continues to sell and support its original Plug&Sun system. This deployable power generating system is adapted to the needs of individual electricity generation. In recent weeks, Plug&Sun systems have been ordered by a solar-project developer in Qatar that will employ Soitec’s system for exterior lighting, and Logsys Power Services, an electrical installation and maintenance company in Australia and a new distributor of the Plug & Sun product line in that country. Logsys is currently using the product for a remote water-pumping application.
“The immediate customer demand for our newest flexible, configurable CPV system demonstrates the value of the Plug&Sun product portfolio as the most efficient solar generator of clean, off-grid electricity,” said José Beriot, vice president of solar projects development with Soitec’s Solar Energy Division. “Our new system also fits well with our strategic mission to be a leader in the off-grid energy market by spearheading the development of very efficient and robust CPV technology that is perfectly suited for remote regions with high solar radiation.”
About concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology
Soitec’s CPV technology uses triple-junction cells mounted on a glass plate. Fresnel lenses, manufactured using silicone on glass, concentrate sunlight 500 times before it reaches the cells, which convert it into electricity. A metal frame holds two glass plates to form highly robust, durable and resilient modules. By combining several modules on biaxial trackers, which use a proprietary algorithm to automatically optimize their position based on the path of the sun, Soitec’s technology maximizes energy generation throughout the day.
Soitec is an international manufacturing company, a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials at the frontier of the most exciting energy and electronic challenges. Soitec’s products include substrates for microelectronics (most notably SOI: Silicon-on-Insulator) and concentrator photovoltaic systems (CPV). The company’s core technologies are Smart Cut™, Smart Stacking™ and Concentrix™, as well as expertise in epitaxy. Applications include consumer and mobile electronics, microelectronics-driven IT, telecommunications, automotive electronics, lighting products and large-scale solar power plants. Soitec has manufacturing plants and R&D centers in France, Singapore, Germany and the United States. For more information, visit: www.soitec.com.