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Solar energy 101: An introduction to the solar industry

With all of the concern about the current environmental crisis, a large portion of which is directly connected to the issue of energy, a lot of individuals, businesses, and government officials are starting to see the light in the solar industry. But what exactly does the solar industry entail? How does solar energy work? And who are the big players in the solar industry? To answer these questions, here is your introduction to the solar Industry and its possibilities.

What Is The Solar Industry?

The largest source of energy on our planet comes from the sun. With the pressing and immediate need for clean, safe, and renewable energy effecting every aspect of our lives, many pioneering businesses have delved into the industry built on the idea of harnessing the sun’s energy to power everything from homes to business to farm equipment and even transportation. With this boom in the demand for solar energy this new industry was born and is experiencing great growth which, in turn, is creating tons of great new job opportunities in the public and private sectors. There are even some projects such as Winter Isle and The Sea Colonies Project that aim to create self sustaining societies that are completely off of the grid and rely solely on solar or other alternative sources of energy.

How Does Solar Energy Work?

The Law of Conservation of Energy (Or the First Law of Thermodynamics) states that energy is something that can neither be created nor destroyed but is merely converted from one form into another. A great example of this principle is the human body. When we eat nutritional food, our bodies take the energy that is stored in the food and converts it into the type of energy that our bodies can use to give us the get up and go we need to function.

Solar energy works on the same basic concept. Photovoltaic devices (PV’s) which are more commonly known as solar cells, are filled with different layers of material, such as silicon, which absorb the energy from the sun and then convert it into a usuable form, such as electricity. These cells are linked together in solar panels that produce energy to be used in powering homes, businesses, farm equipment, even sails and automobiles. This conversion takes place entirely within the solar cells themselves with no moving parts to break down. Also, there are no emissions from the process which gives you a completely clean, safe, and renewable source of energy that also happens to be free and readily available without the need for mining, drilling, or transporting dangerous materials. The materials used to make the solar panels are non-toxic and can even be taken from the waste of other industries to create the raw materials for them. Depending on the exact specifications of a particular model of solar panels, a location in the US northeast using a 5kw (kilowatts) system could generate about 500 kilowatt hours of electricity every month using only about 300 square foot of roof space.

Who Are The Leaders In The Solar Industry?

Given the great benefits for the environment and the general population in using solar energy it is no wonder that an entire industry is developing around this renewable energy source. Everything from research and development, manufacturing, wholesalers, retailers, marketing professionals, and installers are all finding employment with this environmentally friendly industry. There are existing and upcoming solar power stations all over the world including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Germany, Austrailia, and Spain just to name a few many which will be coming online by 2011, providing thousands of new jobs from companies like BrightSource Energy Company, Solar Systems, Eskom, TruEnergy, and Pacific Gas and Electric. Leading the way in individual solar alternatives for powering your house or business as well as providing solar lighting and water heaters are companies such as First Solar, BP Solar, Green Brilliance, and Signet Solar. The growing demand for workers in the solar industry is growing so much that the company Solar Staffing has developed to help interested parties get training and find employment in the renewable energy industry.

September 17, 2008

Bedford, MA, USA: Spire to Provide Turnkey Solar Module Manufacturing Line in India

Spire Corporation has received a contract from GreenBrilliance to provide a turnkey photovoltaic module assembly line for that company's operation in India. GreenBrilliance, headquartered in Virginia, USA, is a vertically integrated, end-to-end solar energy services provider.

Through its subsidiaries, GreenBrilliance LLC and GreenBrilliance Energy Private Ltd., the company provides clean, renewable solar energy at affordable pricing. Spire will provide GreenBrilliance with a semi-automated crystalline silicon module manufacturing line capable of producing up to 12 megawatts of solar modules per year.

Spire will supply the process technology and training to operate the factory, as well as offer assistance in qualifying the factory and its modules to international standards and certification.

The line is designed to be easily expandable at a later date and will integrate Spire's key assembly, lamination, and testing machines, along with intermediate tooling stations.

"We are excited to be awarded this turnkey line by GreenBrilliance. The photovoltaics market is both growing and moving rapidly in India and is expected to rise even faster than the world market in the coming years. To keep pace, companies need to enter quickly and efficiently. Spire adds great value with its ability to deliver a complete solar factory, along with all of the essential training to succeed in the solar business," said Roger G. Little, Chairman and CEO of Spire Corporation. "Spire is focusing and enhancing its efforts in India and is well positioned to cover the expanding needs of its growing customer base there."

Mr. Sanjay Chandra, President and Co-founder of GreenBrilliance, said, "We know how important a rapid entry to the market will be and Spire has the expertise and ability to get us up and running. Their equipment, staff, and knowledge are absolutely the best in the industry and their focus and dedication on the Indian market is clear."

Source : http://factoidz.com/solar-energy-101-an-introduction-to-the-solar-industry/

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