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Saint-Gobain Solar expert explains industry growth in new video | Europe

Saint-Gobain Solar expert explains industry growth in new video

A veteran industry executive from Saint-Gobain confronts these issues in a newly released question and answer (Q&A) video format, available here and offers guidance on the steps solar industry players must take to remain competitive.
According to Janaki Weiden, Global Market Manager, SOLGLIDE, the recent ? and in some cases, rapid ? growth of the solar industry in the US, Asia, parts of South and Central America, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is increasing competition among solar energy producers and their suppliers as the influx of industry players places downward pressure on pricing per watt.

To remain competitive, these companies must reduce costs. Solar energy producers will rely more heavily on the durability and efficiency of production technologies, so it is imperative that products such as parabolic troughs perform flawlessly throughout their lifetime.

Weiden emphasizes that the way to ensure that solar energy technologies maximize output is through collaborative design. He discusses Saint-Gobain?s own collaborative approach to designing custom solutions for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors and structure suppliers, citing the company?s research and development (R&D) capabilities and global presence as key factors enabling anticipation of upcoming market trends when designing custom solutions.

He urges that members of the value chain must come together early in the design process to determine what needs should be addressed both in the short-term and long-term scope of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) developments. Having multiple perspectives and a broader understanding of the industry?s direction is essential to designing effective long-term innovations.

?Market and customer insight are playing a key role here,? Weiden said. ?These will enable suppliers to [the solar] industry to create cost-efficient and sustainable solutions at the same time...products have to be durable and long-lasting to withstand a physically dynamic environment. This will then have a positive impact on the maintenance cost [of CSP and PV solution-like tracking systems].?

Even small components can be critical to enhancing the performance and minimizing the costs of larger solar technologies. Weiden references the company?s recently launched SOLGLIDE® T and SOLGLIDE® M families of bearings as examples of components that can have a significant impact on the efficiency of larger technologies. Both lines of bearings reduce friction and wear by 50 percent compared to other models on the market to maintain the tracking performance of actuating systems over the lifespan of the equipment.

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Posted by Gloria Llopis | 2011-09-21