November 2010
October 2010
  • October 14, 2010 Category: Renewable Energy

    No longer is PV installation a simple matter of the cost of the panels versus the value of the electricity generated.  Building Integrated PV (BIPV) it is an integral part of building design and style.   Arguably, Japan has been the country that initiated the BIPV market, with its early use of a form of BIPV technology; small solar “tiles” integrated into rooftops.  However, as NanoMarkets discusses in its recent study of BIPV markets in general, BIPV technology has progressed significantly since then and now consists of well-differentiated rigid, flexible and transparent building products.

  • October 01, 2010 Category: Advanced Materials

    Zinc oxide (ZnO) has been used since the Bronze Age, but obviously not for its electrical properties; it was used as a salve and as an alloying agent to make bronze.  However, since the beginning of the 20th century, ZnO has been used in a number of important electronics products including varistors, surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices, various kinds of EMI/RFI and anti-static coatings, as well as in coated paper used in copying technology prior to the commercialization of xerography.

September 2010
  • September 27, 2010 Category: Renewable Energy

    Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is still a fledgling business and although a wide variety of BIPV products are now on offer the volumes sold are still low.  Nonetheless, BIPV has the potential to change the terms of reference for the solar panel industry in a number of ways.  From the demand side of the equation, BIPV improves the aesthetics of PV and could potentially reduce the total costs of constructing home, offices and factories utilizing solar panels.  Both these factors potentially open up new addressable markets.  From the supply perspective, BIPV offers new ways for PV panel suppliers to distinguish themselves in the marketplace.  Specifically, it becomes easier for panel makers to show that their products are different from "plain vanilla" panels and also (if they wish) to re-position their products as building materials rather than PV panels if this fits in with their product/marketing strategies. 

  • September 02, 2010 Category: Advanced Materials Renewable Energy

    In serving the applications for silver inks and pastes, manufacturers and distributors face a quandary:  most of the high-growth markets for silver are relatively small, while the larger markets are already mature and generally offer only modest growth prospects.  But the photovoltaics market for silver inks and pastes offers the best of both worlds.  This segment is already approaching a billion dollars in annual revenues, but it will grow faster—in absolute terms—than any of the other silver ink categories, and it will challenge traditional thick-film applications for dominance of the overall silver electronics market in the coming years.  

July 2010
June 2010
  • June 08, 2010 Category: Smart Technology

    There are concerns that the Smart Grid juggernaut may be slowing down.  This could be because the business cases for Smart Grid deployment in the distribution and customer premises are not as strong as advocates have presented them.  Perhaps more compelling stories can be found in deploying the latest transmission technology.  High-voltage DC transmission systems will reach almost $14.0 billion in annual revenues by 2015, for example.

  • June 01, 2010 Category: Advanced Materials

    Market analysis by NanoMarkets suggests that within a relatively few years, sales of silver inks into the Solid State Lighting (SSL) business, will grow to $250 million, offering an entirely new opportunity for the silver ink business.  The main market will be found in OLED lighting, which itself predicted to grow fast in the coming years.  In this application, silver ink and pastes can serve in electrodes, bus bars and even as a transparent conductor.

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