Finnish Photovoltaic Technology
Our Future is in Solar
Valoe is a pioneer in efficient solar technology.
The Sun's energy supply is enough to cover our current and future energy needs. The only way to meet the growing energy needs of the world is the widespread introduction of solar energy.
Solar energy can be most easily used through electricity. Locally produced photovoltaic electricity is the solution of the future. Solar energy does not require wide spead transmission grid.
With the introduction of a new generation of solar cell and module technology, clean and safe photovoltaic electricity will also be the cheapest.
Valoe develops solar technologies to deliver the cheapest electricity - the lowest Levelized Cost of Electricity, LCOE
Valoe´s aim is to develop high efficiency, solid, long lasting and maintenance free solar module that produce most electricity during its lifetime.
Solar cells of a PV-module transform the light into an electricity. When comparing different module types with each other the power generation capability and the long lifetime of the system are essential. The nominal output (Wp) in standard measurement does not represent accurately how much electricity the power plant produces, also the lowest nominal cost (€/Wp) rarely yields lowest LCOE or the best ROI (Return of the Investment).
IBC (Interdigitated Back Contact) cell is a very demanding solar cell to manufacture and the technology requires a wide range of expertise. One of Valoe´s core competences during its history has been a skill of combining various technologies in building advanced manufacturing processes. In the IBC technology Valoe is assisted by ISC Konstanz, the original developer of the Zebra IBC cell.
An IBC cell can produce significantly more electricity per Wp than conventional module. This can be mainly attributed to bifaciality, lower degradation (PID/LID) and low temperature coefficient.
Valoe´s IBC cells are N-type, double-sided, wear-free, high-power cells with the efficiency of initially 23%. The goal of the development is to increase the cell efficiency beyond 25% in less than 5 years. Valoe will also bring into the market a bi-facial module. The back side of the model collects reflected light and increases the module’s electrical output.
The excellent features of the IBC cell are best utilized with Valoe´s own back contact technology. In the back contact modules, all solar electricity is transferred from the back of an IBC cell to a module size flexible circuit board. As a result, the front of the cells will remain unobstructed to provide maximum electricity without shadowing fingers, busbars or wires. Valoes propriatory module technology also eliminates numerous soldered connections that are used in the traditional panels. Soldering brings toxic lead into the module structure and increases the risk of cracks in cells and the connections.
Solar energy is free of charge and a well-designed solar power plant is practically maintenance-free. The total cost of the solar electricity mainly consists of the initial investment cost. The higher is the amount of electricity generated by a module during its lifetime and the longer is the economic life time, the more cost-effective electricity it produces.
Valoe´s IBC modules have a 40-year electrical output guarantee.
IBC Cells in the factory process.
Valoe´s IBC Cell
Valoe Chrystal IBC Module
Valoe’s Back Contact Technology for a Solar Module Factory
Valoe sells turnkey Module Factories for its Production Partners.
The Back Contact Modules are manufactured in a Valoe’s proprietary automated assembly plant. The fully automated manufacturing process is efficient, and the modules produced are consistent in quality and durable and service free during their long lifetime.
The Valoe factory concept is a reasonably sized, fully automated and fully robotized and is designed for the local module production to replace the imports of the mass produced modules transported from their far away production sites. Local production is flexible and adopts faster to the variations in demand. With minimum logistic costs it is ecological and brings maximum benefits to the local community. To ensure the best possible competence of its partners and their local staff Valoe uses time and effort in training, as it transfers the technology and shares the Valoe innovations with its local partner.
Innovations in Valoe´s Cell and Module Production
Valoe introduces to the markets new solutions tested in its own production. The results of the product development are rapidly tested and then deployable to Valoe’s own and to the partner´s production. Valoe continuously develops its processes
Valoe started the hardware and software development of the Back Contact Modules in 2014. Valoe’s first mass produced module, Chrome II (MWT, glass-glass, back contact) is now in commercial production at the Mikkeli plant.
The Mikkeli module factory is a flexible pilot factory where the new technological innovations and all the efficiency increasing changes in the machinery or processes can quickly be tested. The capacity, however, is intended to satisfy not only Valoe´s own product development needs but also the demand for solar modules in Finland and adjacent areas. The annual capacity of the Mikkeli plant is, like its target marked, small but will be at least doubled up to 40-50 MW during the year 2019.
In 2018, Valoe started its own IBC cell development project by buying a N-type cell line from Italy. In February 2019, Valoe purchased Solitek´s, a Lithuanian cell manufacturer, cell production and started to modify the lines in Vilnius for the IBC cell production. The cell line is expected to start at the end of the year 2019 with an approximate annual capacity of 90 MW
Results with Partners
Valoe’s Mission is to make renewable photovoltaics more affordable and to make locally produced electricity more widely available. To advance this goal Valoe needs partners with complimenting goals in technology development, manufacturing and distribution.
Valoe develops its technology with its partners. Ideas can vary from the manufacturing innovations to the solutions of improving the production economy in a solar power plant. As an example of the joint product development is the IBC-cell that will be developed together with The International Solar Energy Research Center Konstanz (ISC Konstanz). Many other leading universities and research institutes develop and license technologies that Valoe uses in their business operations.
The production partners manufacture the modules and their components on the manufacturing lines developed by Valoe. In addition to manufacturing machinery, Valoe also delivers to its partners certified manufacturing recipes and guarantees the availability of the key components. Valoe also transfers its technology to its partners, supports the ramp-up of the plant. Valoe is prepared to support the production of its partner further after the period of one year technology transfer when a Valoe´s specialist is present at the site.
Distribution Partners use Valoe's technology in building their solar power plants or in selling solar electricity. Distribution partners are familiar with the local business rules and the market conditions and they understand the local culture.
Knowledge, skills and experience
R & D
The most important areas of expertise in the Valoes product development are material technology, laser technology, automation and robotics. We develop further designs of the various equipment used in manufacturing. Valoe's expertise in product development in is based on strong theoretical know-how, good training and vast practical experience.
PV MODULE PRODUCTION
Valoe's own production is highly automated, but without the skillful production team, automation can not improve. In Mikkeli, the solar panel plant usually works in two shifts. Quality control and detailed monitoring of the various stages of the module production are key factors to the total quality of the operations of the Valoe plant.
Every photovoltaic system requires expertise of the design and the installation. Valoes project team has both experienced designers and an efficient installation team. Accurate and careful project delivery is important to both the customer and Valoe.