Archive for November 2008

Spanish Businesses lead Europe in Ecological Certification

November 27, 2008

Via: Spanish Market

For the third year running, Spain leads the European table for the supreme award in ecological certification.

ISO 14001 is an internationally recognised standard for the environmental management of companies and their related business and manufacturing sites. It recommends controls for those activities that have an effect on the environment. Businesses are judged by their use of natural resources, handling and treatment of waste and energy consumption, compliance with air/water quality standards, noise, and other criteria.

There were no big surprises for Spain in this year’s annual list, published last week by The International Standards Organization which awards the certificates to each country. Spain continues leading Europe for the third consecutive year with a total of 13,852 certificates, 24.5% more than the previous year, widening the gap with Italy, which has the second most ecological companies in Europe.

AENOR (Spanish Standards and Certification Association), the institution which awards most ISO certificates in Spain, highlights the service and construction sectors as those where most environmental management certificates are awarded, followed by the chemical, oil and automotive sectors.

ISO 14001, with its more than 150,000 certificates in 148 different countries continues to symbolize an advantage for all those businesses competing in state or multinational company tenders. “Public administration services are putting more and more emphasis on the requirement of environmental certification in contract bidding. And this is not limited to 14001. The government has announced that companies with energy efficiency certification will have priority in tenders for public sector contracts”, said Jaime Fontanals, New Products Director at AENOR. 

Green stamps are becoming more and more sought after and companies are demanding certification which values particular aspects of their activity. In response to this demand, AENOR has just launched its compensatory carbon dioxide emissions certificate applicable to events, companies, products, services, transport and buildings. The International Oil Congress held in Madrid this summer, and the International Pharmaceutical Congress held at the end of October, have been the first to adopt it.


Dual-Junction Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record at 32.6 Percent at 1000 suns

November 18, 2008

Via: Semiconductor Today

The III-V Semiconductors group of the Instituto de Energía Solar at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (IES-UPM) in Spain has set a new record for solar energy conversion efficiency of 32.6% for a dual-junction photovoltaic cell.

Designed and fabricated in a horizontal MOCVD reactor by IES-UPM’s III-V Semiconductors group, the lattice-matched dual-junction solar cell was independently measured at the calibration laboratory of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (FhG-ISE) in Freiburg, Germany. The 32.6% efficiency was measured under light concentration of 1026 suns (where one sun is the amount of light that typically hits the Earth on a sunny day), while at 2873 suns the efficiency is still 31.1%. 

Professor Carlos Algora, director of the group, says that the new cell is an important advance for terrestrial concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) modules, which use lenses or mirrors to focus sunlight onto the solar cells. 

Courtesy of Madri+dIES-UPM says that its new solar cell differs significantly from the previous record holder, made by Fraunhofer ISE (which, in 2000, achieved 31% at 300 suns). It adds that the importance of the new record is not only the efficiency increase of 1.6%, but also the concentration level (1026 suns versus 300 suns). As a rule of thumb, the higher the concentration, the lower the resulting price of the generated electricity. IES-UPM reckons that, after about five years of development, the cost of solar electricity from CPV systems based on this type of solar cell would be about 5.5c€/kWh, while at present the cost of electricity in Spain (generated by all available sources: nuclear, oil, coil, gas, renewable etc) is about 7.5c€/kWh.

Algora stresses that this record dual-junction solar cell represents a step towards improving the efficiency of triple-junction solar cells, for which the efficiency record of 40.8% was achieved under concentration of 300 suns by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Researchers in the IES-UPM’s III-V Semiconductors group think that integration of its dual-junction structure into a triple-junction solar cell could result in a device with efficiencies of more than 41% at 1000-sun concentration.

Spanish wind energy manufacturer GOIAN to locate in Iowa

November 10, 2008

GA-250Spanish wind energy component manufacturer Elevadores Goian has announced its first US facility will be located in the Greater Des Moines area. The company’s US division, Goian North America LLC, will lease and build-out a 16,000 square foot office, service and manufacturing facility from the Denny Elwell Company in the Metro North Business Park in Ankeny. Goian (pronounced goy-ANNE) designs, manufactures, sells, installs and services industrial elevation systems. The company provides lifts for people and equipment that are installed inside the support towers for wind turbines.

The company initially evaluated sites in five states. Goian required a facility that would accommodate manufacturing, assembly, service and office uses at competitive rates with ready interstate access to wind energy installations in Iowa and surrounding states. Additional factors that the company considered in making its location decision were worker availability, competitive amenities for workers and local community support. The company will initially hire up to twelve workers in sales, wind farm service, manufacturing and administrative roles.

“The new wind energy program at the main Des Moines Area Community College campus in Ankeny will also be a substantial benefit for Goian.” commented Ankeny Mayor Steven Van Oort.

Iñaki Sancho, General Manager of Goian North America LLC, affirmed the competitiveness of the Greater Des Moines area as an advanced manufacturing center. “Goian is confident that our decision to place our first North American facility in the Des Moines area will be an excellent investment. We have easy access to the suppliers, customers and workforce that will grow our company well into the future.”

The Iowa Department of Economic Development, Greater Des Moines Partnership and City of Ankeny worked cooperatively to assist Goian in its site selection process. Goian is one of the three companies owned by the Jaso Group. The Group is a worldwide leader in the industrial elevation systems sector with 40 years of experience, over 800 employees and a presence in 31 countries.

Goian is the first company worldwide to develop its own rack-and-pinion technology and cable technology used for elevation systems in wind turbine towers. It has installed about 2,500 lifts so far. The company has developed seven models for use in the wind energy sector: four based on rack-and-pinion technology and three based on cable technology.

In the past couple of years, six other major wind energy manufacturers have announced plans to locate or expand their operations in Iowa, including TPI Composites Inc. and Siemens AG (blades), Trinity Industries Inc. and Hendricks (towers), Clipper and Acciona Energy (wind turbines).

“The wind industry continues to be a source of tremendous growth for Iowa,” said Michael Tramontina, director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development. “We are pleased to add Goian to the growing list of wind-related companies that are choosing Iowa for their first North American location.”