Do-It-Yourself Solar-Powered PC: Technical Foundations

Industrial-Grade Solar Cell Vendors

When it comes to solar power, Germany is way ahead of the USA, Japan, and Spain

It's primarily a result of government policy that Germany enjoys the highest global level of innovation and investment when it comes to solar power. Even in rankings for worldwide solar power generation, Germany (Study for 2010) holds first place with 36 percent of all installations, with the USA at 15 percent, and Spain at 8 percent. All told, more than 1000 megawatts (1 gigawatt) of power is being generated exclusively from the sun. We also provide another graphic that shows just how small the portion of solar-derived energy really is, as compared to total worldwide energy generation. There are only a limited number of solar cell manufacturers around the world, and most of them simply repackage standard solar cells into panels or arrays. The following list shows the top 7 solar cell manufacturers:

  • Sharp 28%
  • Q-Cells 11%
  • Kyocera 9%
  • Sanyo 8%
  • Mitsubishi 7%
  • RWE Schott Solar 6%
  • BP Solar 5%

Germany also leads the pack with the largest photovoltaic installation in the world, located in the Erlasse winery in Franken, Bavaria. There, a total of 1,408 solar arrays generate 12 megawatts of power, to provide a town of 8,500 inhabitants with electricity. Here's an overview of the leading solar power installations in Germany:

  • Erlasse winery, Franken, Bavaria: 16,896 solar panels (1,480 Solon Mover arrays), with 12,000 kW
  • Solarpark Bavaria, Mühlhausen, Bavaria, 57,600 individual solar panels, 6300 kW
  • Solarpark Leipziger Wand, Sachsen, 33,500 solar panels, 5000 kW
  • Solar roof München-Riem, Bavaria, 1000 kW
  • Berlin's main train station, the Lehrter Bahnhof, has 780 solar panels, 1,700 m2, 180 kW
  • German Chancellor's office, Berlin, 756 solar panels, 1,270 m2, 150 kW

Large installation: Roof mounting of polycrystalline silicon panels at a factory

Future view: Solar panels all over the rooftops in family housing

Sensible: Complete integration of solar panels into roof construction

The worldwide portion for solar energy remains miniscule