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Solar microgrid to support critical water infrastructure

A US water station will enhance its ability to deliver safe, clean water during extended grid outages.
Manufacturing

Australian scientists hit 30.3% efficiency with tandem perovskite-silicon PV cell

A research team at Australian National University (ANU) has claimed an efficiency of 30.3% for a tandem solar cell made by mechanically stacking a perovskite cell and silicon cell.
Installations

Only5mins! – Australia’s key minerals will make it a green energy superpower

Tim Buckley, director of Climate Energy Finance, speaks to pv magazine about the crisis threatening Adani Group with collapse, the "positive outlook" for Australian renewables, and the nation's potential to become a clean energy superpower.
Announcements

 

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Energy Storage

The Hydrogen Stream: Bismuth-based catalyst for efficient OER in electrolysis

South Korean researchers have reported higher performance with a newly proposed BM/BiFeOxHy electrocatalyst for oxygen evolution reaction (OER), due to higher lattice vacancies and the amorphous structure. Institutions in the EU, the UK, and Canada, mea...
Energy Storage

Dutch startup unveils controller to store excess PV power in hot water

Solyx Energy has developed a device to maximize solar self-consumption in residential homes. The sensor measures how much solar power can be fed back into the grid at different times, while a controller redirects that excess energy into an electric water...
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Installations

Modular solar tech gets nod for Australian off-grid lithium mine project

Australian modular solar manufacturer 5B’s rapidly deployable Maverick technology is set for installation at a 95 MW hybrid power plant in Western Australia featuring solar, wind, and battery energy storage.
Markets & Policy

Construction begins on 23 MW solar plant in Gambia

Gambia National Water and Electric Co. (Nawec) says the World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have agreed to finance a 23 MW solar plant in the African nation.
Installations

Agrivoltaic project set to become New Zealand’s first utility-scale solar farm

New Zealand government-owned Genesis Energy and renewables partner FRV Australia have purchased an advanced 52 MW agrivoltaic solar project on New Zealand’s South Island. If the project meets its 2024 operational target as anticipated, it will be the c...

Press Releases

RECOM Technologies unveils Panther modules portfolio at Intersolar North America 2023

RECOM Technologies will be participating in the Intersolar North America 2023 in Long Beach, California from February 14-16.

Heat pump software GeoT*SOL 2023 available now – new with photovoltaic option and configurable diagrams

GeoT*SOL is a professional and user-friendly tool for planning and designing heat pump systems. The program offers you the choice between different heat sources, operating modes and numerous system configurations for your location.

SolarEdge Launches its First Battery Virtual Power Plant Supporting Great Britain’s National Grid ESO Demand Flexibility Service

Great Britain’s SolarEdge Home Battery owners can participate in the Demand Flexibility Service to help stabilize the grid and earn financial incentives utilizing their stored battery energy during pre-scheduled ‘peak demand events’

Goldi Solar and L&T Public Charitable Trust Join Hands To Provide Skill Development Training In The Solar PV Manufacturing

Goldi Solar and L&T Public Charitable Trust will unite for their common objective to provide the solar industry skilled workforce

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Vanadium’s role in a just transition

The deployment of a vanadium flow battery at a fire station run by Native Americans illustrates the role that the energy storage technology can play in ensuring that nobody is disadvantaged by the shift away from fossil fuels.

Battery supply chain state of health

As the US Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act demonstrated, companies preparing to spend big on batteries are at risk of being blindsided by supply-chain-related legislation. Here are some tips on how US developers can anticipate policy curveballs.

Consumers have a right to know the energy make-up of goods

With energy certification already a must-have for any business which makes green energy claims, Ed Everson, chief executive of England-based, global certification company Evident, makes the case for firms to be required to make full disclosure of their energy sources.

The fastest energy change in history

Solar and wind are being installed at a rate that is three times faster than all other new electricity sources combined. This offers compelling market-based evidence that PV and wind are now the most competitive and practical methods for deploying new generating capacity.

Ready for takeoff

Airport PV can provide an instant boost to emission-reduction efforts while work continues on sustainable aviation fuels. Developing solar projects at or near airports, however, is not as straightforward as typical ground-mount installations.

Rethinking soiling

The two dominant methods used in the industry to estimate soiling levels on solar projects go some way in mitigating losses, but there is plenty of scope for more accurate observation.

Covid-19

African PAYG solar companies have hogged 72% of sector’s investment

The first post-pandemic update on the state of the world's off-grid solar industry has painted a picture of domination by European companies, but highlighted the potential for new startups in West Africa and an increasing use of PV as a backup to unreliable grid supplies.

Off-grid solar continues to expand

The off-grid solar sector has shown resilience in the face of pandemic-related challenges, with 70 million people gaining access to electricity from early 2020 to the end of 2021. However, the ability to pay for solar energy kits has taken a hit.

AfDB announces cheap loans to back off-grid solar in Africa

The African Development Bank has announced that European and US donors will provide $20 million of concessional loans to support pay-as-you-go solar companies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Irena gives latest update on stark chances of electricity access for all by 2030

The International Renewable Energy Agency’s latest annual report on the progress towards UN sustainable development goal seven estimates 670 million people will still lack electricity in 2030, and more than 2 billion will be reliant on unhealthy, polluting cooking methods.

Poland prioritizes renewables in pandemic-recovery plans

It should come as no surprise that clean energy spending is a big chunk of Warsaw’s four-year EU grant and loans package, given that the nation’s grid-connected solar capacity rose from 3.99 GW at the end of 2020 to 6.3 GW four months ago, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

IRENA fleshes out chilling effect of Covid on off-grid solar

The clean power numbers published annually by the International Renewable Energy Agency provide a snapshot of the global solar market and, this year, a lot of figures were unchanged from the previous dataset, especially in the off-grid segment.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Asia takes the lead on floating PV

Floating PV is consolidating as a growth segment for PV demand, mainly driven by supportive policies and incentives extended by governments across the world. A major reason for this push is the limited land availability in many markets. Despite higher equipment prices compared to ground-mounted installations, developers see the opportunity to save on land and O&M costs. The output can also be as much as 30% higher than a ground-mount PV plant, depending on the site and technology used.

Growing US microgrid market hits 10 GW in 2022

Wood Mackenzie estimates that the US microgrid market has seen a 47% increase in solar and storage capacity in 2022 compared to 2017 levels, driven by rising demand for uninterrupted services, military resilience plans, and corporate environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) goals.

Enel announces potential partner for 3 GW solar module factory in Italy

Enel CEO Francesco Starace says the company is talking to an unspecified international investor about the sale of a 50% stake in its new 3 GW heterojunction solar module factory in Catania, which is scheduled to start operations in September.

Solarnative to open microinverter gigafactory in Germany

German startup Solarnative has invested €1 million ($ 1.07 million) in a surface-mount technology production line for its new microinverter plant in Germany. It says it plans to ramp up microinverter production from May.

SVECK to build new factory to make EVA films for PV modules

SVECK, an EVA film supplier, said it wants to set up a new factory in Yancheng, in China’s Jiangsu province.

US to add 29.1 GW of large-scale solar in 2023

The US solar market is set to add 29.1 GW of new utility-scale PV and 9.4 GW of storage in 2023, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). If that new capacity goes online as planned, 2023 will have the most new utility-scale PV capacity added in a single year.

Installations

Featured

Australia builds big

While the first half of 2022 was one of the busiest periods on record for new wind projects in Australia, with more than 2 GW breaking ground, solar got off to a much slower start with construction on 635 MW of new PV projects getting underway. Rystad Energy’s David Dixon attributes this slowdown to high cost and supply chain challenges and a lack of available power purchase agreements.

Sharp unveils 228 W residential solar panel for limited rooftop spaces

Japan’s Sharp says its new 228 W solar modules have an efficiency rating of 20%.

New lithium iron phosphate battery for residential, off-grid PV

Discovery Battery’s new lithium iron phosphate battery system has a nominal voltage of 51.2 V and a capacity of 100 Ah. Up to six 5.12 kWh battery modules can be stacked in a single enclosure, and up to four enclosures can be connected in parallel for a total capacity of 120 kWh.

Financial close for 20 MW of PV, 5 MWh of storage in Madagascar

Axian has secured MGA 47.1 billion ($10.9 million) to finance the expansion of a 40 MW solar plant and a 5 MWh storage facility into a 60 MW PV project with 10 MWh of storage. The installation will become Madagascar’s largest solar park upon completion.

Photovoltaic-thermal system based on PCM cooling

Malaysian researchers have developed a system that can absorb heat from PV modules and transmit it to a nanofluid, in order to transform it into thermal energy and use it for different applications. The panels have an overall efficiency of 89%.

Floating PV reduces water evaporation in Brazilian reservoir by 60%

Brazilian and US researchers have evaluated the water evaporation rate of a floating PV system on a Brazilian reservoir. They said that the 130 kW installation reduced evaporation by 60%, and claimed that a 5 MW system could save enough water for 196 people per year.

Technology

Featured

Copper is the new silver lining

As the PV industry scales to annual terawatt-level production to rapidly curtail the world’s emissions, it will become more challenging to continue the cost reduction trajectory. Increasing module production from current levels of 200 GW to 300 GW to several terawatts each year will consume significantly more material resources than the industry currently uses. This will require consideration of the additional materials to be sourced, writes Alison Lennon, chief scientist at Sundrive Solar and professor at the UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering.

US startup secures funding for window mini-split air conditioner

Gradient’s first-generation heat pump heating and cooling system is available for preorder, and ships this summer.

Southeast Asia’s largest battery goes online

Sembcorp Industries has connected a 285 MWh battery storage system to the grid on Jurong Island, Singapore. It is reportedly Southeast Asia’s largest energy storage system, featuring 800 large-scale lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

Array Technologies to build tracker factory in Australia

US solar tracker supplier Array Technologies plans to set up a factory in Australia, after winning a contract to supply trackers for a 102 MW solar farm in the Australian state of Victoria.

Weekend Read: From diesel to DC

For a long while, it looked as if hydrogen fuel cells would be the technology of choice for emissions-free road transport. However, truck manufacturers and freight forwarders recently turned their attention to battery-electric vehicles. This will require special charging technology and PV looks set to play an important role.

Only5mins! – Sunnova’s micro-utility model challenging California utilities

US residential solar specialist Sunnova is seeking approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for its micro-utility business model, which could potentially disrupt the state’s energy landscape. pv magazine speaks to CEO John Berger about plans to develop self-sustaining microgrids by equipping new homes and communities with solar and storage.

Manufacturing

Featured

Catalyst for an EU comeback

Plans for Europe’s largest-ever PV cell and module factory are taking shape, with equipment orders placed and a projected start date in mid-2024. Enel Green Power has received €118 million ($116.36 million) in funding from the EU Innovation Fund to support the project, out of a total €600 million investment. The EU is hoping it will catalyze further investment in similar projects, and start a high-tech comeback for European solar manufacturing.

Reflective membrane to increase albedo, power yield in bifacial PV projects

Germany-based Solmax has developed a reflective membrane made of polyethylene resins and coated with a thin white polyethylene layer that reflects ultraviolet (UV) rays. The company claims the membrane can increase the energy yield of a bifacial PV project by between 5% and 20%, depending on the plant configuration.

Polysilicon price rebound continues

Polysilicon prices started to rise in the second half of January, according to new data from the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNMIA).

Big wafer benefits extend to n-type, says Trina Solar

China’s Trina Solar has published a white paper on its latest n-type TOPCon modules, with cost calculations and figures from demonstration projects. The Chinese PV manufacturer claims better performance from its 210 mm cells than with other n-type products based on smaller, 182 mm cells.

European PV equipment makers pitch machines to US solar manufacturers

A $1 billion to $1.5 billion US market opportunity awaits PV equipment manufacturers through 2030, a McKinsey & Company consultant said at a recent event for potential equipment buyers and sellers in Washington, DC.

India confirms focus on green hydrogen, solar and battery manufacturing

India’s 2023-24 budget shows the government’s plans to support the domestic production of lithium battery cells.

Energy Storage

Featured

Cobalt clings on

Cobalt is key for boosting energy density and battery life, but it comes with caveats: expensive, scarce, and linked to unethical mining practices, wild price fluctuations, and a tenuous supply chain. In recent years, battery manufacturers and automakers have intensified efforts to reduce or eliminate cobalt in lithium-ion cathodes. But sometimes, old habits die hard, as pv magazine’s Marija Maisch explains.

Romania introduces new rules for energy storage

The Romanian government has issued long-anticipated secondary regulations for the deployment of storage systems.

Argentina launches tender for 500 MW of solar

Argentina has announced its first renewable energy tender since 2019.

The Hydrogen Stream: Honda reveals plans to halve fuel cell costs by 2030

Honda has revealed a new hydrogen strategy, while Air Liquide and TotalEnergies have announced a new hydrogen joint venture.

AC vs. DC in residential buildings equipped with solar-plus-storage

Scientists in Sweden have compared AC and DC topologies in PV-powered buildings using battery storage. They have found that DC distribution systems can achieve energy savings when they are combined with solar-plus-storage systems.

Overcoming thermal issues of vanadium redox flow batteries

Chinese scientists have analyzed reports of thermal issues with vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) and existing thermal management methods. They say the operating temperature should be maintained in the range of 10 C to 40 C to ensure VRFBs with high efficiency, weak side reactions, high electrolyte stability, and low crossover.

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