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Four-terminal tandem organic solar cell achieves 16.94% efficiency

Researchers in Spain claim to have recorded the highest power conversion efficiency result for a four-terminal tandem organic cell to date. The device is based on an ultrathin transparent silver electrode.
Markets & Policy

Vast Solar to build 30 MW/288 MWh CSP plant in Australia

Renewables developer Vast Solar has signed a key engineering contract as it pushes toward construction of a 30 MW/288 MWh thermal concentrated solar power (CSP) plant with more than eight hours of energy storage capacity near Port Augusta, South Australi...
Manufacturing

Sunman launches glass-free balcony solar modules

The Chinese manufacturer said its new frameless module can be installed on a balcony through nylon cable ties, without the need for any mounting structure. The new product features a power output of 200 W and a power conversion efficiency of 16.2%.
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Energy Storage

System design for PV-driven hybrid EV charging stations

Researchers in India have simulated a 4 kW solar power-based hybrid electric vehicle (EV) charging station using a three-stage charging strategy and found that the station is capable of charging 10–12 EVs with 48 V 30 Ah lithium-ion batteries.
Markets & Policy

LevelTen Energy reports stable solar PPA prices for US market

LevelTen Energy says in a new report that solar power purchase agreement (PPA) prices have remained stable in the United States, indicating greater stability after a period of market volatility.
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Manufacturing

Reducing PV module temperature with radiative cooling based on polymeric coatings

A Saudi research group has assessed how polymeric coatings, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), could be used for radiative cooling in photovoltaic panels and has found that both materials could reduce the operating ...
Energy Storage

The Hydrogen Stream: Vale opens hydrogen metallurgy lab in China

Vale and Central South University have launched a joint laboratory for low-carbon and hydrogen metallurgy in Changsha, in China's Hunan province, while Nippon Steel has secured approval to acquire U.S. Steel.
Markets & Policy

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Huasun signs wafer, cell supply deals

Huasun has signed two deals with Leascend Group, including a monocrystalline silicon wafer supply agreement, while GCL Technology has agreed to supply Longi Green Energy Technology with 425,000 tons of N-type granular silicon to the end of 2026.

Press Releases

JinkoSolar’s Tiger Neo to Power Africa’s First Commercial Green Iron Plant in Namibia

JinkoSolar today announces that it has supplied 25MW of its highly efficient N-type TOPCon panels for the first phase of a solar-powered hydrogen project which supports green iron making at the Oshivela plant in Namibia.

Solar Charter unites EU governments and solar sector in commitment to reshore solar manufacturing in Europe

The Charter was signed during an Informal Energy Ministerial in Brussels and is a commitment from governments and the sector to support European solar manufacturing.

SSE Renewables’ first battery storage project now fully operational

SSE’s first battery energy storage system (BESS) project at Salisbury in Wiltshire, England is now fully operational. The 50MW / 100MWh BESS project, which could power over 80,000 homes* for two hours at times of peak demand, is the first operational battery site in SSE’s portfolio.

Jinkosolar launched new 5MWh ESS with 314Ah battery

Jinkosolar is now the undisputed leader in the solar PV segment, but it’s just a start, it enters ESS market and is ambitious to become new leader in ESS market.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Making the case for concentrated solar power

Dismissed by many in the solar industry as an overly-complex, outdated technology, concentrated solar power (CSP) is set for a comeback thanks to a scaled-down, modular approach.

A new twist on thermal storage

Power Panel offers a PV and thermal storage solution that combines simple, safe and easy to manage hot water with advanced thermoplastic technology and architecture.

What does solar need to keep investment flowing?

In its latest monthly column for pv magazine, SolarPower Europe describes which policy tools are expected to help Europe move at a faster pace in solar and renewable energy deployment. The European trade body discusses the upcoming support schemes, the transformation of the PPA market and the rise of green finance.

Solar cell prices fall for 3rd consecutive week

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, OPIS, a Dow Jones company, provides a quick look at the main price trends in the global PV industry.

‘I don’t think I had more difficulties establishing myself in senior roles than my male colleagues’

This week, Women in Solar Europe (WiSEu) gives voice to Maria Sabella, CEO and founder of Italy-based Enlight Energy Services. She told as, in some cases, at the beginning of her working relationships, she felt some prejudgment from male colleagues, but she also aknowledged, that the initial reaction disappeared after the focus on the details of the activity to be performed increased.

European Solar sees warm, cloudy end to winter, linked to record temperatures

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, Solcast, a DNV company, reports that in March most European solar operators and grids saw less solar irradiance and production than normal, due to enhanced westerly winds bringing moist air off a relatively warm Atlantic ocean. Large areas of the continent saw irradiance down 10% to 25% below normal for March.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Croatia launches auctions for 607 MW of solar, wind, hydro

The Croatian Energy Market Operator (HROTE) has announced a much-anticipated, €257.2 million ($273.5 million) round of renewable energy auctions. It has allocated the biggest quota of 450 MW for solar projects and has set a deadline to award the subsidies by year’s end.

EC announces European Solar Charter to support PV manufacturing

The European Commission (EC) has proposed the European Solar Charter (ESC) in response to the challenges facing the continent’s solar manufacturing industry. The document sets out a series of voluntary actions to be undertaken to support the EU photovoltaic sector and bears no mention of EU trade tariffs or restrictions on cheap solar panel imports.

European study shows continent exports solar waste

Europe’s solar boom is hiding its waste through exports, according to a new study. Instead of recycling, as expected under European regulations, vast amounts of solar panel waste are exported, undermining sustainability goals. The researchers suggest a digitized value chain as a potential fix to work toward a circular economy.

‘Polysilicon price will stay above $5.50/kg for at least a year,’ says analyst

Andries Wantenaar, solar analyst at Rethink Technology Research, tells pv magazine that high overcapacity levels in the polysilicon industry are exerting enormous pressure on prices for the entire supply chain. He says China hit 2.4 million tons of polysilicon production capacity at the end of 2023, and notes that the nation will end 2024 with 4 million tons of capacity if all announced production plans are realized.

Turkish solar module manufacturer launches production in Texas

Elin Energy says it has an agreement with key US distributors and will begin with 1 GW of annual PV module production, with plans to increase to 2 GW within 18 months.

France to tender 240 MW of solar capacity along highways

The French authorities plan to launch a series of tenders to deploy PV systems along highways, starting this month.

Installations

Featured

Spanish installer tests vertical rooftop PV array based on conventional panels

Sud Renovables has installed a pilot vertical rooftop PV system on one of its facilities in Barcelona, Spain. The array features two 500 W bifacial modules from US-based SunPower and two microinverters from Enphase Energy.

US median residential solar price hits $2.80/W, with 8-year payback period

EnergySage says market figures from the second half of 2023 show moderate declines in the cost of solar and energy storage.

Building back bigger

Already 2024 is shaping up to be another record year for solar installations. In Europe, projects are getting bigger as increasing difficulty with obtaining a grid connection makes smaller systems unviable. pv magazine recently caught up with Bernhard Suchland, CEO of Germany/Bulgaria based project services provider Sunotec, for a look a closer look at this and other trends in the large-scale PV segment.

Glint Solar adds PV degradation maps to utility-scale developer software

The Norwegian PV planning software company said it added the new PV degradation maps to pinpoint site locations with favorable climatic conditions.

Photovoltaics for cold storage

Researchers in China have developed a photovoltaic cold storage system that is reportedly able to improve refrigeration capacity and ice storage rate. The system is said to ensure a stable cooling system operation for the refrigeration needs of agricultural products.

Australian residential buildings hold 48.5 GW of untapped PV potential

Australia has firmly established its status as a global leader in residential solar deployment, with 35% of all homes already equipped with rooftop systems. However, new figures from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) reveal that there are almost 50 GW of “untapped PV potential” on residential buildings across the country.

Technology

Featured

Dracula Technologies, STMicroelectronics unveil photovoltaic illuminometer

France’s indoor organic PV specialist Dracula Technologies and Swiss-headquartered semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics demonstrated a battery-free illuminometer at the Embedded World trade fair in Germany last week.

Adjusting oxygen distribution in Czochralski silicon crystal growth

Researchers in Taiwan have discovered that in polysilicon production the crucible angular speed affects the oxygen concentration near the crucible wall, which in turn affects the wafers’ mechanical and electrical properties. They simulated a Czochralski process for an ingot with a diameter of 200 mm diameter and a length of 700 mm.

Rechargeable magnesium batteries for grid-scale storage

Researchers in Japan have developed a novel cathode material for rechargeable magnesium batteries (RMBs) in the form of rocksalt oxide. This new material reportedly enables efficient charging and discharging even at low temperatures.

Solar module cooling tech based on waste neem oil

An international research team has placed a neem oil tank on the back of solar modules for cooling purposes. The proposed solution reportedly improves PV panel performance by up to 17.8%.

Key takeaways from Advanced Battery Power + V2G conference

Battery research is advancing to address issues in the lithium-ion development process and concerns about safety and aging. Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) tech, meanwhile, is in the starting blocks, but interoperability is the key hurdle to achieving mass market penetration.

EU Ecodesign and Energy labels for solar risks fall short of objectives, says coalition

Representatives from the European Solar Manufacturing Council, Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance, PVthin, and the Environmental Coalition on Standards have proposed changes to the carbon footprint accountability methodology, the use of green certificates, and the planned design of the Energy Label for PV products.

Manufacturing

Featured

How much polysilicon is enough

TU Delft researchers have proposed a new approach for solar cell manufacturing that implies gauging wafer thickness depending on the regions where the cells and modules will be deployed. They also suggested to adopt test conditions that are representative of the outdoor working condition of solar cells in an alternative to standard testing conditions.

Indian researchers develop solar cell from living algae

The researcher team, from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham university in Coimbatore, India, sandwiched macroalgae between a carbon-coated copper electrode and a titanium oxide-coated fluorine-doped tin oxide electrode. The 1 cm2 device exhibited a 1.25 mA photocurrent and 0.5 V photovoltage under UV light.

Australian solar manufacturing through the looking glass

The Silicon to Solar report, partly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, outlines ways to restore solar manufacturing to the nation with a little help from the country’s major trading partner – China.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: CNMIA says polysilicon, wafer prices continue to fall

The China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNMIA) says that prices for n-type rod silicon fell 3.3% on a weekly basis to between CNY 55,000 ($7,600) and CNY 60,000 per ton this week. It reports that wafer prices also fell between 3.5% and 15.6% during the same period.

Sinovoltaics releases financial stability ranking of PV module manufacturers

Sinovoltaics has analyzed listed solar panel producers over the past three years using a balance sheet-based model and publicly available financial information to track finacial strength. The top-five module makers of the new ranking are Tainergy, First Solar, Eterbright, Mission Solar, and Era Solar.

Maxeon unveils TOPCon solar module series for rooftop PV

Maxeon said its new Sunpower Performance 7 panel series features a power conversion efficiency of up to 22.7% and an operating temperature coefficient of -0.29% C.

Energy Storage

Alpha Innotec launches new residential heat pumps

The German manufacturer said the new air-to-water systems are part of its Hybrox series. Their coefficient of performance is between 4.3 and 5.3 and their size ranges from 11 kW to 16 kW.

Engie connects solar mini-grid in Benin

The mini-grid, expected to connect over 1,500 residents to electricity, is part of the company’s wider plans to install over 20 mini-grids in Benin, which will serve more than 30,000 people across 20 rural localities collectively, through a total 1.2 MW capacity.

Egyptian solar set to expand beyond the massive 1.8 GW Benban PV project

In this edition of the Weekend Read, we turn to Egypt. The gigawatt-scale Benban project showcases the North African country’s solar potential, and premium prices for gas exports make the case for a more diverse energy mix. A nation with grand renewables targets – but slow installation rates – may finally be weaning itself off fossil fuel resources.

CATL unveils first mass-producible battery storage with zero degradation

China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) has launched its new TENER energy storage product, which it describes as the world’s first mass-producible 6.25 MWh storage system, with zero degradation in the first five years of use.

The Hydrogen Stream: Engie confirms termination of H2Sines.Rdam project

Engie has told pv magazine that the developers of the H2Sines.Rdam installation have decided to terminate the project to produce hydrogen in Portugal and send it to the Netherlands, while Fortescue said it has opened an electrolyzer production facility in Australia.

Enphase Energy releases control software for home solar, battery systems

Enphase Energy, a California-based microinverter specialist, says its new power control system will give North American customers that use its energy systems more flexibility to build larger projects.

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