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Gallium doping and solar cell degradation

German scientists have conducted a series of experiments on gallium-doped silicon solar cells to understand the causes of degradation in PV cells and modules treated with gallium rather than boron. They confirmed that the performance losses are caused by a bulk defect in the material, and found that the right combination of light and temperature can “heal” earlier damage and even lead to small improvements in overall cell efficiency.
Markets & Policy

South Africa approves 200 MW of PV under new distributed-generation rules

Sola Group plans to build two 100 MW siolar projects in South Africa's North West province. It will sell the electricity under power purchase agreements to US-based titanium products provider Tronox, which operates several mines and smelters in the regio...
Installations

Hanersun launches 580 W TOPCon solar module with 22.38% efficiency

Hanersun claims that its new TOPCon solar modules are suitable for residential and commercial rooftops, as well as small-scale, ground-mounted PV plants. They have a temperature coefficient of 0.31%.
Announcements

INTERSOLAR EUROPE COVERAGE

Make sure you check out all the new product announcements and our live coverage from Intersolar Europe 2022:
Day 1; Day 2; and Day 3.

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Entries are currently being accepted for the awards across six categories: Modules, Inverters, Balance of System (BoS), Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), Sustainability, and Manufacturing. Enter free today to go in the running to be a 2022 winner!

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Energy Storage

Solar-powered EV charger with integrated battery storage

Energy management startup Ez4EV has introduced an electric-vehicle charging solution with integrated battery storage. The complete unit-in-a-box can be charged using electricity produced from solar, compressed biogas, and compressed natural gas.
Manufacturing

Enphase Energy microinverter secures first UL interconnection certification

The Enphase IQ8 Microinverter system has been certified to the new North American safety and grid interconnection standards for connecting solar inverters, energy storage systems, and distributed energy resources to the grid.
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Energy Storage

Iron flow battery maker ESS expands into Europe

NYSE-listed iron flow battery specialist ESS is expanding into Europe to meet demand for long-duration energy storage. It has already bagged its first order in Spain, with local manufacturing in the cards.
Energy Storage

Indoor commercial storage with fire protection housing

German battery manufacturer Intilion has released the Scalestac commercial energy storage system, which features a built-in safety feature for fire containment, in order to minimize damages to single modules. It is available in capacities ranging from 12...
Installations

Mahindra Susten commissions 175 MW of solar in India

Mahindra Susten has switched on 175 MW (AC) of its 250 MW solar project in Bikaner district, Rajasthan. The massive installation, which uses bifacial modules, will supply electricity to Solar Energy Corp. of India over a period of 25 years at a price of ...

Press Releases

Fimer provides its high technology solar inverters for a water pumping station in Oloitokitok, at the foot of Kilimanjaro

FIMER recently provided 16 PVS-100 inverters, cloud connected three-phase string solution, for a PV project in Kenya thanks to its collaboration with SOVEMA INTERNATIONAL FRANCE, MACHIRI LTD KENYA, AXUN SOLAR FRANCE for engineering and ECOENERGY Cameroun for commissioning

Sungrow to Supply a 480 MW PV Project in Chile with Turnkey Inverter Solutions and Solar Panel Cleaning Solutions

Sungrow announced that it will supply its turnkey PV inverter solutions and PV panel cleaning solutions to a 480 MW PV plant in Chile's Atacama Desert. The project is expected to be Chile's largest and will contribute to the country's long-term energy policy 2050.

University of Surrey unveil details of its new solar facility with SSE Energy Solutions to help decarbonise its campus

The University of Surrey has unveiled further details of its new 12. 2MW solar farm on its own land to the west of Guildford that will help the campus accelerate its journey to net zero.

Renewable energies: winners and losers from the rise in interest rates

The current rapidly rising interest rates also affect the calculation of solar and wind parks. While new construction projects are calculated with the new interest rates but also higher yields, existing projects can benefit twice.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

No end to solar supply/demand imbalance

The solar supply chain problems that began last year with high prices and polysilicon shortages are persisting into 2022. But we are already seeing a stark difference from earlier predictions that prices would decline gradually each quarter this year. PV Infolink’s Alan Tu probes the solar market situation and offers insights.

Three battery energy storage trends for the electrification of everything

As we closed out the first quarter of 2022, the energy storage industry continued to show stunning growth. When scrolling through the news, reading studies, and attending events, one can’t help but notice how critical battery energy storage is to a myriad of markets and industries. As innovative technologies emerge at a breakneck pace, they reveal three key trends in both market priorities and the sector’s current and future direction.

Ukraine: Is there a pessimistic solar scenario? No!

Vitaliy Daviy is the CEO of emerging markets focussed cleantech organization IB Centre Inc. and holds an optimistic view of Ukraine’s sector after the war. According to him, the country has the keys to energy independence and security.

Lithium-ion storage: A much-needed development to support the rise of renewables in the coming decades

On Feb. 10 in Belfort, President Emanuel Macron announced his vision for the French global energy industry to 2050. He reaffirmed France’s desire to massively develop renewable energies as intermittent sources on top of the baseload provided by the nuclear industry whose revitalization has already made headlines since. Macron claimed they are “the only means to meet [our immediate energy needs] in a profitable and competitive way”. By 2050, the capacity of the French solar park should be multiplied by more than 10 to exceed 100GWp, while the onshore wind capacity could double to reach 37GW. Offshore wind power should also experience a real take-off as France aims to develop and build 40GW over the same period.

New report calls for collective action to address forced labor risks in the PV value-chain

As the world woke up to the news of war in Ukraine, the German Bundestag called a special session at which the finance minister, Christian Lindner, announced a package of measures in response to the crisis. A key plank, he said, would be a new focus on renewables.

Women crucial in transition to green energy

This year International Women’s Day focuses on #BreakingTheBias and celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility in schools, universities, communities, and workplaces. One of the sectors where the participation of women needs a boost is the energy sector, says Evrydiki Fekka, Head of Lithium Batteries Product Management at Sunlight Group Energy Storage Systems. In this article, she argues that women are key to unlocking a greener future for our energy needs.

Covid-19

Featured

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.

Indebted Chinese developer spells out obligations in unaudited figures

Covid-19 has left Shunfeng International’s accountants unable to publish its official 2021 numbers on time, but its estimated figures announced a net current liability of almost $155 million and a “capital deficiency” of near $140 million.

The sun is still shining on poly makers but solar developers struggling in China

Polysilicon maker Xinte is forging ahead with a huge expansion strategy just as solar developers at the opposite end of the industry continue to bleed cash.

African Development Bank offers local-currency credit to Nigeria’s clean power developers

Lack of locally-denominated finance, and of sufficiently long-term loans, are well established hurdles to the development of photovoltaics in Africa.

Solar helps Bangladesh to universal access to electricity

A decade on from energy rationing, head of state Sheikh Hasina is poised to announce the achievement of an historic goal which has been made possible with the help of off-grid photovoltaics.

Markets & Policy

Featured

At what cost?

Subsidies for PV projects are a divisive topic in European countries. Mistakes of the past hang over fresh decision-making processes. Experts argue that changing market conditions are making even months-old schemes too generous, while missing the real issues.

‘Extraordinary week’ capped off with PV-IPCEI launch in Brussels

The PV-IPCEI event hosted by the European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC) took place on May 20 in a narrow wood-paneled room of Brussels’ Art Deco Residence Palace.

Ireland allocates 1.53 GW of PV in second renewables auction

The final average price in Ireland’s latest procurement exercise came in at €0.09787 ($0.103)/kWh. Wind developers secured 414 MW in the auction.

Siemens, ABB invests in Norwegian battery company

Startup Morrow Batteries has raised €100 million ($105.9 million) in a funding round led by Siemens and ABB. It will use the money to build its first battery cell factory in Norway, its home market.

New Australian prime minister vows to turn nation into renewables ‘superpower’

Australia’s new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has promised to make the nation a “renewable energy superpower,” following the Labor Party’s federal election victory on the weekend.

UK group developing floating organic flow battery storage project

MSE international and its partners have concluded the feasibility study for an organic large-scale flow battery project in Portsmouth, England. The 650 kW/6.1 MWh project might end up having have a lower levelized cost of electricity than lithium-ion or vanadium redox flow batteries.

Installations

Featured

The dawn of deep green solar

The importance of biodiversity on solar farms is coming into sharper focus, due to the intersecting forces of sustainable finance and the UK Environment Act. These positive influences will likely change the way the industry and the public view solar farms, as they evolve into biodiversity hotspots that lead the recovery of nature. Everoze Partner Ellie van der Heijden discusses how boosting biodiversity can be an opportunity for solar developers and investors to increase their positive impact.

Photovoltaic sanitary water heater from Belgium

Belgian heating specialist Wanit has developed a solar water heater that purportedly reduces the cost of domestic hot water by 85%. The PV water heater solution includes a main dual tank and a solar connector that links the tank with a rooftop PV system and residential battery.

Novel mounting structure for PV systems on thermoplastic polyolefin roofs

Mibet has developed a new PV mounting structure made of stainless steel and aluminum, providing a perfect match between TPO fixing supports and trapezoidal metal rooftops. The apparatus includes a rail, two clamp kits, a support kit, the TPO roof fixing support, and a TPO cover plate.

UK investor supports 10.5 GW wind-solar project in Morocco with submarine cable

UK-based Xlinks plans to build 10.5 GW of wind and solar in Morocco and sell the power in the United Kingdom. London-based investment firm Octopus Energy said it joined forces with the project developer, Xlinks, to help it move forward with construction.

Waaree secures $2.37 billion of orders for 5 GW of bifacial PV modules

Indian solar manufacturer Waaree Energies has secured domestic and international orders to supply 5 GW of its bifacial 540 Wp and 600 Wp solar panels.

France’s Groupe Casino to sell GreenYellow renewables unit

French energy giants TotalEnergies and Engie are reportedly interesting in acquiring GreenYellow.

Technology

Featured

Blocking the big winds

Several manufacturers now offer trackers fitted with blocking mechanisms to increase wind resistance and make trackers behave more like fixed structures. Some companies even retrofit such mechanisms to existing tracker projects. pv magazine Spain’s Pilar Sanchez Molina investigates the efficacy of blocking mechanisms and other strategies to deal with high wind loads.

Heterojunction solar cell with 25.18% efficiency, 85.42% fill factor

Researchers in China have fabricated a heterojunction solar cell with a 244.63 cm2 Czochralski n-c-Si wafer. They used light soaking to improve the dark conductance of the hydrogenated amorphous silicon films.

Kiwa Deutschland acquires PI Berlin

Kiwa Deutschland has acquired PI Berlin for an undisclosed sum, but the technical consultancy will retain its name and structure.

Upcycling silicon waste from end-of-life solar panels into thermoelectrics

Researchers in Singapore have developed a new technique in which polycrystalline silicon is pulverized into powder and pelletized into ingots. The process relies on spark plasma sintering to dope the silicon with germanium and phosphorus.

Bifacial solar modules shine in snowy environments

Snow losses could be cut from double digits to just 2% on an annual basis by using bifacial solar modules instead of monofacial panels, according to researchers at Western University in Canada.

EBRD due diligence efforts highlight importance of supply chain transparency

Evidence of the extent to which the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investigating public allegations made against PV manufacturers has been highlighted in its due diligence processes. As a multilateral financial institution supporting renewable projects in many countries, smaller banks may mirror the EBRD’s efforts. pv magazine spoke with PI Berlin Managing Director Asier Ukar about the current state of solar supply-chain traceability systems.

Manufacturing

Featured

The great EU solar manufacturing reset

“We need to bring manufacturing back to Europe and the [European] Commission is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen,” EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said at the opening of SolarPower Summit 2022. Her words rocketed around the solar community, boosting share prices and invigorating the European solar industrial mission, writes SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger, as she lays out the actions needed for solar-power EU energy independence.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: China’s cumulative PV capacity tops 322 GW

In other news, Zhonghuan Semiconductor announced it will begin selling 210 mm n-type wafers and the local government in Zhejiang Province said it wants to deploy another 12.4 GW of new PV by 2024.

Huawei, SolarEdge settle patent litigation lawsuits

Huawei and SolarEdge have settled all of their pending lawsuits in Germany and China through a global patent license agreement.

Romania to host integrated ingot, cell, PV module production

Hungary’s Astrasun has announced plans to set up a 1.8 GW wafer factory in Romania, as well as cell and module production facilities with capacities of 1.5 GW and 1.2 GW, respectively.

Perovskite solar cell technology on the road to commercialization

A new US Department of Energy report describes the challenges of commercializing perovskite technology for the solar energy sector.

Evonik unveils new additive portfolio to improve wafer cutting

Evonik Industries says its new additive series can achieve a significantly better cut quality ratio at higher cutting speeds and smaller wire diameters on large wafers (M12), which means cheaper post-processing work for sliced ​​wafers.

Energy Storage

Featured

Diversity, demand blooms, supply crunch looms

A review of the German distributed battery energy storage market reveals healthy demand, a growing portfolio of products, and the ability to readily couple devices within homes and businesses. Cornelia Lichener, from pv magazine Germany, has compiled the “2022 Storage for Home and Small Business” market overview. Consumer demand is high, but component bottlenecks are constraining supply, she reports in the first part of her analysis.

The Hydrogen Stream: Cobalt-based single-atomic catalysts with 40% improved performance

South Korean researchers have developed an atomic cobalt-based catalyst technology that is suitable for catalyst development in a range of fields, including fuel cells, water electrolysis, solar cells, and petrochemicals. The European Commission, meanwhile, has announced plans to support green hydrogen.

The mobility rEVolution: Nissan, Mitsubishi launch mini EVs for Japan

In other news, Tesla expands Supercharger access for other EV brands in Europe, Hong Kong gets its first universal ultra-rapid charging station, and BMW invests in Canadian company Mangrove to back sustainable lithium metal production.

Australia’s consumer watchdog warns about LG home batteries

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a call for homeowners to check their residential energy storage systems, amid a national recall of that batteries due to concerns about overheating.

New method could potentially produce hydrogen from biogas for $2/kg

Kore, an energy startup in California, has developed a new way to produce hydrogen from biogas, and is now poised to build a commercial-scale demonstration facility in Los Angeles. It said half of the carbon in the feedstock can be converted into gas, while the other half can be converted into solid elemental carbon char.

UK startup develops Brayton pumped thermal tech for renewables storage

UK-based Synchrostor has developed a new pumped thermal energy storage (PTES) system. It is purportedly fully reversible in 30 milliseconds and can achieve a round-trip efficiency of around 70%. The proposed storage technology can also provide grid inertia and ancillary services.

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