Sharp unveils black, half-cut-cell module

The solar panel will be part of the half-cut-cell series recently launched by the Japanese manufacturer and the company claims it is ideal for rooftop PV projects with aesthetic requirements. The 19.0%-efficient product has a power output of 320 W.

Malta launches 15 MW solar tender

The government wants to procure several 1 MW-plus solar plants. The tender is the third of its kind, and part of the 50 MW incentive scheme the island’s government launched in November 2017.

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Norway deployed 51 MW of solar in 2019

The figure took the nation to a cumulative 120 MW at the end of the year, according to figures published by Norwegian solar industry organization the Solenergiklyngen. Around 2 MW of the capacity added in 2019 came in the form of off-grid projects.

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New method to measure cell voltages in operational PV modules

Scientists in Japan have proposed a new model to estimate cell voltages in solar modules by irradiating the cells with a weak modulated laser light. The method could be used to detect hot spots and other panel-degradation issues, such as potential induced degradation (PID) peeling, cracking, and poor contacts.

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New 650 V MOSFET for silicon carbide inverters

CREE has developed a new MOSFET that could be suitable for silicon-carbide-based string inverters above 10 kW in size. The U.S. manufacturer says switching losses are 20% lower with the new transistor than with silicon carbide MOSFETs, and claims that the product reduces conduction losses by 50%, to offer potential power-density growth of 300%.

Used EV batteries for large scale solar energy storage

MIT scientists have suggested used electric vehicle batteries could offer a more viable business case than purpose-built systems for the storage of grid scale solar power in California. Such ‘second life’ EV batteries, may cost only 60% of their original purchase price to deploy and can be effectively aggregated for industrial scale storage even if they have declined to 80% of their original capacity.

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Czech government plans retroactive cuts for PV incentives, again

According to the Czech Solar Association, the move against solar will likely trigger defaults for thousands of PV projects. The Czech government also plans to build more nuclear power plants and has vowed to extend the lifespan of its coal-fired plants.

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New solar module backsheet based on polyamide

Backsheet manufacturer Tomark-Worthen LLC has developed a new polyamide backsheet under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot initiative. The product is based on a novel polyamide-ionomer alloy created by U.S. chemicals producer Dow. The alloy, as well as the other materials in the backsheet, are stabilized with a UV/anti-oxidant package that slows down the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. The manufacturer claims that the backsheet is 25-30% more affordable than high-efficiency fluoropolymer products.

Northvolt unveils modular lithium-ion battery

The Swedish storage system manufacturer said its Voltpack Mobile System can be used in different market segments, particularly for remote or weak grids. The battery has a scalable storage capacity ranging from 245 kWh to 1,225 kWh. Swedish utility Vattenfall is now testing the system’s capabilities.

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Harvesting electricity from shadow

Researchers in Singapore have created a device that can produce electricity from the contrast in illumination between lit and shadowed areas under weak ambient light. Although not directly related to solar, this new technology opens up new horizons for producing clean energy under indoor lighting conditions.

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