Scientists at Harvard University have developed a type of material that can be programmed to move in response to various stimuli, including light. One possible application, says the group, could be in solar panels with integrated microstructures that track the sun without any energy input.
Chinese solar manufacturer Seraphim has announced plans for a 500 MW cell factory in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The company also plans to expand an existing 300 MW module factory in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region by 200 MW.
Researchers in Spain have proposed a new standard for solar cell testing, which they say could enable more accurate determinations of a cell’s annual energy yield. Using machine learning, the method processes data sets consisting of thousands of solar spectra, creating representative examples which can then be used to predict average annual efficiency.
A project backed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program says it has developed a self-cleaning coating for modules which is also anti reflective and weather resistant. The project – SolarSharc – expects to launch the product next year.
A new report from U.S. based Rocky Mountain Institute outlines the potential for minigrid deployment to provide electricity to underserved communities around the world, to the benefit of utility companies, minigrid developers and communities. The report takes examples from Nigeria to illustrate this potential, but states that many of its findings could be applied to communities with limited or no access to electricity around the world.
A team of scientists at Germany’s Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg has set an efficiency record of 12.25% for a non-fullerene based organic solar cell.
Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy (ISE) has set a new world record for PV module efficiency. Scientists at the institute achieved 41.4% efficiency for a solar module using both tandem cell and high-concentration PV technology.
A team of researchers from Germany’s Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg has developed a new approach to perovskite cell production, which they say could result in better stability and longer lifetimes. The team also made detailed observation of the perovskite’s formation and decay, which could help to inform further research into high performance solar cells.
Zinc battery specialist NantEnergy has acquired the U.S. energy systems and services business from Japanese electronics giant Sharp. The acquisition, according to NantEnergy, will provide the company with an important foothold in the U.S. market and allow it to provide “energy as a service” business models, using its Zinc-air battery, in multiple markets.
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