PI Berlin: Asia leading the way for module quality

Quality assurance provider PI Berlin has found the solar industry has made significant improvements to module quality in the past six years and that, perhaps surprisingly, manufacturers in China and South East Asia are setting the standard by producing higher quality modules, on average, than other regions.


Korean scientists demonstrate new lead-free perovskite

A team of researchers from South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has demonstrated a new type of tin-based perovskite. The researchers say that, despite current low efficiency, levels could lead to improved understanding and the development of solar cells using lead-free perovskites.

Solar Frontier hits new CIS cell efficiency record

The Japanese module maker has set a new record for CIS thin film cell efficiency. The company, with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, achieved 23.35% conversion on a cell measuring 1 cm². The record was confirmed by the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

Midsummer picks up $7 million order for new CIGS factory in China

Sweden based CIGS equipment supplier Midsummer has received an order worth more than $7 million for its production equipment. The order was placed by U.S. based manufacturer Sunflare, for a new factory under construction in China.


New technologies move to the back

The tension between the cost cutting and performance boosting opportunities presented by new technologies and the tendency for risk aversion is never more evident than in PV module materials. This applies nowhere more than in backsheets, where new innovations are big on promise, but must convince manufacturers and the market of their long-term performance.


Filling in the (micro)cracks

Whether caused by improper production processes, poor treatment in transport and installation, climate conditions or any other issue, performance reducing microcracks are a major source of stress for PV developers and project owners. Now, an EU funded research project has found that a different type of stress could provide a solution, and even “heal” some existing cracks.


Tandem cells at 28%

UK headquartered Oxford PV has set a new world efficiency record for its perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells.


US researchers grappling with graphene

A team of scientists at University of California, Riverside investigating the ‘unusual’ electronic behavior of pristine graphene has found that, in certain configurations, the material can generate a current without the need for a p-n junction, leading to the possibility of extremely thin, lightweight solar devices.


Meyer Burger picks up 600 MW heterojunction equipment order

Swiss equipment supplier Meyer Burger has received a CHF 74 million (US$74.4 million) order for a 600 MW production line combining heterojunction and smart wire technologies. The order was placed by an unnamed manufacturer, with the line expected to begin cell and module production in the second half of 2019.

EBRD unveils new energy strategy without coal or oil, looks to mobilize €1 billion in private sector capital

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development yesterday unveiled its new energy sector strategy, which aims to ramp up renewables investment, while moving away from coal and oil. Gas will still remain a focus, however. It has also announced this week, plans for a €250 million green bond framework, through which it hopes to double the issuance of green/sustainability bonds in its active regions; and mobilize €1 billion in private sector investment over the next three years.

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