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Modules & Upstream Manufacturing

The weekend read: Flexible PV tools for the next generation

A solar manufacturing investment cycle appears to be underway in Europe, with equipment suppliers reporting surging levels of inquiries for new production lines. Larger PV wafer formats are driving the change, along with renewed confidence in the outlook for the solar PV market on the continent. To meet the demand, European equipment suppliers are now embracing flexibility.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Xinte wants to increase polysilicon capacity to 100,000 metric tons

Xinte unveiled a $197 million plan to raise its polysilicon production capacity to 100,000 metric tons per year in Xinjiang. Longi signed a strategic cooperation agreement with oil and gas giant Sinopec to jointly develop hydrogen and renewable energies.

Amorphous silicon solar cells still niche market

In the second interview of a series, Arvind Shah, a professor at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, told pv magazine about the challenges facing amorphous silicon cells. He said the tech could be used in some window applications and greenhouses, but not in rooftop projects, as the stabilised efficiency of these cells is too low.

I’ve got solar over my skin

Researchers in Japan have built a PV-powered device to measure volumetric variations in blood circulation. The system, which is just a few microns thick, was built with an organic solar module, a polymer light-emitting diode (PLED), and an organic photodetector.

5N Plus enters space solar cell business with acquisition of Azur Space

The purchase price should range between €73 million and €79 million. Azur Space produces triple-junction space solar cells with an average efficiency of up to 30% and is planning to develop ultra-thin solar cells with up to 35%.

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Low outdoor degradation for 20.76%-efficient solar cells made of UMG silicon

Spanish manufacturer Aurinka has tested the degradation rate of its 20.76%-efficient solar cells made of 100% upgraded metallurgical grade (UMG) silicon and has found it shows the same values as conventional polysilicon. The company is currently building a UMG factory in northern Spain.

PV module price index: New dimensions, new problems

The speed at which manufacturers are introducing changes from one product generation to the next is accelerating – currently, formats are scarcely available for more than a few months before another revised product is launched. But occasionally new module dimensions also bring new problems, be it in handling, plant design, or logistics. Ever-shorter product cycles and hastily launched record-breaking modules with capacities of 500 W, 600 W, or even 700 W are not always welcomed with open arms – especially by those who have to work with them, writes Martin Schachinger of pvXchange.com.

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Debate on alleged forced labor in Chinese PV industry heats up in the Netherlands

Three Dutch political parties have brought the forced labor issue to Parliament and have asked the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaad, to report on the matter.

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European PV organization requests €20bn to support manufacturing

The European Union wants to provide €700 billion through its post-pandemic reconstruction program, but the European Solar Manufacturing Council says that €20 billion of the total should be used to shore up the European PV industry.

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Meyer Burger wants to ship first HJT modules in July

The Swiss technology group wants to officially present its heterojunction modules, which are produced in Freiberg, Germany, at the end of April. Meyer Burger concluded its first official sales partnership in Switzerland, with Solarmarkt.

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