Quality

Solar costs set to continue falling according to ITRPV roadmap

The 11th edition of the German document which tracks solar price falls and efficiency improvements has considered the role bigger wafers are playing in cost reduction.

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Preventing PID at 1500 volts

Scientists in Germany have developed a “heavy duty” test to provide insight into the long term effects of potential induced degradation in PV modules. The tests go well beyond those established by IEC standards and seek to guide manufacturers and investors on the best choice of materials – encapsulants in particular – when it comes to long term PID resistance.

Chinese city bars all new solar this year

Yulin, in Shaanxi province has brought the curtain down on around 1 GW of PV projects which are under construction. It had previously been expected the city would add around 5 GW of new solar this year.

Designing super-strong solar modules for the tropics

An international research team has defined the operational parameters needed to design and manufacture crystalline silicon PV modules for tropical climates. The group proposed a back-junction, back-contact cell tech with a selective laser soldering technique it claims offers the best potential to yield such robust panels.

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Identifying early-stage discoloration in EVA encapsulants

A new, non-destructive method has been proposed by researchers in India who say identifying early-stage discoloration in EVA encapsulants can help detect degradation in solar panels before power output is affected. The scientists used an ultraviolet accelerated aging test during 34 days on three encapsulant samples.

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Study of 100,000 arrays finds proactive O&M preferable

The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory examined five-year data to observe the most common system failure points and how to prevent them. Researchers considered residential, commercial and utility scale plants and found interesting results. While failures cannot be avoided completely, a key takeaway was that close monitoring and timely repair can effectively mitigate the financial effects of failures.

The best string configurations to avoid mismatch losses from rooftop PV shading

Researchers in Pakistan have evaluated the impact of shading on inverter set-ups to assess PV system performance. Tests were conducted on a 51 kW system featuring SMA inverter topologies but the researchers say the findings could be applied to products from other manufacturers. The results showed the number of maximum power point trackers is important but levelized cost of energy calculations are also crucial to selecting the right inverter configuration.

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Module manufacturer responds to rumors of panel failures at 75 MW South African project

Reports of module under-performance at the Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska solar project have prompted a response from South African company Artsolar, one of the module suppliers for the plant. The project is said to be experiencing serious problems due to premature module degradation. Divian Govendar, CEO of Johannesburg-based Artsolar, said the company has not been required to replace any modules at the site.

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Reports of backsheet failures at 75 MW Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska solar farm in South Africa

The South African project is reportedly experiencing serious problems due to premature module degradation. Claims of extensive backsheet failure have emerged and it is said widespread module replacement will be required. The modules used in the project were supplied by Chinese manufacturer BYD and South African producer Artsolar.

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Preventing LID in a 23.83% efficient Longi PERC cell

Australian researchers have unveiled hydrogenation technology to reduce light and elevated temperature-induced degradation in Czochralski silicon PERC solar cells. The developers say the process can minimize degradation without sacrificing performance in cells and modules.

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