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Weekend Read: Getting to the bottom of TOPCon degradation

Should the industry be alarmed at the potential degradation susceptibility of tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) solar cells? Or are the problems easily addressed and more a reflection of rushed-to-market products? pv magazine contributor and consultant Götz Fischbeck reports.


Weekend Read: A 10 GW time bomb

It is estimated that 10 GW of solar modules in Germany suffer from prematurely aging backsheets, with sites of all sizes affected. pv magazine Germany’s Cornelia Lichner looks at how to detect and repair such defects.


Building to last in the Global South

PV initiatives should be designed to last, as several well-meaning off-grid solar projects for the developing world have floundered over the years.

Keep your solar cells dry

Scientists in Norway used various imaging and characterization techniques to analyze the cells and other components of silicon PV modules that had been installed in the field for more than 10 years. The group’s aim was to isolate the role of moisture in various mechanisms that cause performance loss over time, and to understand how these mechanisms progress over long-term installation in real outdoor conditions.

Solar dawn

Frank Haugwitz arrived in China in June 2002 as technical adviser to the solar-focused Sino-German Renewable Energies in Rural Areas Program. He has directly observed the nation’s rise to solar superpower status.


Avoiding PV buyer’s remorse

New entrants to solar equipment procurement may be surprised to encounter constantly amended contract terms, index-linked price rises, and near-worthless defect warranties, but they reflect recent supply chain troubles. Clean Energy Associates’ Martin Deak offers a buyers guide.

Only5mins! – Storage inspection and certification 

Emilio Jorquera, technical account manager at Senergy Technical Services (STS), tells pv magazine that greater standardization is needed in the battery storage market.

In search of the perfect polymer for PV backsheets, encapsulants

Scientists in Austria have examined the impact of different backsheet and encapsulant material combinations on module performance and degradation. This led them to develop a model to quantify the degradation rates of different materials, potentially helping manufacturers to identify better, longer-lasting materials for these vital module components.

Weekend Read: Small change, big effect

Starting this year, ground-mounted solar modules in Germany can be replaced before the end of their service life, unlocking gigawatt-scale potential for new generation capacity without lengthy permitting processes or the need for new sites. Opinions differ as to what should happen with the decommissioned but still functioning modules, as pv magazine Deutschland’s Sandra Enkhardt reports.


Key takeaways from Solar Quality Summit Europe

This year’s edition of Solar Quality Summit Europe started on Jan. 24 in Barcelona, Spain. With Europe set to hit record solar installations in the coming years, industry stakeholders discussed how to do that quickly. Digitalization, monitoring, revamping, and technology audits were all on the agenda.


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