Scientists in Spain have tested various properties of anti-reflective and anti-soiling coatings for PV module glass, aiming to develop a material that offers the best balance of desired material properties at the lowest cost. Over a year of testing, the best coatings were shown to boost module output by around 2%, and the group also made several observations that could influence future developments of coatings for PV module front glass.
Scientists in the United States and India are investigating the impacts of soiling on PV installations in the Indian state of Gujarat. The group, which found that soiling losses for the state could add up to $12 million per year, is looking for low-cost ways to monitor and reduce the impacts of soiling on modules in the field.
U.S.-owned business intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie has attempted to evaluate the market opportunities offered by the repowering of solar projects around the world which feature inverters which are 10 years old – as well as those which will expire ahead of time.
Researchers in China have sought to understand how soiling exacerbated by anti-reflective coatings might inhibit solar panel output. In terms of effectiveness against soiling, the scientists found hollow-silica-nanoparticle coatings did better than solid silica alternatives.
Researchers in Tunisia have proposed a method of determining the characteristic I-V profile of a partially shaded PV module, and to extrapolate it into a string profile.
The developer of the material, US-based specialist Pellucere, says its innovation can raise PV energy yield 3.5-4.2%.
A minor concern it may be, compared to the tragic loss of life, livelihoods and biodiversity caused by the bushfires still ravaging parts of Australia, but reduced output by PV systems due to smoke haze is an unwelcome bi-product of blazes that have burned at a scale and ferocity never seen before.
A study has estimated the cost of PV project soiling may increase from €3-5 billion last year to €4-7 billion by 2023 due to more extensive deployment in high insolation and soiling-affected regions, such as China and India. The authors of the paper outlined the potential of soiling mitigation technologies while stressing more R&D is needed to reduce costs and for the adoption of such measures on a larger scale.
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