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Technology

Solar system prices to rise – then fall – in 2021, with another record year anticipated

IHS Markit is predicting the world will add 30% more solar capacity this year.

3-D multi‐ribbon interconnection tech for IBC cells

The interconnection tech, developed by scientists at the Belgian research institute Imec, is based on a three-dimensional fabric of encapsulant with incorporated horizontal and vertical solder‐coated metal ribbons. Mini solar modules built with the proposed technique have provided interesting results in tests for thermal cycling reliability, showing very limited degradation.

Storing oversized large scale PV with molten salt storage

Scientists from Israel and France have proposed a PV-plus-thermal-storage (PV-TS) concept that may be applied in regions with low direct solar beam radiation and high levels of global solar radiation. They estimated that the grid penetration rate of a large scale PV plant, when combined with molten salt storage, may rise from around 30% to up to 95%.

French startups develop PV-powered desalination solution

Two French companies have collaborated on the development of the Osmo-Watt system, which is powered by solar panels. They claim that the technology can produce up to 100 cubic meters of drinking water per day.

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Silicon-carbide inverter for medium-voltage grids

Developed by scientists from German research institute Fraunhofer ISE, the silicon-carbide device claims 98.4% efficiency and could be used in utility-scale photovoltaic projects.

Trina claims 3% energy gain with new tracking system over traditional trackers

The company’s integrated tracker manufacturer Nclave developed a new system designed primarily for large-form factor modules and with a new algorithm that promises to boost yield in diffuse light conditions.

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The impact of solar spectra on PV module performance

Scientists in Poland have measured the effect of solar radiation spectra in variable weather conditions on the performance of different kinds of PV module technologies. They found that amorphous silicon panels offer the best response to this effect in stationary or BIPV projects on facades, while crystalline silicon and CIS solar panels represent the best options in projects with trackers.

Iconic investor signs up for world-first domestic hydrogen battery in Australia

Gowing Bros has become the first major customer of the LAVO 40 kWh battery in Australia. The system, which features an electrolyzer and domestic fuel-cell tech, will be market-ready in June.

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Passive cooling with porous materials for PV modules

Researchers in the Middle East have proposed a new passive technology to cool off solar modules, based on highly conductive porous materials.

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Improving PV-powered water electrolysis with external fields

Australian researchers have analyzed different ways to improve the efficiency of PV-powered water electrolysis for hydrogen generation. They include the use of magnetic fields, light energy, ultrasonic fields, and pulsating electric fields. Energy costs remain prohibitive, but molecular movement and the redistribution of molecules in water during electrolysis could open a path to viability.

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