Research

PV rooftop simulators may unlock solar growth in developing cities

IRENA says technologies for 3D rooftop footprint generation and solar irradiation modelling are becoming increasingly cheap, making them suitable for deployment anywhere in the world. Developing cities across Africa and Asia could access such technical resources to plan rooftop PV development.

UK researchers say transport layers with low permittivity and doping make perovskite solar cells more stable

Scientists are seeking to push ion migration to areas of perovskite-based solar cells where more electric charge can be extracted.

Clustering-based computation used to measure PV module degradation

The method could be an effective tool to measure the performance of solar modules, according to research, due to its ability to speed up the inspection process, preventing further damage and hastening repairs.

Iron therapy for solar cells

A research team from Sweden has developed a new iron-based molecule, which it says has the potential for further cost reductions in solar cells, and can also function as a photocatalyst to produce fuel.

Fraunhofer ISE achieves efficiency record for silicon multi-junction cell

The German institute has achieved another efficiency record for multi-junction solar cells. More cost-effective production methods for III-V-layer cells have also been advanced during work as part of the MehrSi project.

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Solar climbing the Alps

According to a Swiss research team, PV technology may take advantage of high Alpine regions to increase generation during winter months when electricity is most needed. On snow-covered mountains, solar panels may have a better yield if their placement takes into account high winter irradiance and ground-reflected radiation and steeper-than-usual panel tilt angles.

Ammonia in the mix for future storage technologies

Japan’s JGC Corporation reports an efficient method of converting hydrogen to ammonia, which can later be combusted to generate carbon-free electricity. Ammonia, according to JGC, has various advantages over hydrogen in terms of safety and cost effectiveness.

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New technologies move to the back

The tension between the cost cutting and performance boosting opportunities presented by new technologies and the tendency for risk aversion is never more evident than in PV module materials. This applies nowhere more than in backsheets, where new innovations are big on promise, but must convince manufacturers and the market of their long-term performance.

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The weekend read: TOPCon boosts demand for EU equipment

Photovoltaic manufacturers in Asia are importing deposition reactors from the EU to test the latest word in silicon solar cell passivation. Two thin buffer layers sandwiched between silicon wafers and metal contacts are increasing the efficiency of conventional solar cells and setting new records. Equipment suppliers expect the technology to spread through the industry and boost their bottom line.

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Solar module lifetime predictions are getting better

NREL has proposed a new methodology for determining solar module degradation rates, taking into account measurement challenges such as sensor drift, inverter nuances, soiling and others – keeping the focus on the solar modules themselves.

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