Technology and R&D

PV plants lasting longer, with lower operational costs

Solar plants are now expected to last 32.5 years and cost $17 per kW/year to operate, as shown by a Berkeley Lab survey of industry participants.

Assessing the soiling mitigation properties of anti-reflective coatings

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.

Electric aircraft engines could take to the skies over Australia

Zero-emission, low-cost regional flights with just eight other sanitized folk and a disinfected pilot! Yes, Covid-19 is warping our view of the future but the successful electrically-powered maiden flight of a Cessna Caravan last week offers the potential for new modes of transport to support a wider economic recovery in Australia.

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Baywa’s plans for floating PV

Over the past two years, German renewables business Baywa re has developed in-house floating solar technology and installed nearly 50 MW of projects in the Netherlands. Benoît Roux, director of solar activities at Baywa re in France, said the ramp-up in project size has enabled the company to achieve dramatic cost reductions.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: 4.3 GW of new cell capacity and a 1 GW solar park

Cell manufacturer Aiko Solar is raising funds to increase its production capacity with 4.3 GW of new lines while Datang Corporation has inked a deal for a 1 GW desert project.

A 17.5%-efficient dark grey solar tile

U.K. business Roof Tiles Technology Ltd has developed a solar tile with a claimed efficiency of 17.5% and power output of 175 W per square meter. The company’s founder, Antonio Lanzoni, said a PV system featuring the product would cost 25-30% more than a standard solar rooftop.

Climate-friendly businesses can secure €500,000 EU investment to get through Covid crisis

A cash fund is offering financial aid to start-ups and SMEs to mitigate the effects of the public health crisis. The grants will convert into a stake in the recipients at a future date.

Innovation promises cheaper solar cell glass manufacturing

Scientists have developed a hybrid production method combining metal mesh and a metal-oxide layer over a glass substrate which they say brings down production cost by 80% compared to the tin-doped, indium oxide-based technology currently in use.

Software developer claims its platform can unlock a distributed generation world

U.K.-based Power Transition today launched a crowdfunding exercise to raise the £300,000 it says it needs to scale up its blockchain-based, peer-to-peer energy trading platform beyond a 47-home demonstration project.

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Pouch lamination technique for solar cell encapsulation

Scientists in India have used a pouch laminator to encapsulate a polycrystalline solar cell. The resulting device, the researchers claim, showed better UV photon absorption than solar cells treated with a polymer surface coating.

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