Technology and R&D

No such thing as ‘next-generation’ modules

According to one Dutch scientist, the development of PV technology in recent decades should be seen as an evolutionary process, rather than the constant emergence of new generations of equipment.

Carbon nanotubes pave the way for silicon in storage

Scientists in the United States have developed a carbon nanotube method of fabricating a lithium-ion battery with a silicon anode. The device reportedly demonstrated better than 87% capacity retention after 1,500 cycles. The developers say their discovery overcomes many of the obstacles to the use of silicon as an anode and could open up the use of other materials for electrodes in lithium-ion devices.

TOPCon technology hits 23.5% in mass production

Chinese manufacturer Jolywood claims it has reached 23.5% cell efficiency on the production lines for its n-type TOPCon technology. The achievement, which has not been verified by a third party, represents a 0.3% improvement to Jolywood’s reported mass production efficiency.

Solar pump moved by fuzzy logic

Researchers in the United Arab Emirates have proposed a PV-powered irrigation system that runs on a fuzzy logic-based algorithm, with a remote-control wireless monitoring system interface.

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Preventing PID at 1500 volts

Scientists in Germany have developed a “heavy duty” test to provide insight into the long term effects of potential induced degradation in PV modules. The tests go well beyond those established by IEC standards and seek to guide manufacturers and investors on the best choice of materials – encapsulants in particular – when it comes to long term PID resistance.

A mechanical technique for PV module recycling

An Italian consortium has developed a panel recycling process it claims can recover up to 99% of raw materials. The developers claim their technique takes only 40 seconds to fully recycle a standard panel, depending on size and recycling site conditions.

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A good year for solar: Agrivoltaics in vineyards

French agricultural PV specialist Sun’Agri has revealed the results of tests run on a solar plant integrated with viticulture. During heat waves, the company said, vines shaded by solar panels continued to grow and needed less water.

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Focus on the negatives: A new path to highly efficient tandem cells

Scientists in the U.S. and South Korea have identified what could be a new route to high-efficiency perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells. Through engineering negatively charged particles in the passivation layer, the group made a tandem cell with 26.7% efficiency. With further tweaks to the silicon layer they expect to be able to surpass 30%.

BYD launches Blade Battery for improved fire safety in electric vehicles

During an online launch event, a Blade Battery pack was pierced with a nail without becoming unstable or experiencing dangerous high temperatures. The company says the device will be safer during car accidents.

Cooling down PV panels with water

France’s Sunbooster has developed a technology to cool down solar modules when their ambient temperature exceeds 25 C. The solution features a set of pipes that spread a thin film of water onto the glass surface of the panels in rooftop PV systems and ground-mounted plants. The cooling systems collect the water from rainwater tanks and then recycle, filter and store it again. The company claims the technology can facilitate an annual increase in power generation of between 8% and 12%.

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