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Technology and R&D

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.

The best redox flow battery tech

Batteries based on vanadium or zinc bromide represent the cutting edge of redox flow storage tech, an international research team has claimed. They have identified challenges and opportunities for about a dozen redox flow storage technologies, while providing estimates of their current and projected levelized costs of storage.

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A pinch of chili gives perovskites a kick

Scientists in China found that capsaicin, the natural compound responsible for a chili pepper’s spicy flavor, can also act as a ‘secret ingredient’ in perovskite solar cells, making them both more efficient and stable. The group added capsaicin to the precursor materials of a common perovskite, leading to dramatic improvements in the resulting solar cell.

Mitsubishi and Japanese university offer peer-to-peer trading alternative to FIT payments

Blockchain systems are being tested as a means of offering solar households revenue for excess power they generate, now the FIT program has ceased.

Measuring outdoor performance in perovskites

Scientists in Spain and Colombia took a closer look at the degradation mechanisms affecting perovskite solar cells, and developed a new, high throughput method to characterize their performance in an outdoor setting. The group evaluated the method through outdoor testing on perovskite modules manufactured in a lab. it expects its findings to offer easier device characterization and better understanding of the degradation mechanisms affecting perovskite solar cells, both important factors in the technology’s development.

Pulsating spray cooling system for PV modules

Iranian scientists have assessed a new active approach for solar module cooling based on water spraying. Water sprayed from different angles can reduce the operating temperature of PV modules, with limited water consumption. However, the team noted that they have yet to assess the economic viability of the system.

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New manufacturing method for kesterite solar cells

German scientists have designed a manufacturing process to reduce the thickness of the molybdenum diselenide interface layer in kesterite solar cells. They used two different configurations of silicon-oxynitride diffusion-barrier layers.

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Transparent PV-based greenhouse takes shape in Australia

Western Australia-based solar glass developer ClearVue has commenced installation of its transparent solar PV glazing panels at what will be the world’s first clear solar glass greenhouse.

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Offshore hydrogen production powered by floating PV

Spain’s Repsol will develop a €4.5 million ($5.5 million) pilot project to produce green hydrogen with floating PV for the Santander Port Authority. It will be completed in December 2023.

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