Technology and R&D

NASA tests new roll-out solar array in space

The space agency has successfully deployed its new roll out solar array in space for testing. The new panels are lighter and more flexible than the standard folded arrays on older satellites.

Bernreuter Research: Silicon consumption drops to 3.6 grams/W by 2020

The use of diamond wire significantly reduces wafer saw losses. Some photovoltaic manufacturers have begun to switch their production, after technical problems appear to have been resolved.

U.S. researchers develop new method for solar desalination

A team of researchers from Rice University in Houston, Texas has developed a new method for using solar power to desalinate sea water. Part of a federally funded research effort into water treatment , the team has developed a system utilizing a combination of membrane distillation and nanophotonics to turn salt water into fresh drinking water.

Australian universities create Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science

Several of Australia’s top universities are working together on gaining a better understanding of excitons. The Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science is a partnership led by the University of Melbourne alongside other top Australian universities and organizations, and consists of a team with a broad range of expertise in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering and other disciplines.

New alloy could pave the way for next generation solar cells

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new semiconductor alloy that can capture near-infrared light in the leading edge of the visible light spectrum. This could be a major step forward the development of a new generation of solar cells called “concentrator photovoltaics”.

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UK University develops algorithm for fault detection

Researchers at the University of Huddersfield have developed an energy sharing platform to allow communities to share energy generated from small-scale PV. The platform also includes new systems that could allow for faster fault detection and better monitoring.

Norwegian researchers develop new solar panel cleaning robot

The new robot may make manual cleaning of large-scale solar PV plants a thing of the past.

GCL-SI achieves 20.1% efficiency for its PERC solar cells in mass production

The Chinese PV manufacturer has achieved a new efficiency breakthrough for its PERC solar cells, with the help of nanostructured black silicon. GCL-SI plans to reach an efficiency of up to 21.0% by the end of this year.

Rena and Aiko Solar Energy to collaborate on plating technology

Rena and Aiko Solar Energy will expand their collaboration into electroplating cell metalization technology. Germany’s Rena has already delivered some 4 GW of wet chemistry tooling to the Chinese PV producer, and will now deliver one of its InCellPlate to Aiko’s new Yiwu production facility, in the Zhenjiang province.

Engie launches tender to select innovative solar and storage technologies

The climate control unit of the French energy giant seeks proposals from start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises. Bids must be submitted by July 4.