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Technology and R&D

Vertical agrivoltaic project takes shape in France

The 100kW pilot vertical PV plant is being developed by French energy giant Engie. It will be used to test the effects of agrivoltaics on the microclimate, soil and vegetation.

Pulling fertilizer out of thin air with PV

Nitricity has developed an experimental plasma reactor that uses PV electricity to produce competitively priced, environmentally clean, nitrogen fertilizer. Its onsite fertilizer production eliminates emissions from transport, and provides a viable alternative to fossil-based nitrogen fixation methods like the Haber-Bosch process.

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New hybrid inverter for rooftop PV arrays from SMA

SMA’s new hybrid inverter reaches a maximum efficiency of 98.2% and a maximum European efficiency of 97.5%. It is compatible with DC-coupled high-voltage lithium-ion batteries from leading suppliers, according to the manufacturer.

BIPV panels covering an entire building in Taiwan

The Sun Rock building is owned by Taiwan’s power utility Taipower. It was covered with 4,000 square meters of PV panels deployed by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV.

Funding boost for 5B’s solar installation robots

Sydney-based 5B has launched a AUD 33.4 million ($24 million) tech innovation program, including a AUD 14 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, to accelerate the delivery of low-cost solar. Most of the investment is portioned off for an advanced manufacturing pilot line, but about one-third of the available funds will be used to deliver GPS-guided solar deployment robots.

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Vikram Solar launches M10 solar modules

The Indian manufacturer has unveiled its Series 10 monocrystalline PERC solar modules featuring 144 half-cells based on an M10 wafer. The modules are available in monofacial and bifacial versions with a maximum efficiency of 21.33% and 21.13%, respectively.

The Hydrogen Stream: Australian gas giant plans 290MW liquid hydrogen production facility

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Covestro also want to partner on the supply of green hydrogen and its derivatives, including green ammonia. And the Indian government is cooperating with the IRENA to scale-up hydrogen and renewable energy projects.

Best fire safety practices for rooftop PV systems

Compiled by an international research group, the best practices were collected from all available guidelines published by national agencies, regulatory bodies, and trade associations.

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Photovoltaic-thermal noise barrier from South Korea

The Korea Institute of Energy Research has developed a 3kW solar noise barrier to produce electricity and heat. The thermal solar modules reduce the operating temperature of the photovoltaic panels by absorbing excess heat.

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Spraying water system for solar module cooling

A British-Indian research group has developed an active cooling technique that is claimed to improve a PV system’s yield by around 0.5%. The system could be used in residential solar arrays and the water heated by the PV modules may be fed into a solar water heating system.

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