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Magazine Archive 03-2018

Knowing the cost

O&M costs: Solar PV plants remain a relatively low-maintenance means of electricity production, but as PPAs strike record low after record low across the globe, the issue of profitability and competitiveness becomes starker. So the question arises: How can O&M activities maintain their affordability when certain costs, such as labor, are on the rise?

Vulnerable solar markets, and what makes them tick

Part IV: In 2001 China had a 1% share of global shipments and market demand of just
5 MW. By 2007, China’s share of global shipments was 21%, and in 2017 its shipment share is expected to be ~53%, and that’s not counting manufacturing expansions outside of China. In 2010 demand for PV deployment was 85 MW, then in 2011, following the introduction of its FIT, domestic demand for PV deployment shot up to 2.9 GW.

Raising issues, raising the bar

Quality and Future PV Roundtables 2018: A look ahead to this year’s packed pv magazine Quality and Future PV Roundtables schedule reveals an exciting program, a couple of new concepts, and a continuation of the format that has served the industry since its launch in 2015.

Market up, prices flat

Module price index: The scarcity of low-cost multicrystalline modules in the “mainstream” class, evident since the beginning of the year, continues. The Trump decision in the USA has not yet had any visible impact, such as increasing module volumes for the European market due to lower demand on the other side of the pond.

Let’s mitigate LID & LeTID!

Cell degradation: LID in p-type monocrystalline PERC cells has caused serious issues in PV plant performance. Now, it can be prevented with regeneration processes or by replacing boron with gallium. The cause of LeTID in multicrystalline PERC cells, meanwhile, is still a mystery, but researchers have proposed an industrial solution to address it.

Solar stocks on top

Stock price index: A better than expected outcome to the Section 201 case kept solar ahead in February. However, there are surely more strategy changes to be announced as a result.

From the top

Polysilicon and wafer manufacturers ranking: PV demand reached record levels in 2017, with global installations surpassing 100 GW for the first time ever. Few in the industry expected deployments to hit this level, piling the pressure on to the supply chain. Armed with polysilicon and wafer manufacturer ranking data supplied by IHS Markit, pv magazine delves into the past year’s upstream landscape.

From the ashes

It is hardly revelatory to write that solar markets can rise, fall, and rise again. Stuttering starts, vertiginous expansions, foreseen collapses, and frustratingly unfulfilled potential could accurately describe perhaps 80% of most noteworthy solar markets around the globe. But two PV markets have been consistent in their inconsistency: Turkey and South Africa. Both nations are […]

Half cell, full value

Half-cut cell modules: Thanks to their potential for increased power output at module level, half-cut cells are set to be a key technology trend in 2018, with several tier-1 manufacturers having introduced products utilizing the technology in recent months.

A multi-layered battle

Lamination innovation: The ongoing ambition of laminator manufacturers is to develop machines that can deliver high output through a faster lamination process, while simultaneously reducing their footprint by combining several machines into one. However, an in-depth process know-how is essential in order to produce defect-free modules. Which players possess such knowledge?

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