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Magazine Archive 03-2019

The energy to deal with corruption

Vast amounts of money are being mobilized worldwide in the name of the transition to renewable sources of energy, and while development banks and similar organizations funding PV projects have stringent measures in place, there are plenty of opportunities for corruption to sneak in. pv magazine investigates how corruption can hurt the solar industry.

The future of U.S. utilities

California Utility Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy points to a crisis not only at the company, but in the business model for utilities in the United States. And it is far from clear what will come next.

Masdar City’s change of tack, second wind

Cool air, funneled through the narrow streets of historic cities in the Middle East provide welcome relief from the heat during scorching summer days. This was one of the architectural principles deployed by the studio of Sir Norman Foster, when designing the central ‘podium’ of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City. But after the ambitious development encountered dead calm, in the form of a lack of interest from investors in the wake of the global financial crisis, a change of tack was required for the project to catch a second wind.

Solar carports thrive on dual-use concept

Multiple drivers are increasing the rollout of solar carports. As with all things PV, cost is an important factor, and is heading in the right direction to see this application move out of the niche and into the mainstream. EV adoption could also prove decisive here.

Delays spell disaster for RCR

Too big, too fast: The solar industry is littered with graves of companies that flew too high and were burnt by the sun. There will be no second rising for Australian EPC RCR Tomlinson, which learned that fortunes can fade with frightening alacrity in the PV project business.

Healing powers of the sun

Laura Stachel is a physician on a mission. She cofounded the non-profit We Care Solar, which uses PV to ameliorate the most urgent health needs in countries where electricity is inaccessible even for clinics and doctors.

Total control

For the new edition of our monitoring system overview, 35 companies have answered detailed questions on 77 systems. Among the most important distinguishing features are the level of detail and presentation of the data, the compatibility of the devices and platforms, the types of fault management and control functions, and, of course, the price.

Human vs. machine

Some manufacturers have started to bring self-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence into their monitoring systems and have indicated this in our market overview. In this way, they seek to reduce the personnel costs of O&M service providers. Although humans still have the upper hand in many processes, artificial intelligence is on the rise.

Making the connection

Recent years have seen plenty of innovation when it comes to cell interconnection, and the tricks manufacturers employ to boost output at this stage nowadays go well beyond simply adding more busbars, and in many new module concepts these are forgone entirely. Synergies between cell interconnection and new innovations at other stages will also be key in shaping the modules of the future.

pv magazine test – January 2019 results

We are happy to present to the next batch of pv magazine test energy yield results. Results from the pv magazine test installation in Xi’an, China for the month of January 2019 are presented below, with additional insight provided by George Touloupas, Director of Technology and Quality at CEA.

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