Inverter trend update: The slow burn of solar inverter innovation appears never to come to the boil, but this steady and stable road map is enabling leading firms to maintain a broad portfolio while incrementally improving their products. pv magazine rounds up some of the latest trends in the inverter space.
Materials: Investor confidence is key to solar’s success today and into the future. So argues DuPont, which has been a key driver of the discussion of quality when it comes to materials, components, and installation. DuPont’s Stephan Padlewski believes that while discussions of quality have improved, new technologies like bifacial encapsulation require closer inspection.
Polysilicon and wafer supply: Two large Chinese ingot and wafer makers have announced bold plans to expand their capacities beyond anything seen to date. In the process they could transform the entire upstream solar manufacturing landscape.
Quality across the PV chain: With around 100 GW installed in 2017 (according to PV Market Alliance’s preliminary numbers), the global PV industry has once again beaten even the most optimistic of forecasts. However, this rosy picture hides some specific developments that highlight how the road to maturity could be long and at times chaotic, and why support for the industry must continue, both in Europe and beyond, writes Gaëtan Masson, director of the Becquerel Institute.
Interview: Heraeus Photovoltaics President Andreas Liebheit sat down with pv magazine at the recent PV Expo in Japan to share his thoughts on global solar markets, the natural fluctuations of innovation cycles, new PV technologies, and the challenges of always staying on trend and at the forefront of development.
Module testing: Pinpointing when a module has been damaged on its journey from factory gate to installation in a PV power plant can be tricky. When disputes arise they can be almost impossible to resolve and result in costly legal battles. OdinSpire is a new joint venture company located in Rotterdam, which aims to bring laboratory-quality testing into the warehouse, plugging two important service gaps.
Quality and Future PV Roundtables 2018: 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 so well since its launch in 2015.
Kenya’s Off-grid solar Access Project: Kenya’s new $150 million Off-grid Solar Access Project represents a big shift in the approach to solar for both African national governments and international agencies such as the World Bank, which is financing the project.
Women in solar: In the U.S. and Europe this past year, the pivotal #MeToo movement has shone a light on instances of often systemic sexual abuse and harassment, particularly in the corridors of the powerful. Kristen Nicole, Founder and Executive Director of Women in Solar Energy (WISE) draws parallels between the attitudes that have facilitated such a climate, and our relationship to the Earth’s finite resources – with solar at the intersection.
Li-ion storage: battery manufacturers have a major task ahead of them, they have to meet runaway global demand, improve the performance, safety and longevity of storage devices, and of course bring down price. Instead of hoping for a big breakthrough, they are pursuing an approach involving many small steps.
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