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Magazine Archive 06 – 2022

The power of the prosumer

Under Brazil’s regulation, systems of up to 5 MW can be classed as distributed generation. The segment is forecast to account for 9 GW of the 12 GW of new PV that Brazil is set to install this year.

Solar support in hazardous locations

In some of the world’s most hazardous locations, a resilient and autonomous common denominator is often found – solar energy. From offshore oil rigs to remote mine sites and the frontlines of conflict zones, solar power functions where others fail, and it does so without the need of refuelling or regular maintenance. But what makes solar such a ‘no-brainer’ that even the oil and gas industry must turn to it? And what other hazardous locations can be electrified with solar? Blake Matich reports.

Big data steps in

US-based semiconductor manufacturer Intel is one of the biggest chipmakers on the planet and is working on net-zero by 2040 targets. But it’s also looking outward, aiming to modernize grids at the utility-level. Mike Bates, general manager of Intel’s energy vertical, sat down with Tristan Rayner to discuss Intel’s solution for grid-level monitoring and control for utility customers. The aim is to allow for “unlimited” renewables to be added without bottlenecks, and coalitions of grid operators across the globe are forming.

Power losses increasing, on closer inspection

A study by Raptor Maps has shown that yield losses are increasing as anomalies in inspected PV power plants continue to go up. Eddie Obropta, the co-founder and CTO of Raptor Maps, reports that string-level anomalies are impacting power output adversely.

Data for circular solar

The increasing number of PV modules coming to end of life and being discarded is looming as a challenge to the industry. Researchers from the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) are tackling the issue with data – developing a prototype of an asset database to facilitate reuse and recycling activities. Roger Nyffenegger, Ässia Boukhatmi, and Stefan Grösser report on how the project could pave the way for a mind shift towards a data-based circular PV industry.

European equipment revitalization

After close to a decade of vigorous competition from newer Chinese rivals, European production equipment suppliers may be on the verge of a new dawn. That was certainly the sentiment at the Intersolar Europe trade fair in May, with the Enel heterojunction project providing gigawatts of hope.

A word about inverter efficiency

Following an earlier investigation into how module PAN files can distort a project’s performance expectations (pv magazine 04/2022), Andreas Hensel, Franziska Hans and Steffen Eyhorn of Fraunhofer ISE looked at how the OND files that model inverter performance fit into such calculations. They included measurements that show how efficiency values on manufacturer datasheets can be overly optimistic by as much as 0.4%. This could affect the way PV systems are planned and designed, with potential impacts on performance.

Inverted ambition

Inverter makers in Europe continue to ship a healthy proportion of the world’s premium string and central inverters, despite shrinking margins as Chinese competition grows. But the Europeans aren’t simply waiting around…

High stakes

Despite worldwide net-zero pledges, a new EU sustainable debt taxonomy, an urgent need to address the climate crisis, and record sustainable debt investments, the world still has a long path to tread to meet its climate goals. In the third quarter of 2022, pv magazine’s UP Initiative will focus on green finance. Specifically, what steps have been made in the past two years? Will sustainability-linked bonds gain traction? What supporting policies and standards are in place or required? And what can solar companies do to be ESG-ready?

Structural matters

While it comes with clear performance advantages, the move to larger module formats has created plenty of confusion since it began in 2019. As the dust settles and standards emerge, pv magazine caught up with Hongbin Fang, director of product marketing at Longi Solar, to discuss the latest on wafer and cell dimensions.

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