Magazine Archive 08-2020

‘The focus here is always on quality’

Germany-based Pfeiffer Vacuum, which supplies vacuum pumps and other related technologies to a range of different industries, is celebrating 130 years in business in 2020. pv magazine recently caught up with Rudolf Konwitschny of the company’s leak detection application team to discuss the role of vacuum technology in Li-ion battery production.

Coming around

Given the number of batteries (primarily lithium-ion) that are required to decarbonize the power and mobility sectors, the industry is now preparing for a mountain of battery waste. Recycling is technically feasible, but is also subject to sensitive economics. The framework in which recycling companies can achieve the best life-cycle costs for batteries needs to be carefully enabled through policy – and it will likely include a mixture of technologies and business models, in order to allow life-cycle emissions of batteries to be brought down.

Long-duration storage advances, but regulators need more time

Lithium-ion batteries can do a great job of load shifting to balance solar’s midday peak, while also providing other stability services to the grid. But when it comes to really balancing an energy system that’s led by intermittent renewables, energy storage for longer durations can give system operators a lot more to work with. pv magazine takes a look at some of the technologies promising to fill this gap.

pv magazine test

June 2020 results

Climate data to the people

It’s a fake news story that has long circulated in the energy space: Solar and wind often have a higher overall carbon footprint than the conventional sources they are supposed to replace. But a quick look at widely available evidence is more than enough to debunk this, writes Rocky Mountain Institute’s Paolo Natali. Whichever study you turn to, the results are in the few dozen grams per kWh at most, compared to 400g/kWh to 500g/kWh for natural gas, and 1kg/kWh for coal. Information on carbon footprints that can be compared between industries is hard to come by, but it is increasingly important to investors. Universal standards could provide a first step toward the creation of truly green commodity markets.

Final Thought

Green hydrogen: A super game changer for PV and beyond
By Laura Nelson, executive director of the Green Hydrogen Coalition

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