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Magazine Archive 10-2013

No confidence in manufacturer tests

Potential-induced degradation: Even though many module manufacturers are now promoting PID-resistant modules, the problem of potential-induced degradation remains unsolved. Three experts explain why not all tests can be trusted, and how to detect and reduce the effect.

Yes, but…

This time it was really there: the sun in the sky over the Indian mega-city New Delhi. Whereas visitors to last year’s Renewable Energy India Expo (REI) hardly ever saw the sun due to the dense smog mid-November, this year’s three-day event in the middle of September was blessed with abundant sunshine and blue skies. […]

Tracker installations multiply

Large-scale trackers: Tracker installations are becoming ever larger and the geographic spread of hosts adopting the technology is growing even wider. Economics are more favorable for most large tracker installations because of scale, but new reductions in cost and improvements in engineering are also helping to shave down the return on investment period.

Tightened standards

Standardization in the US: New regulations for US PV systems from Underwriters Laboratories and from the 2014 National Electrical Code cover more PV components individually and are more specific for PV applications than past codes. Now work remains to help harmonize US and global PV standards.

Serving the network

Local grid storage: Large battery storage systems for entire residential areas or city districts can help to make our electricity grids ready for the change in energy policy. The technology is available. What is important now is to develop profitable business models. Initial projects have shown that many types of economical operations are possible.

Rooftop activation

South Africa: The installation of rooftop solar PV systems in South Africa is set to exceed the annual projection of 5 MW because of continuing load shedding and an increase in grid electricity prices. Solar professionals are calling for more incentives and legislation to support this process and to increase the quality of PV installations.

Ray of light

Egypt: Times are tumultuous in Egypt. Amidst the political and social unrest, one domestic company is trudging forward to bring solar power to those who need it the most in the country. A look at KarmSolar S.A.E’s journey and ambition in Egypt.

Ratcheting up competition

Mounting system industry: Competition among mounting system makers is inspiring more engineering efforts to drive down costs while generating better structures. Companies are pursuing multi-pronged strategies to survive.

Raise your glass

The future for glass: Dr. Jens Schneider, head of module technology at Fraunhofer CSP, and Christian Leers, VP Technology at Premium Solar, reveal how a new type of glass – which compared favorably against a best-in-class competitor in tests – has the potential to deliver improved efficiencies and cost savings in the solar sector.

Primarily large-scale

South Africa: The fundamentals for the rapid expansion of the PV market in South Africa appear to be in place. A project pipeline of over 1 GW has developed under the government’s REIPPP scheme. The first project was grid-connected last month. What future is there for PV beyond the subsidized, large-scale market?

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