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Magazine Archive 10-2017

High figures, mixed feelings

Distributed storage in Australia: As installation figures continue to show a strong upward trend of battery penetration, Australia is persistently reaffirming its status as the market to be in for storage providers. Standards Australia’s proposed installation safety guidelines caused a commotion earlier this year, dimming the industry’s high hopes. Amid a lot of hype surrounding the Australian battery storage arena, pv magazine explores whether this promising market is developing as anticipated.

Nanotechnology for Li-ion

Battery performance: There remains significant scope to improve and extend the application of lithium-ion batteries. John Duffy of U.K. characterization experts Malvern Panalytical and Stefan Mende of Germany’s NETZSCH Fine Grinding Technology explain the finer points of nanostructured electrode materials in Li-ion technology.

Hit the ground running

Taiwan market update: Tumultuous but promising times in Taiwan as ground-mounted activity looks set to begin in earnest, but Taiwanese cell makers continue to struggle despite local demand slowly beginning to pick up.

Shedding light on the latest technologies

Flash testing: As module manufacturing looks increasingly towards high efficiency concepts such as heterojunction as the future of the industry, new challenges arise for the manufacturers of production-line testing equipment. Switzerland-based flash testing specialist Alfartec is ready to meet these challenges. pv magazine recently caught up with Chief Technology Officer Alo Lo to discuss the latest developments in flashing technology and the market for this specialized equipment.

Iran’s solar steps

Iranian PV: In 2014 Iran announced an ambitious 5 GW renewables goal, but progress proved slow, primarily due to the difficulty many foreign firms have investing in the country. Since the lifting of UN sanctions last year, however, the situation on the ground has been slowly changing – and European solar firms have already begun moving in, as pv magazine discovered.

The missing piece for Germany’s Energiewende?

World’s largest battery: Be it lead, lithium, water, or gas – there are many ways to store energy nowadays. However, the technology is often too expensive to deploy, or is at too early a stage or dependent on certain geographical conditions. In cooperation with the University of Jena, German utility company EWE plans to build the world’s largest battery storage facility using redox flow technology. Could this 120 MW battery project be the missing link for Germany’s ‘Energiewende’?

The potential for PV-powered hydrogen production

PV+hydrogen: ITM Power exhibited new designs for hydrogen refueling stations last month at Solar Power International (SPI). The U.K. clean fuel specialist announced plans in early September to install a 10 MW hydrogen electrolyzer at a Shell refinery in Germany, and signed a deal to provide renewably powered electrolyzers for hydrogen fuel-cell buses in France. Chief Executive Graham Cooley spoke to pv magazine about the Sheffield-based company’s new refueling stations and the potential to use solar panels to produce hydrogen as a clean fuel.

The feasibility of solar-powered hydrogen production

Storing solar energy: There is a solid business case to combine PV plants with electrolyzers, as generation costs are low enough to competitively produce hydrogen as a fuel, says Bjørn Simonsen of NEL Hydrogen. He was a speaker at pv magazine’s Future PV Roundtable event at Solar Power International in Las Vegas last month.

Back to the front

Interview: SunPower is famous for its back contact cells, boasting one of the industry’s most advanced technologies. Josh Moore, SunPower Director, explains why the company is now ramping up 600 MW of production for different types of front contact cells and shingled modules.

The groundwork for growth

Storage in India: Rahul Walawalkar, executive director of the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), talks to pv magazine about India’s vast energy storage potential, ahead of next week’s World Energy Storage Day.

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