Bigger modules and more challenging conditions are leading tracker designers to strengthen their offerings to deliver the stability required for long-term operation. Eduardo de San Nicolás, Soltec’s chief strategy officer, says that the Spanish company’s efforts have resulted in a new generation of trackers fit for almost any wind conditions – along with a host of other benefits including advanced communications and optimized bifacial yield.
While it’s far from ideal to have solar modules dumped in a landfill, in much of the world today, it’s a likely outcome. The silver lining to this dark cloud is that research published this year indicates that PV modules likely pose limited risks to human health, even using the most conservative assumptions. Garvin Heath, a senior scientist with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) coordinated the study in his role as the Operating Agent of the International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programme on PV Power Systems (PVPS), Task 12 – Sustainability.
Slowly but surely, environmental concerns are making their way into mainstream thought throughout the PV industry. A look at recycling offers an example of this, with stakeholders trying to get ahead of the high volumes of end-of-life modules already on the horizon. pv magazine examines the technologies that will be needed, alongside policy and economic support, to keep the bulk of these modules out of landfill and ultimately to establish a circular economy for PV materials.
You can try to succeed by making a better version of your competitors’ product, or you can try to do something completely new. NexWafe has chosen the second path. It is developing plans to manufacture wafers for high-efficiency solar cells in Bitterfeld, Germany, that are produced more sustainably and at lower cost than any other products available today.
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