Magazine Archive 11-2017

Black is the new black

Wafer texturing: Though long known within the industry, until recently there had been little interest from PV manufacturers in black silicon processes. Now, with the growth of diamond wire sawing, the technology is making a comeback. pv magazine looks into black silicon’s sudden popularity among manufacturers, and the technology’s potential to bring about a resurgence in multicrystalline silicon.

Covering the bases

Interview: At September’s SPI show in Las Vegas, pv magazine had the chance to catch up on the latest in cell and module technologies from a leading manufacturer. Dong Shuguang, Executive President at GCL Systems Integration provides an update on the company’s latest drive to reduce costs and boost efficiency.

If it looks like a duck …

… swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Solar is that duck: an energy source that enjoys massive public support; can be installed at mega or micro-scale; can thrive without subsidies; can be counted upon all year round; and can power homes, businesses, remote communities, and support […]

Polyolefin backsheets taking confident first steps

Next-gen backsheets: Polyolefin-based backsheet suppliers show why they think that their developments could help to reduce PV LCOE. They call for module manufacturers to make use of this technology and gain experience with polyolefin. This was one of the topics at this year’s EU PVSEC.

Health check: MLPE

MLPE market: New AC and smart modules, internationalization, and stringent grid regulations are set to drive a surge in MLPE shipments. Miguel de Jesus, solar analyst at IHS Markit looks into upcoming trends hitting the module-level power electronics (MLPE) market.

Let the sun, not profits, burn

Protecting your investment: A recent DuPont conference in Rome showed how the task of protecting longevity of solar investments is becoming more complex, particularly with how backsheets are creating more problems than expected, especially in hot and arid climates. Thinking in terms of $/kWh instead of $/W is one recommended way to maximize investment return.

A divided industry

U.S. solar tariff: The current trade petition filed by Suniva, joined by SolarWorld and belatedly supported by First Solar, has divided the U.S. solar industry into angry for/against camps. The most significant damage done by the petition may be to industry relationships.

Ribbon warriors

European manufacturing: In 2007 U.S. specialty metals and PV ribbon manufacturer Ulbrich decided to fund an Austrian startup from the state of Burgenland with a compelling business plan to produce advanced PV ribbons in the heart of Europe. Now 10 years later, the success of this venture was cause for celebration at Forchtenstein Castle in Burgenland. In addition to celebrating a decade of Ulbrich of Austria, participants were treated to an informative one day Photovoltaic Module Conference.

Panel predictions 2018

Major Trends of 2018: From further trade wars and cost reductions to the ongoing pursuit of high efficiency and wider adoption of diamond wire multi-Si wafers and black silicon, what module manufacturing trends lie in store next year?

A new outlook for the energy transition

Global energy economy: At the 2017 Solar Power International show in Las Vegas, DNV GL presented its expansive global Energy Transition Outlook (ETO) report. The report plots the major reorganization of the world’s energy system, finding that wind and solar will each contribute one third of all electricity supply by 2050. The bad news is that, despite the shift we’re likely going to miss current climate goals. DNV GL Energy CEO Ditlev Engel and Solar Segment Director Ray Hudson spoke to pv magazine.

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