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Magazine Archive 2018

The science of soil

Soiling and solar: No two solar plants are ever the same, and the conditions that can impact energy yield can literally change with the wind. Soiled solar modules had long been considered a minor nuisance for the sector, but as understanding of how soiling affects output improves, so have techniques and technologies to tackle the persistent problem of dirty modules.

All about that baseload

Interview: The emergence of Finnish power firm Wärtsilä as a fledgling heavyweight in the world of renewables could usher in a new thirst for hybridized large-scale solar plants. The President of Wärtsilä Energy Solutions Javier Cavada outlines his vision for a solar+A.N.Other future.

The next segment for trackers?

C&I trackers: Trackers have already taken over the utility-scale U.S. solar market segment, but the potentially bigger commercial and industrial segment has been largely ignored by tracker makers, EPCs, and developers. However, this could be about to change, as players in this segment look to trackers for their next move.

Building new markets

Thin film and BIPV: Thanks to their light weight and potential to be deployed on glass and other materials, thin film PV solutions show strong potential in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). CIGS is seen by many in the industry as a particularly suitable technology for these applications, and as the first of several factories is brought online in China, pv magazine looks at the potential for this and other thin film technologies in the nascent market for BIPV.

Six trends that will shape the inverter landscape in 2018

Inverter overview: As 2017 drew to a close following a record-breaking year for solar, pv magazine sat down to discuss the global inverter landscape with Cormac Gilligan, Senior Solar Analyst at IHS Markit. With China dominant, India’s soaring solar market still very much up for grabs, and technical innovation a perennial route to market leadership, these are the six trends that we believe will shape the solar inverter landscape this year.

Yellow spells trouble for backsheets

Backsheets: Some may argue that slight discoloration of PV backsheets is a question of aesthetics, and should not be something to worry about. For others, it’s a sign that a serious degradation process is underway, and trouble awaits.

The impact of peer to peer trading

Retail energy models: The growth of peer-to-peer models will have a significant impact on the PV industry, with rapidly growing interest in peer-to-peer energy retail models, and a number of trials and even commercial projects launching. Many (but not all) of these involve PV. In this article, Delta-ee Principal Analyst Charmaine Coutinho explores the status of and prospects for peer-to-peer business models, and the implications for the PV sector.

Planning certainty at last

PV/diesel hybrid systems: It is now finally possible to reliably calculate the viability of photovoltaic-diesel hybrid systems for electricity generation. Questionable estimates are a thing of the past, thanks to a VDE-certified modelling approach. It could help hybrid systems achieve a breakthrough.

Behind the curtain

Thin film technology: In this interview with pv magazine, First Solar Chief Technology Officer Raffi Garabedian sheds light on how his company is continuing to advance higher efficiencies as First Solar moves into Series 6 production.

Major milestones for PAYG solar in Africa

Off-grid financials: Acquisitions in the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home system market indicate signs of market maturity: market specialization, the formation of multiple revenue streams, and the first equity exit. pv magazine spoke with the PAYG companies involved in the recent acquisitions to understand the impact on their businesses, and on the PAYG solar market as a whole.

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