In a new study, PV Cycle and Imec/EnergyVille examine the growing PV module reuse sector and detail both the opportunities and challenges of employing second-hand systems, especially in developing countries.
PV systems are unique among electronic devices, as they are expected to survive outdoors for at least 25 to 30 years. This makes module and system quality one of the cornerstones of guaranteed returns on investment. Potential-induced degradation (PID) is a critical failure mode with a potentially high financial impact. New research from imec and Hasselt University looks at the damaging impact that PID can have on bifacial technology, writes Michaël Daenen, a professor at EnergyVille and Hasselt University.
The interconnection tech, developed by scientists at the Belgian research institute Imec, is based on a three-dimensional fabric of encapsulant with incorporated horizontal and vertical solder‐coated metal ribbons. Mini solar modules built with the proposed technique have provided interesting results in tests for thermal cycling reliability, showing very limited degradation.
The solar industry faces many challenges in its move to become truly sustainable and that goal is imperative, rather than being simply a luxury, if the sector is to achieve terawatt scale. pv magazine’s first Sustainability Roundtable took place on June 10 and included discussion as to why sustainability matters in PV and which business, regulatory and technological approaches can be applied to achieve truly “green” solar power. A video of the event can be streamed online.
The EU-funded Nextbase project aims to manufacture heterojunction, interdigitated back-contact solar modules for less than €0.275/W. Solar panels featuring the Nextbase cell tech are expected to have a conversion efficiency of 23.2%, according to the European Commission.
Researchers led by Belgian institute imec claim to have achieved the result with a 1cm² perovskite tandem solar cell. The result tops the 24.6% efficiency the consortium announced in September 2018. The cell’s developers are now aiming for 30%.
In 2020, perovskite cells could pass the IEC tests intended for the standardization of solar modules, and in 2022, they could even be mass-produced. In an interview with pv magazine, Tom Aernouts explains the status of work on the new PV technology. He is a research and development manager for thin film photovoltaics at the Belgian research institute Imec.
The first part of pv magazine’s review of 2019 considers Q1, when solar early adopter Italy offered an optimistic start to the year by fleshing out its plans for PV but uncertainty still clouded the world’s biggest solar market. The potential for household solar installations to rocket the world over – helped by ever cheaper panels – prompted strategic decisions in the inverter market and analyst expectations were confounded as the cobalt and lithium price plummeted, bringing the EV revolution a big step nearer.
With solar energy about to reach the iconic terawatt (TW) milestone of globally installed PV capacity, waste handling and end-of-life (EoL) scenarios become a pressing matter.
Belgian research institute imec this week said it has set a performance record of 400 watt-hours per liter – at a charge rate of 0.5 – for a solid state lithium metal battery. The institute says it is working with the University of Hasselt to scale up production of solid state cells on a pilot line in Belgium.
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