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Internet of Things

Solar challenges and trends and Covid-19 discussed at 2020 Africa Energy Forum

The 24-day, digital 2020 Africa Energy Forum kicked off on October 20. The event brings together African energy sector officials to identify opportunities, air their views, form partnerships, and take the necessary steps to improve the industry. For solar, challenges in policy making, procurement processes and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were discussed, as well as emerging trends such as solar digitalization.

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Solar is essential to build the France of 2030

KilowattSol CEO Xavier Daval has criticized the absence of references to solar in the French government’s post-Covid recovery plan, which has allocated €30 billion to the energy transition. The head of the PV technical advisory says solar must become more central to France’s strategic choices and China must not be allowed to retain its near-monopoly on PV panel manufacturing.

A new device to detect PV panel failure

A Spanish start-up has developed a system which offers automated fault detection in solar panels at any scale.

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The week in perovskites

As a focus of research at leading institutes the world over, new developments in the perovskite field come thick and fast almost every week. From x-ray observations on a nanoscale to financing and plans for mass production, pv magazine is bringing together some of the most exciting developments of recent weeks.

A big grid solution to harness small solar arrays

Scientists at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory are developing a communication system to coordinate and control the volumes of solar power injected into grids by small scale solar arrays.

A plug-and-play solar-powered battery back-up solution for the home

The OneBox, from Indian manufacturer Vision Mechatronics, consists of a lithium battery, hybrid inverter and solar charge controller to give a ‘hassle-free’ solution for electricity back-up during power outages. Solar rooftop owners are offered a grid feed feature to maximize net metering income from any excess power generated.

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Meyer Burger raises another $14m by selling software subsidiary

The Swiss solar equipment maker has already sold its corporate headquarters this week as it aims to generate a fighting fund until the hoped-for returns of a European PV manufacturing renaissance materialize.

An organic solar cell for indoor light

A Swedish-Chinese research team has developed an organic cell said to be ideal for wide use in daily life to power internet of things-enabled devices. The cell could be used to power sensors that detect and measure moisture, particle concentrations, temperature and other parameters indoors.

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Sensing an opportunity for indoor PV

A new paper published by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examines the potential for integrating small solar cells into the wireless sensors needed to power the fast-growing internet of things (IoT) ecosystem, many of which are located indoors. This market could represent a unique opportunity for thin film PV technologies, and perovskites in particular, to reduce the risk inherent to ramping up commercial scale production.

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Inverter suppliers go digital

More than 11 million PV inverters will be shipped in 2019 alone, and most of these will be connected to a software platform and controlled by the inverter companies. This creates an opportunity for suppliers to create new models and revenue sources, writes Cormac Gilligan, research and analysis manager at IHS Markit. And indeed, in recent years inverter suppliers have been rapidly developing ‘Internet of things’ software platforms to take advantage of this.

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