Scientists in Germany have achieved 12.6% efficiency with a 26 sq cm organic panel and 11.7% for a 204 sq cm device. The feats were achieved with a new module layout and a slower, high-resolution, short-pulse laser structuring process.
Scientists in the U.S. have come a step closer to taking advantage of singlet fission – a phenomenon seen in certain solar cell materials that promises to greatly increase energy yield. By designing and testing various molecules, the group was able to better understand the fundamental processes behind the mechanism and optimize materials to better take advantage of it.
Recovering silicon of the quality required for reuse in panels is at the heart of mitigating device carbon footprints. R&D efforts should be ramped up now, says an international research group, so the technology is in place when huge volumes of modules begin to need replacing.
Researchers in the U.S. have demonstrated, using simulations, PV system generation can range from 18-60% of clear-sky potential during hurricanes – provided the arrays do not suffer damage. According to them, solar installations could continue to provide back-up power when grids are down during hurricanes, especially if coupled with energy storage.
Five testing laboratories led by Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE have begun a ‘round robin’ project to test the effects of ultraviolet light on polymer backsheet materials. Initial results indicate a route to accurate accelerated testing of backsheet UV stability over module lifetimes of 20 years-plus.
Researchers from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a tool to balance customer curtailment and grid stability. The “Precise” tool for utilities provides unique inverter settings tailored to each customer, with minimal investment and labor for companies that use it.
A U.S. research group has developed a new solar cell, based on six active photoactive layers, to capture light from a specific part of the solar spectrum. The scientists claim that they could potentially reach a 50% efficiency rate with the new cell.
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