Austrian solar manufacturer Energetica aims to commercialize gapless PV modules by the fourth quarter.
Scientists in Poland have measured the effect of solar radiation spectra in variable weather conditions on the performance of different kinds of PV module technologies. They found that amorphous silicon panels offer the best response to this effect in stationary or BIPV projects on facades, while crystalline silicon and CIS solar panels represent the best options in projects with trackers.
The German research institute has proposed a technique based on the surface structure of the wings of the morpho butterfly to produce colored BIPV panels for facades and rooftops. The process is claimed to make it possible to color the modules with an optical effect and not with color pigments, which reduce their efficiency.
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 China have sought to understand how soiling exacerbated by anti-reflective coatings might inhibit solar panel output. In terms of effectiveness against soiling, the scientists found hollow-silica-nanoparticle coatings did better than solid silica alternatives.
Backsheet manufacturer Tomark-Worthen LLC has developed a new polyamide backsheet under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot initiative. The product is based on a novel polyamide-ionomer alloy created by U.S. chemicals producer Dow. The alloy, as well as the other materials in the backsheet, are stabilized with a UV/anti-oxidant package that slows down the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. The manufacturer claims that the backsheet is 25-30% more affordable than high-efficiency fluoropolymer products.
Chinese manufacturer Amerisolar and Brazilian energy company Nova Renováveis are planning to set up a 200 MW solar module manufacturing facility in Belo Horizonte, in the Minas Gerais state.
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