A clean energy world would support millions of new jobs

A study from Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology has predicted solar and other renewables can provide a global energy jobs revolution – just as four European operations revealed recent struggles.

Longi claims 22.38% efficiency world record for PERC mono panel

The Chinese manufacturer said the result was confirmed by Germany’s TÜV Rheinland. The achievement beats the company’s previous record of 21.65%, set last month.

Half-cut modules from Sharp

The Japanese electronics giant has unveiled three monocrystalline half-cut cell modules said to provide 2-3% better performance than standard, full cell panels. The claimed efficiency of the modules exceeds 19.5% and Sharp says power output ranges from 330-395 W.

Stretching exercises for crystalline silicon solar cells

Researchers from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology have created flexible solar cells made of crystalline silicon. They claim to have stretched a crystalline silicon cell’s surface by around 95% while maintaining conversion efficiency of around 19%.

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US scientists claim clear-sky irradiance model provides better results for module testing

Researchers at the American Institute of Physics have used the clear-sky irradiance model developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to measure the degradation rates of solar panels at a testing field in Germany over five years. The scientists say the model, when combined with real-world data, offers an efficient tool to evaluate the aging of PV technology.

Maximizing the potential of PV irrigation in Spain’s ‘Sea of Plastic’

Spanish researchers have developed an analytical model to optimize the operation of PV water pumping systems. They say simultaneously irrigating different parts of a farm could help minimize costs and maximize energy use. The model was tested on an olive farm divided into four zones in the Spanish province of Almería.

100% renewables means 95% less water consumption for conventional power generation

According to a new study by Finland’s LUT University, solar PV consumes between 2% and 15% of the water that coal and nuclear power plants use to produce just 1 MWh of output; for wind, this percentage ranges from 0.1% to 14%. Under the researchers’ best policy scenario, water consumption could be reduced by 75.1% by 2030, compared to 2015 levels.

Coupling pumped hydro with renewables and other storage technologies

The combination of pumped hydro with other storage technologies can increase renewables penetration, improve operational safety and reduce maintenance costs at large-scale hydropower plants, according to new research. The study also focuses on techniques to determine the optimal size of renewables-based pumped hydro storage systems. Costs for hybrid solar-pumped hydro projects currently range from $0.098/kWh to $1.36/kWh.

Assessing metal leaching from PV modules dumped in landfill

An Indian Institute of Technology research team analyzed around 300 studies about PV panel waste containing carcinogenic metals. The researchers said solar module recycling is not economically profitable and policy support is necessary to avoid panels being dumped in landfill.

New metallization tech to reduce microcracks in solar cells

A U.S. research group has developed a metal-carbon-nanotube composite – MetZilla – which can be embedded in commercial, screen-printable silver pastes and is said to reduce the formation of hotspots in solar modules and to prolong panel lifespan. The composite metal contacts are also ‘self-healing’ as they are able to regain electrical continuity after cycles of complete electrical failure caused by extreme strain.

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