Earth’s magnetic field affecting PV panel performance

Researchers in Kenya say the geomagnetic field could reduce solar panel conversion efficiency 0.21% between the equator and a 50-degree latitude. Their analysis showed the complex magnetic field can determine increases in module fill factor and falls in maximum power.

Agrivoltaics works better with leafy greens, root crops

U.S. researchers have created a new model to assess the overlap between solar potential and underlying land use. The areas with the largest potential are the western United States, southern Africa, and the Middle East. The researchers concluded that croplands, grasslands, and wetlands are the top three land classes for PV projects linked to agricultural activities, while barren terrain, traditionally prioritized for solar PV system installation, ranked fifth.

Single-axis bifacial PV offers lowest LCOE in 93.1% of world’s land area

Researchers from the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore have concluded that utility-scale PV projects relying on bifacial panels and single-axis trackers deliver the lowest levelized cost of energy in most of the world. They found that the combination of bifacial products with dual-axis trackers is still too expensive, despite the higher yield. The second-lowest LCOE is offered by monofacial single-axis tracker plants.

New method to measure cell voltages in operational PV modules

Scientists in Japan have proposed a new model to estimate cell voltages in solar modules by irradiating the cells with a weak modulated laser light. The method could be used to detect hot spots and other panel-degradation issues, such as potential induced degradation (PID) peeling, cracking, and poor contacts.

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Pouch lamination technique for solar cell encapsulation

Madurai Kamaraj University scientists have used a pouch laminator to encapsulate a polycrystalline solar cell. The resulting device, the researchers claim, showed better UV photon absorption than solar cells treated with a polymer surface coating.

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Used EV batteries for large-scale solar energy storage

MIT scientists have suggested used electric vehicle batteries could offer a more viable business case than purpose-built systems for the storage of grid scale solar power in California. Such ‘second life’ EV batteries, may cost only 60% of their original purchase price to deploy and can be effectively aggregated for industrial scale storage even if they have declined to 80% of their original capacity.

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Italian homeowners can now install PV systems for free

The Italian government has raised the tax breaks it offers for building renovations and energy-requalification projects – potentially including storage-backed rooftop PV systems – to 110%. The new measure is part of the Relaunch Decree, which is a package of guidelines aimed at reviving the Italian economy in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Jinko launches PV module with record output of 580 W

The panel is part of the company’s new Tiger Pro series, which includes two 530 W modules and a 430 W product for distributed-generation applications. It will begin production of the series in the fourth quarter, although it will start accepting first orders immediately.

New method for life cycle assessment of PV technologies

Researchers in Australia have conducted a ‘cradle to grave’ life cycle assessment (LCA) of the four most widely used PV technologies. The academics say that cadmium telluride solar modules have the lowest life cycle impact, followed by amorphous, multi and monocrystalline silicon products.

Harvesting atmospheric water to cool down PV panels

Scientists from Saudi Arabia have proposed a new PV panel cooling technique which employs an atmospheric water harvester. The device uses waste heat from the PV panel to collect atmospheric water at night and then releases it during the day to cool down the module. The researchers claim the device may also be improved to produce liquid water, which could be used for the cleaning of the modules.

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