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.

Lithium-ion storage is here to stay

A German-Israeli research group has gathered for three days to discuss which storage technologies may outperform lithium-ion batteries in the future. They concluded that there is no such a thing as a “post Li‐ion” era in sight. They recommended a “side‐by‐side” approach for multiple technologies in different applications, as well as the hybridization of technologies. The group highlighted the strong potential of redox flow storage, which in their view may outperform Li‐ion, although only for stationary applications.

A new technique for cooling solar panels

Scientists in Egypt have investigated the effectiveness of using water and a mixture of aluminum oxide and calcium chloride hexahydrate to cool PV modules. Optimal performance was observed with a solution of 75% water, according to the research findings.

A flexible perovskite solar cell with 11.8% efficiency

U.S. researchers have created an inorganic mixed halide perovskite solar cell which they claim shows no thermal degradation even at 200 degrees Celsius for three days. The device can be used in tandem junction cells and is designed for use in real-life environments with high solar irradiation.

LCOE from large scale PV fell 4% to $50 per megawatt-hour in six months

Analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance say the lowest-cost projects financed in Australia, China, Chile and the UAE in the last six months hit a levelized cost of energy of just $23-29/MWh and the best solar and wind projects will produce electricity for less than $20/MWh by 2030.

Single‐walled carbon nanotubes for more efficient III‐V solar cells

Russian researchers have improved the efficiency of a thin-fim GaAs‐based solar cell by 0.9% by applying single‐walled carbon nanotubes as the topmost layer. The cell also showed a slight increase in the short circuit current density, from 16.9 to 17.9 mA/cm2.

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