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New all-iron redox flow battery for renewables storage

Scientists in the U.S. claim to have demonstrated an inexpensive, long-life, safe and eco-friendly redox flow battery. The device is said to offer coulombic efficiency of 97.9%, thanks to functional electrolyte additives, pH and elevated temperature.

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Solar causes highest power peaks under mixed-cloud conditions

Dutch researchers have shown that power peaks caused by solar generation may be stronger under partial cloudiness than clear skies. According to their findings, mixed-cloud conditions can enhance PV power production due to light reflected off clouds, as well as their intermittent shadows on arrays, which reduce module temperatures.

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Norwegian tech for Korea’s giant floating solar complex

Floating PV specialist Ocean Sun and South Korean energy company EN Technologies have signed an agreement to develop the pilot projects of the 2.1 GW floating solar site planned near the Saemangeum tidal flat, on the coast of the Yellow Sea.

Redox flow battery powered by perovskite solar cells

An international team has developed an integrated solar flow battery which has been suggested as ideal for off-grid locations. The device, which combines energy conversion and storage in one unit, can be used for lighting and recharging cell phones.

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.

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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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