The long read: Bangladesh’s renewables pioneer dreams of a ‘solar nation’

Dipal C Barua started installing rooftop solar systems in Bangladesh when the PV industry itself was in its infancy, with his company Grameen Shakti. Now heading up the Bright Green Energy Foundation, Barua installs small residential systems, streetlights, and irrigation pumps throughout rural Bangladesh under various government programs.

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The long read: PV + e-mobility = economic development

Mobility in rural Kenya is currently flooded with unsustainable CO2-emitting motorcycles that pose a threat to the environment and public health. But the electric tricycle is an environmentally friendly alternative, and Solar E-cycles – a homegrown Kenyan startup – believes a leasing model could unlock a ton of three-wheeled potential.

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The long read: Scientists at Argonne develop new kind of thermal battery

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new kind of thermal battery that can greatly increase the energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness of many industrial processes and shows great promise for use in the solar industry. Liz Thompson reports that Argonne’s Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS) can rapidly capture and store surplus heat so that it can be used as needed. With its pioneering modular design and material advancements resulting in greater efficiency, TESS is a big step forward in thermal battery technology.

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The long read: Scientists at Argonne develop new kind of thermal battery

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new kind of thermal battery that can greatly increase the energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness of many industrial processes and shows great promise for use in the solar industry. Liz Thompson reports that Argonne’s Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS) can rapidly capture and store surplus heat so that it can be used as needed. With its pioneering modular design and material advancements resulting in greater efficiency, TESS is a big step forward in thermal battery technology.

The long read: Criteria and implications for gallium-doping

As a remedy for light-induced degradation (LID) in crystalline silicon cells, gallium-doped wafers are showing considerable promise. With reports that ingot growth productivity can rival that of boron doping, it seems that gallium doping may now be able to meet the cost, integration and performance criteria that have informed solar manufacturing technology adoption, writes Alex Barrows, senior research analyst at U.K.-based consultancy Exawatt.

The long read: Cheaper, safer EV batteries to bolster grid

Electric vehicles can transition from liabilities to assets if steps are taken by battery manufacturers, the auto industry, and policymakers, argues Milan Rosina, a principal analyst in the power electronics and batteries division of Yole Développement.

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The long read: Carriers key for quality cell surfaces

The path to lower solar LCOE can be painful; just ask a PV manufacturer. However, ever-larger crystalline wafers may cause more pain than they are worth, argues Gerry Knoch, the managing director of wet bench provider exateq. For high efficiency, eliminating cross contamination in wet processes is vital and can be achieved – with carriers playing an important role.

The long read: Understanding LeTID

Light- and elevated temperature-induced degradation (LeTID) of PV cells can have far-reaching impacts on the efficiency of modules. Alison Ciesla and Brett Hallam of the University of New South Wales argue that accelerated testing, such as that included in the forthcoming IEC standards, is critical for LeTID identification and quantification in order to manage these impacts.

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The long read: ‘We’re better off without standards’

Many factors are important in ballasting flat roof systems, such as wind speed and roof shape. In the past, however, wind force has unfortunately been underestimated, says wind expert Hans Ruscheweyh. pv magazine addressed this topic in a recent webinar with initiative partner Schletter, and drew several interesting points from the discussion.

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The long read: EL to the field – Assessing plant health

Electroluminescence imaging is gaining traction in the field at project sites for operations and maintenance and to support PV plant mergers and acquisitions. EL testing can help PV asset owners evaluate power plant system health and can predict potential future underperformance and failures. Tristan Erion-Lorico, the head of PVEL’s module business, and dowstream business chief Andrew Sundling discuss the outlook for this enabling technology.

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