Scientists in Germany have developed a “heavy duty” test to provide insight into the long term effects of potential induced degradation in PV modules. The tests go well beyond those established by IEC standards and seek to guide manufacturers and investors on the best choice of materials – encapsulants in particular – when it comes to long term PID resistance.
Solar manufacturing’s recent move toward larger wafer/cells throws into focus the need for effective cell-cutting techniques to handle the processing of these cells into half cut or even smaller formats. pv magazine looks at the landscape for cell cutting, as the technology reaches maturity and moves into the mainstream of cell/module production.
Demand for batteries is going nowhere but up, as new factories seem to appear almost every week with promises to power electric vehicles, consumer electronics, and grid-connected storage. But the lithium-ion technology that all of these rely on is not without drawbacks, and a whole host of new storage solutions is eager to get out of the laboratory.
A report by Norwegian energy consultant DNV GL has considered the opportunity for long-term energy storage to play a role in balancing annual supply and demand fluctuations in a renewables-led grid. Using 58 years of Dutch weather and energy consumption data, the study found long-term solutions such as green hydrogen could make a valuable contribution – but perhaps not as much as some analysts believe.
Scientists at Germany’s Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin have made a discovery they say could greatly increase the energy storage capacity of titanium-based ‘MXene’ pseudocapacitors, ultimately leading to faster-charging batteries. The group found adding urea molecules between MXene layers increased the material’s storage capacity by up to 56%.
By engineering the structure of a hard carbon electrode, scientists at the CIC energIGUNE research center have created an ‘ultrafast battery’ which has been shown to combine the energy density of a lithium device with the fast discharge times normally associated with supercapacitors.
Scientists in the United States have demonstrated simple methods for ‘healing’ the cracks that form in perovskite solar cells. While it is far from clear how the approach could be applied commercially, the work suggests possibilities for maintaining the performance of perovskite cells in long-term operation.
MIT scientists have developed a solar desalinator which transports heat from the sun through a ten-stage process of evaporation and condensation. The group estimates a $100 device employing their innovation could provide the daily drinking water needs of a family.
A new paper published by researchers at China’s Tianjin University examines the state of the art in grid level energy storage, outlining the pros and cons of various battery technologies being deployed on grids around the world, and remaining challenges that could be overcome if research is pushed in the right direction.
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