A solar cell so thin, it can rest on a soap bubble

Scientists at Saudia Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology demonstrated an organic PV cell that can simply be printed onto a piece of paper. The cell set a new efficiency record for a fully inkjet-printed device, and its designers envisage applications in integrated medical sensors.

The long read: The state of solid-state batteries

Solid-state batteries hold the potential to overcome many of the limitations of today’s lithium-ion storage technologies. Though they have been a research topic for more than 30 years, and more recently have seen billions of dollars poured into their development by leading carmakers and electronics giants, commercial development is still extremely limited. Major roadblocks remain in the way of both device performance and industrial-scale processing. pv magazine recently caught up with solid-state’s research community for a look at where the technology stands.

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‘Spontaneous de-doping’ for 17.8%-efficient perovskite mini-module

U.S. scientists have found a new ‘de-doping’ process in perovskite solar cells that could cut production costs and produce better devices. They have used this to fabricate a mini-module with 17.8% efficiency.

IIT researchers consider fate of end-of-life solar modules

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi have taken a close look at the potential impact of growing volumes of PV waste and conducted surveys which suggest a lot more work is needed from manufacturers and policymakers to develop management systems for end-of-life PV products.

Microsoft trials hydrogen-powered data centers

The software giant has begun testing hydrogen fuel cells as a back-up power source at one of its U.S. data centers. A 250 kW pilot system successfully powered part of the facility for 48 hours and the company is now eyeing 3 MW systems to replace back-up diesel generators.

There’s something fishy about this flow battery innovation

Scientists led by MIT have suggested chitin, a carbon and nitrogen-rich material made from waste shrimp shells, could produce sustainable electrodes for vanadium redox flow batteries and other energy storage technologies.

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Delhi lockdown has seen solar irradiation rise

Scientists measuring air pollutants and PV performance in the city have found the lockdown conditions imposed since late March have brought about a significant reduction in air pollution which has led to an 8% increase in solar irradiation reaching rooftop arrays.

Perovskites thrive under pressure

Scientists in the U.S. and Nigeria have studied the effects of pressure on perovskite solar cell production and found the correct application could improve cell efficiency by as much as 40% (relative). Push them too hard though, and they crack.

Preventing PID at 1500 volts

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.

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The long read: Laser focused

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.

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