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Combination of half-cut, bifacial solar cell designs may contribute to hotspot formation

Scientists in Spain tested PV modules under partial shading conditions, aiming to better understand the formation of performance-damaging hotspots. The study reveals a potential issue particularly affecting half-cell and bifacial modules, which may cause accelerated performance loss and is not covered by current testing/certification standards.

Using shunts to spot PV module degradation

Scientists in Ireland investigated the effect of shunt resistance on a PV cell’s electrical performance. The group says its finding could potentially lead to the development of models for early detection of various forms of cell degradation, allowing for intervention to repair or replace components before major power losses occur.

TOPCon PV modules outperform PERC by more than 5% in energy yield tests

A study by TÜV Nord in Malaysia shows that the latest generation of tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) modules surpass their older rivals on energy yield. The researchers compared n-type TOPCon modules with older p-type PERC modules, both manufactured by JinkoSolar over a three-month period earlier this year. The newer product showed an energy yield 5.69% higher than its PERC counterpart.

Keep your solar cells dry

Scientists in Norway used various imaging and characterization techniques to analyze the cells and other components of silicon PV modules that had been installed in the field for more than 10 years. The group’s aim was to isolate the role of moisture in various mechanisms that cause performance loss over time, and to understand how these mechanisms progress over long-term installation in real outdoor conditions.

VIT researchers study the impact of soling on solar modules

Scientists from the Vellore Institute of Technology in India carried out a comprehensive study into the impacts of soiling on PV modules – measuring the amount of performance loss caused by different types of dust and bird droppings, and for modules installed at various tilt angles, in the hot-dry climate of Vellore in southern India. Their findings could allow developers to better take into account and mitigate the effects of soiling during site selection and system design.

PV manufacturing capacity hit 600 GW in 2022

The new edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV), published this week, finds that 295 GW of PV modules was shipped in 2022, and that prices for silicon PV modules fell by 7% over the year. The report finds that price premiums for n-type modules are now marginal, and the technology grew to represent 15% of the market, and is expected to keep growing over the coming decade.

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Case study demonstrates 5% energy yield boost for n-type TOPCon modules

Data collected from a 30 MW PV project in China’s Tianjin Province demonstrates that n-type tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) modules achieve a little more than 5% more energy yield than p-type PERC. Analysis by JinkoSolar, which supplied its TOPCon modules to the project, credits the n-type modules’ increased performance to a better temperature coefficient in the project’s hot climate, higher bifaciality and lower degradation.

Soiling – a multibillion-dollar issue

A new report by the International Energy Agency’s Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA-PVPS) estimates that lost revenue from PV module soiling amounts to more than €3 billion ($3.2 billion) per year – an amount that is only set to increase as PV systems grow larger and more efficient.

Why solar needs to slim down on silver

New research from UNSW in Australia outlines the need for solar cell and module makers to reduce or eliminate the use of silver in their products. Based on expected PV growth, in line with climate change commitments, solar manufacturers would require at least 85% of global silver reserves, according to the new study.

Impact of dust, heat, soiling on solar project performance

Scientists in Morocco recently conducted a year-long study on the impacts of soiling on PV modules in arid, dusty conditions. They found that soiling could contribute to daily performance losses of as much as 15%.