The long read: New technologies move to the back

The tension between the cost cutting and performance boosting opportunities presented by new technologies and the tendency for risk aversion is never more evident than in PV module materials. This applies nowhere more than in backsheets, where new innovations are big on promise, but must convince manufacturers and the market of their long-term performance.

The long read: Materials matter

As problems with component failure have already laid bare, there is a clear need for contract clarity at every stage of a PV project, from material and component sourcing to power purchase and operations agreements. Here, pv magazine investigates a little covered issue for module buyers, which could threaten insurance coverage and the overall success of a project further down the line.

The long read: Flashing key for bifacial value

As new cell and module concepts move into large-scale production, and efficiencies are pushed ever higher, manufacturers of flash testing equipment must innovate to ensure their tools can provide reliable measurements, and cope with ever expanding production throughput. The expansion of bifacial technology beyond niche applications in particular raises new issues for flash testing standards. pv magazine spoke with several flasher manufacturers to shed light on the latest developments in this segment.

Azure Power raises $400 million in debt and equity

Azure Power has raised the capital since June 30th, and says it is “the largest amount of financing raised by a solar power company in India during this period”. Azure says the fund leaves it well positioned to deliver a 2 GW project pipeline.

Frost & Sullivan forecasts strong 2018 for solar, despite China’s policy setback

A new report published by business consultants Frost & Sullivan expects around 90 GW of new solar installations by the end of 2018, in line with the predictions of other leading analysts. It further notes that PV remains the world leader in renewable energy capacity, and that markets are moving away from feed-in tariffs to make increasing use of auction models and private PPAs.

Japanese scientists develop new perovskite process

A team of researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) has developed a new process for the production of perovskite solar devices; and reports a 5x5cm² device with an efficiency above 15%. The researchers worked with a 1 micron thick active layer, considerably thicker than in many other perovskite devices, and state that this helped achieve better long-term stability.

The long read: Backsheets to the future

As backsheet manufacturers aim to keep up with cost reductions up and down the PV supply chain, new processes and materials are appearing, with claims to offer better performance as a moisture barrier, as well as better acetic acid permeability and higher reflectivity, among other features. pv magazine examines the state of the market for PV backsheets, and takes a look at some of the new material innovations that are gaining ground with module manufacturers.

New efficiency record for perovskite-CIGS tandem

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, have set a new record 22.4% conversion efficiency for a tandem cell combining a lead-based perovskite layer with CIGS technology. The record has been confirmed by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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Solar performance polluted by urban haze

Research conducted over several years by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) demonstrates that air pollution in cities can put a dampener on the performance of PV panels which, if not taken into account, can threaten a project’s viability.

Azure Power connects 50 MW project in India

Indian energy company Azure Power recently announced that it has connected a 50 MW PV project in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh. The company states that the completion of this project brings its portfolio of operational solar assets past the 1 GW mark.

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