The best battery for grid level energy storage

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.

UK designers launch freestanding curved panel

Product development company the Cambridge Design Partnership, working with compatriot solar business Solivus, has developed a curved solar module featuring an organic thin film. The design is based on Solivus’ desire to “create a product so attractive that people would be happy to have one in their garden”.

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The long read: All about albedo

With analyst predictions going as high as 40 GW for annual bifacial demand by 2023, it is imperative for stakeholders across the industry to understand the behavior of these modules in the field. Ground albedo and the way that diffuse and reflected light hits the rear side of the modules are the key concerns. A better understanding of these factors, gained from sophisticated yield-modeling simulations and bifacial test installations all over the world, has already helped to identify the challenges and opportunities in optimizing projects to maximize bifacial energy yield.

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Perovskites meet the stability standard

European research group Solliance says its perovskite modules have passed three key industry standard reliability tests: Light soaking, damp heat and thermal cycling. The group said it is the first time perovskite modules of that size have achieved such results and represents a milestone in the technology’s move toward commercialization.

The long read: Model progress

While it has often been referred to as “the future of PV” in recent years, discussions surrounding bifacial technology are now very much in the present. Modules are beginning to roll off production lines in significant numbers, and industry players are boasting of gigawatts of bifacial projects that are already installed or in the late stages of development. But it’s still early days for the technology, and there are questions to answer for it to achieve its full potential. pv magazine investigates the modeling and optimization of bifacial PV’s performance.

A new battery mix to prevent dendrites

Scientists at the United States Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered a root cause of dendrite formation, which can cause battery failure and even fires in lithium-ion technology. With this new knowledge, the group is now working on electrolyte recipes that eliminate dendrite growth entirely.

Danish researchers bring some color to rooftop PV

Scientists led by the Technical University of Denmark have begun a project to design solar cells that can be produced in different colors with minimal effect on performance, making them suitable for building-integrated and other applications with aesthetic considerations.

The long read: Both sides of the debate

Choosing the best material to cover the backside of a module has long been a contentious issue, and the rise of bifacial technology has brought further complexity to the debate. With transparent backsheet materials quickly making their way to market, the Intersolar Europe edition of the Quality Roundtable event series sought to bring some clarity to the rear side of modules, and illuminate some of the issues that can occur in the field – both with glass-glass and glass-backsheet modules.

IHS Markit: Trackers to account for a third of PV installations

New analysis predicts more than 150 GW of tracker capacity will be installed in the next five years – around a third of all ground mount projects up to 2024. Rapid growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and the better cost structures possible from combining trackers and bifacial modules are singled out as key trends.

The long read: Production ambitions

While China hosts the lion’s share of production capacity for solar modules, many other parts of the world harbor the ambition to build manufacturing industries of their own. Italy’s Ecoprogetti is building production lines all over the world in 2019, and pv magazine had the chance to catch up with the family-owned company’s CEO Laura Sartore, who sees India and the Middle East as the key markets for the PV production equipment business.

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