Technology and R&D

The long read: “The potential gain from bifacial easily outweighs the risks”

An unexpectedly large gathering of international bifacial PV experts convened in Denver, USA in early September, at the 2018 bifiPV Workshop to trade notes on the performance of bifacial PV modules, lauded by some as the most promising advance in solar for a decade. pv magazine was in attendance.

Rural India a $50 billion market for clean energy innovations

The farming sector offers the largest green energy innovation opportunity, with rice transplanting, pesticide spraying and grain harvesting together having a market potential worth $40 billion – says the Council on Energy, Environment and Water.

TOPCon: The next big thing after PERC

TOPCon technologies could further increase solar cell efficiencies, said Guangyao Jin, chief scientist, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, at this year’s Energy Taiwan, held in September. He added that metallization paste is crucial.

The long read: A factor of 10

Solar power plants not only need to be built, but also operated, monitored, and maintained. Many approaches to digitalization promise to make these plant management processes significantly more efficient – up to a factor of 10.

“Optical Tweezers can benefit solar cell research” – Interview

pv magazine interviewed Ricardo Arias González, who holds a PhD in Physical Sciences and introduced the Optical Tweezers applied to biology in Spain. It is one of the tools of photonics for which Arthur Ashkin received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, together with Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou.

PM Modi: 40% electricity generation from non-fossils by 2030, up to $80 billion for PV manufacturing

India’s Prime Minister kick started the first Assembly of the ISA, the second IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting, and the 2nd Global RE-Invest yesterday in Greater Noida. The agenda of the day? Universal access to solar energy at affordable rates; securing 40% of India’s electricity generation from non-fossil fuels by 2030, and allocating up to US$80 billion to boost domestic PV manufacturing.

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.

International research group develops solar cell with storage properties

Although the “solar flow battery” is currently considered too expensive by its own creators, a further improvement of its design and the use of emerging solar materials and new electrochemistry may open new opportunities for this kind of technology.

Scientists show hybrid organic–inorganic perovskite is ferroelastic, not ferroelectric

This means that this promising material, contrary to common belief, is able to form domains of polarized strain to minimize elastic energy. The research team made its discovery by using multimodal imaging.

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